How many people make resolutions to lose weight in January, but wind up weighing the same -- or more -- in December? With the right lifestyle program, 2014 could be the year you finally lose those extra pounds. We've compiled and reviewed the top diet books that lay out doable plans for healthy weight loss, including the trendy Paleo diet and words of wisdom from Deepak Chopra.
1. The FastDiet
Dr. Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer
Gluten-free and Paleo make way — intermittent fasting is the new diet du jour. Also known as the 5:2 diet, this eating plan has been making transatlantic waves ever since UK physician Michael Mosley debuted it in 2012. His approach promises to help you lose weight and improve your health, from diabetes to cognitive function to cardiac issues.
More of a lifestyle change plan, the 5:2 diet constricts your caloric intake for two nonconsecutive days a week (600 for men, 500 for women). The FastDiet's recipes and meal plans offer an effective strategy for fast days, while testimonials and a thorough Q & A section keep you motivated. Fans praise its long-term livability. You may be subsisting on leafy veggies two days a week, but you'll be feasting on steak and sipping Pinot Noir the rest of the time!
2. Eat to Live
Joel Fuhrman, M.D.
Those simply looking to lose those elusive last five pounds may find Dr. Joel Fuhrman's "nutritarian" approach a bit extreme. But those also wanting to reboot their immune system and cure chronic disease (including high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes), should consider the bestselling author's call for "nutritarianism," a diet rich in antioxidants, minerals and phytochemicals.
Fuhrman argues that switching to a whole lot of green and ditching animal products, sugar and processed foods will optimize your health and will allow you to lose weight without a sense of deprivation. That's because Fuhrman's meal plans allow for unlimited amounts of fresh fruits, vegetables and beans. There's zero calorie counting.
3. What Are You Hungry For?
Deepak Chopra, M.D.
Best-selling self-help guru Deepak Chopra tackles the issue of weight-loss from an emotional perspective. He suggests that overeating is caused by a slew of reasons such as boredom, lack of self-confidence or the craving for love — this inner emptiness cannot be solved by food and certainly not by crash dieting. Instead, his holistic approach advocates cultivating mental well-being through awareness and mindfulness as well as following a diet based on the Indian principles of Ayurveda (in which fresh, natural foods contain more energy and life force). In short: emotional fulfillment, contentment and healing prevent stress eating and other bad food choices, thus leading to a healthier, more mindful, and ultimately thinner you.
4. Crazy Sexy Diet
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Kris Carr, there was a time where she too lived a SAD (Standard American Diet) and empty-calorie life... until she was diagnosed with a rare and incurable cancer. Maybe we should all live like we have the big "C," but in Crazy Sexy Diet, Carr will give you the perspective, inspiration and ingredients you need to make an even bigger "C" — change, of course! How? Through loads of veggies, cleanses, delicious juicing and other simple lifestyle changes.
5. The Emotional Eater’s Repair Manual
Julie M. Simon
Therapist and life coach Julie M. Simon tackles the real issue of why many of us overeat in The Emotional Eater’s Repair Manual: A Practical Mind-Body-Spirit Guide for Putting an End to Overeating and Dieting. Because counting calories and restricting foods tends to leave dieters feeling deprived and resorting back to pigging out on fattening comfort foods, Simon has created a practical guide to help balance your emotions, spirit and body to counter the impulse for binge eating. Armed with her five self-care skills, body-balancing principles and soul-care practices, you will learn to look within for comfort instead of self-soothing with food.
6. Practical Paleo
Diane Sanfilippo’s Practical Paleo is a great introduction to the very trendy "caveman" diet, a way of eating similar to our prehistoric ancestors. She offers a holistic plan that focuses on whole organic foods while avoiding the refined, processed and gluten-rich foods typical of the modern human diet. In addition to 120 Paleo-friendly recipes, Sanfilippo includes various guides on what kinds of foods to avoid as well as meal plans targeted to help those with various chronic diseases.
7. French Women Don’t Get Fat
In French Women Don't Get Fat, Mireille Guiliano advises us to practice the French lifestyle of savoring food (including chocolate, bread, cheese and wine), controlling portions, walking, drinking lots of water, eating a variety of fresh foods, adding healthy staples like satisfying Greek-style yogurt and, most of all, enjoying ourselves. Its success even inspired a cookbook.
8. Gluten Free Every Day
Robert M. Landolphi
Whether you have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease or simply want to reduce the amount of wheat and other carbs in your diet, Gluten Free Every Day shows that gluten-free cooking can bring joy and satisfaction to anyone's kitchen and palate — not just those with special dietary needs. Author Robert M. Landolphi covers all food categories, from appetizers to desserts, in delicious ways that won't have you missing traditional pasta, toast and dinner rolls.
9. Skinny Bitch in the Kitch
Rory Freedman & Kim Barnouin
When Skinny Bitch first hit the bookstores, it became an instant bestseller for its manifesto on the vegan lifestyle, a no-holds-barred war against the supposed evils of the food world: meat, dairy and simple carbohydrates. In part two, Skinny Bitch in the Kitch, Freedman and Barnouin are back with a cookbook, offering vegan recipes that "don't taste like crap."
10. Substitute Yourself Skinny
Substitute Yourself Skinny is not a book of diet recipes. It's all about enjoying your favorite foods at a lower calorie-count by using low-fat or fat-free products, sweeteners with fewer calories than sugar, more vegetables, and fresh herbs for flavor.
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