Refreshing your reading list is a great way to improve your fitness, learn more about running and get motivated to go for a longer walk. For those interested in reading about health and nutrition, it can be tough to know where to start. That’s why we asked nutritionists to share the books they consider must-reads for their clients. From tried-and-tested cookbooks filled with dietitian-approved meals to science-backed nutrition deep dives, here are 10 great reads to add to your bookshelf.
1. “50 WAYS TO SOOTHE YOURSELF WITHOUT FOOD”
By Susan Albers, PsyD
Emotional eating is a struggle for many. “This is a book I have recommended over and over,” says Karah Stanley, RD. “There are fantastic out-of-the-box suggestions in this resource that are so helpful for people who are trying to change their relationship with food.” The book also explains the science behind why we look to food as a source of comfort, which can help get to the heart of emotional eating.
2. “ATOMIC HABITS”
by James Clear
One of the most challenging aspects of getting healthier and fitter is revamping your habits, so Ilana Buchbinder, RD, recommends this book to her clients. “It’s great for anyone struggling to start or stick to a habit, especially one focused on food choices or exercise,” she says. “For example, Clear talks about redesigning your environment as a means to set yourself up for success.” That might mean placing full water bottles in every room of your house if your goal is to drink more water.
3. “FIBER FUELED”
By Will Bulsiewicz, MD
Fiber is one of the most important nutrients for digestive and gut health, but most people don’t get enough. “This book dives into the world of microbiomes and how to nourish it through fiber and leafy green vegetables,” explains Carielle Nikkel, RD. “This is a must-read to help get yourself on the right path to a healthy gut!”
4. “INTUITIVE EATING”
By Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, 4th Edition
This newly-released edition of the classic book on intuitive eating is essential reading for anyone interested in the approach, according to Emma M. Laing, PhD, a registered dietitian and director of the Didactic Program in Dietetics at the University of Georgia. “What if we took the focus off weight or outward appearance in determining a person’s health or moral virtue?” she asks. “What if we were able to eat when we were hungry and stop eating when we were full? One way to explore these concepts is through intuitive eating, which cultivates a healthy relationship with food, mind and body.”
5. “POWER PLATES”
By Gena Hamshaw
When I first went plant-based, I had no idea how to prepare meals with plant-based proteins,” says Nichole Dandrea, RDN. To up her cooking game, she invested in “Power Plates,” a book she now recommends to clients curious about plant-based eating. While the cookbook offers 100 simple vegan dishes, you don’t have to go fully vegan to reap the benefits. Simply cutting back on processed meats and eating more plant-based meals can improve overall health and also help the planet.
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6. “THE ANTI-ANXIETY FOOD SOLUTION”
By Trudy Scott, CN
Amid the global pandemic, stress and anxiety are on the rise. The good news is food can be a secret weapon in achieving better mental health. “This book educates readers on the powerful properties of certain foods, particularly vegetables and fruits, and how they can have extremely beneficial effects on mental health,” says Bansari Acharya, RDN. “Especially with everything going on in the world around us today, this book is definitely my top recommendation.”
7. “THE END OF OVEREATING: TAKING CONTROL OF THE INSATIABLE AMERICAN APPETITE“
By David A. Kessler, MD
Food cravings are a nearly universal experience. If you’ve ever wondered why exactly they happen, this is the book for you. “Kessler is adept at summarizing why we have cravings that often lead to overeating — a common occurrence with clients in our practice,” says Julie Mancuso, a registered holistic nutritionist. “He focuses a great deal on the behavioral component, simplifying it beautifully.” The book also offers practical steps for changing eating habits related to cravings and overeating.
8. “THE FOOD REVOLUTION”
By John Robbins
“This book goes deep into how adopting a healthy diet can positively impact the environment and the world around you,” says Acharya, RDN. If you’re looking to eat in a way that’s more eco-friendly and better understand how food is farmed, give this one a read.
9. “THE VEGETABLE BUTCHER”
By Cara Mangini
“Most of us don’t get enough veggies in our diet and this fun cookbook provides many delicious ideas for preparing veggies in novel ways,” says Summer Yule, RD. “If you’ve been feeling bored with your veggie side dishes, this book will definitely help you out.”
A solid cookbook is always an asset, especially if you’re cooking at home more frequently. “I received this book as a birthday gift from a friend of mine, and I’ve loved the recipes,” says Aja Gyimah, RD. “Most of the recipes don’t require too much skill or time, so it’s great for busy people.”
Make progress every day while you work on mini fitness and nutrition goals, like walking more steps or learning to track macros. Go to “Plans” in the MyFitnessPal app for daily coaching and easy-to-follow tasks to keep you motivated.