— It’s that time of year when resolutions are starting to fall by the wayside, only to be replaced by pizza delivery and "Real Housewives" marathons. Thankfully, help is only a bookstore or library away. Rather than enlisting a trainer or scheduling a skosh of lipo, exercise your mind and try one of the following diet books, which focus on health and permanent weight-loss through changing your diet, instead of going on a diet. You’ll soon get a taste for serious health.
‘The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet’
By Robb Wolf
(Victory Belt Publishing)
Written by a biochemist-turned-conditioning coach, "The Paleo Solution" breaks down the digestive process and explains why, following in the footsteps of our earliest ancestors, dietary changes that minimize grains and dairy and emphasize grass-fed and hormone-free proteins is the way to go. In easy to understand language, Wolf also discusses the importance of lifestyle changes like quality exercise and sleep, and includes recipes and a 30-day menu plan to ease into the program. While pizza with a nut-based crust sounds dubious, "Paleo" acolytes say the diet staves off hunger, improves your skin, decreases inflammation, and leads to weight-loss.
‘The UltraSimple Diet: Kick-Start Your Metabolism and Safely Lose Up to 10 Pounds in 7 Days’
by Mark M.D. Hyman
One of the original co-authors of "Ultraprevention and UltraMetabolism," and former medical director at Canyon Ranch, Mark M.D. Hyman presents "The UltraSimple Diet," a detox plan focused on reducing inflammation and toxicity that will allow you to lose ten pounds in a week. Seriously. Each day is detailed with menus, worksheets, and relaxation and stress-reduction exercises to support you in your dietary changes. After seven days of following Dr. Hyman’s diet and kicking toxins like coffee, processed food, and trans fats to the curb, you’ll put yourself on the path to revitalized health.
‘Eat This, Not That! 2012: The No-Diet Weight Loss Solution’
By David Zinczenko
Zinczenko, the editor of Men’s Health and countless "Eat This, Not That!" titles, once again breaks down grocery and restaurant offerings with shocking results. In this updated guide, you’ll be surprised and maybe even sickened to find out how many calories and how much sugar and fat are in some of your favorite foods. Zinczenko offers up visuals, giving you ideas on how to swap out some of your favorite guilty pleasures for healthier options, such as a Smoothie King Lemon Twist Strawberry smoothie (657 calories, 156g sugars) for a Jamba Juice Light Strawberry Nirvana (300 calories, 58g sugars). He translates menus and offers up easy-to-follow guidelines that will have you dropping pounds in no time.
‘The Jungle Effect: Healthiest Diets from Around the World—Why They Work and How to Make Them Work for You’
By Daphne Miller
Miller, a family doctor, had her “aha” moment when a patient, having returned from a prolonged trip to a Brazilian village, showed serious improvement to her health. She then researched and traveled to “cold spots” around the world where various chronic diseases are disproportionately low, discovering that local diet is key to dealing with everything ranging from diabetes to depression. Both an instructional handbook and an anthropological armchair read, "The Jungle Effect" offers a specific plan and recipes for each region. You may not want or be able to move to Iceland anytime soon, but you can certainly take away the locals’ dietary secrets detailed in this book.
‘Portion Savvy: The 30-Day Smart Plan for Eating Well’
By Carrie Latt Wiatt
Celebrity nutritionist Carrie Latt Wiatt divulges her secrets to lasting weight-loss and health. Without sacrificing flavor and variety, Wiatt offers a totally doable plan that you can permanently adapt to your lifestyle, with portion control as the cornerstone. You’ll learn to make intelligent choices about serving size and feel satiated with smaller plates, even when eating out. The book also includes loads of low-fat recipes so you can kick off your healthy living in your own kitchen with minimal fuss.
Jennifer Worick is a New York Times bestselling author of more than 25 books and a publishing consultant; she can be found at The Business of Books.