4 Books You Must Read if You’re Trying to Lose Weight Sustainably

Looking for a quick solution to weight loss can be unhealthy and even harmful—after all, there’s a lot of misinformation out there. Take fad diets, which are continuously popularized despite their medical risks and shortcomings. They also perpetuate yo-yo dieting, wherein you get trapped in a vicious cycle of losing weight by restricting your food intake, gaining it again, and dieting in response.

This is why it’s important to find a weight loss strategy that works for you, and choosing a sustainable approach will help you set realistic goals you can commit to. This is because you’ll be giving yourself a healthy environment that provides motivation for weight loss. A sustainable approach will help you continue enjoying your favorite foods while still keeping to a healthy lifestyle in the long term.

Don’t know where to start? Try drawing inspiration from others’ sustainable weight loss experiences, and these books can help.

Paid To Be Perfect by Heather Mathes

Despite being a former fit model, Heather Mathes’ Paid to Be Perfect doesn’t advocate for a flawless body. Instead of sculpted arms, a slim waist, or a 6-pack, Mathes’ definition of healthy perfection is feeling comfortable and strong with a body that allows you to move and get through the day with ease. Her book tackles her relationship with food and how she got to her current balanced, varied diet that caters to her personal taste, as well as the lifestyle habits that refresh her and her history of modeling. Read Mathes’ book to find a starting point for self-care and personal fitness, with tips from a compassionate voice who’s been—and is still on—that journey.

Intuitive Eating by Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole

Depriving yourself of the food that nourishes you isn’t the way to weight loss or better health. Registered dietitians Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole put this truth in writing in 1995. Over four updated editions, 28 years and more than 700,000 copies later, their book Intuitive Eating continues to encourage others to attune to their body, be mindful of your meals, and consume what meets their physical and psychological needs. Their ten key principles are adaptable to almost every situation, including for families. If you’ve felt frustrated that dieting hasn’t worked to sustain your weight loss goals, give this book a try—and learn that you can permit yourself to eat what you want when you need it.

You Just Need to Lose Weight by Aubrey Gordon

Obesity is more than just a chronic disease. Stereotypes and unkindness weigh down those who experience them. If you’re one of them, part of motivating yourself to embark on a sustainable health journey will thus involve breaking free of those confining and baseless schemas. With her acute analysis, deep compassion, and trademark sense of humor, Aubrey Gordon debunks diet and wellness myths in her book, You Just Need To Lose Weight. Its structure is simple: each chapter delves into an erroneous belief about fatness and corrects the assumption. Reading this book will help you learn the science behind weight gain and weight loss, as well as spot the fatphobic biases of society and rebel against them.

Exercised: Why Something We Never Evolved to Do Is Healthy and Rewarding by Daniel E. Lieberman

In his book Exercised, David Lieberman notes that our ancestors never planned out activities for the sake of physical improvement. High activity levels were the natural consequences of the hunter-and-gatherer lifestyle—and our natural, evolved predisposition is to limit physical activity. Lieberman isn’t disregarding exercise, however. He empathizes with those who find it difficult to uphold a regimen and suggests strategies to work out in sustainable and fun ways. Read this book if you need help seamlessly incorporating more movement into your life.

Books can be very inspiring, and you can use them to help you in your fitness journey. Check out the four books above when building a sustainable weight loss strategy that will keep you happy, healthy, and motivated in the long-term.

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