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Diet & Nutrition

The Five Best Weight-Loss Programs (That Aren't Fads)

Whenever I kick off a new fitness regimen, it’s not just about a new form of cardio or training. It’s also about my diet. I’m determined to find just the right concoction to help me achieve optimal health, from the inside out.

There so many diets plans and choices: do you cut calories or carbs? Pump up on plants or protein? I’ve found the best diets are ones that don’t limit your choices or leave you hungry.

While diet fads come and go, I have a few tried and true books on my shelf that are the cornerstones of my diet plan. Check them out to find one (or five!) that works for you.

Eat To Lose, Eat To Win by Rachel Beller

The registered nutritionist and family dietitian has developed an easy and gorgeous action eating plan that will help slim the body and make it healthier with its fiber-based approach.

THE GOOD. Eat To Lose, Eat To Win takes favorite caloric dishes and shows how to flip them, making heart-healthy vegetables the star on the plate. There’s a mandatory midday snack, and wine is on the menu!

THE CHALLENGING. This book is partnership with Nutri Ninja, so many of the recipes utilize the machinery. Incorporating all the fiber may be tough on the tummy in the beginning.

WHY TO TRY IT. This is a sensible diet guide that encourages all of us to enjoy our fruits and veggies more. Rachel’s food photographs are colorful enough to eat. And she includes a full shopping guide to stock a full-proof pantry.

Click here to learn more.

The New Abs Diet for Women: The Six-Week Plan to Flatten Your Stomach and Keep You Lean for Life by David Zinczenko

The former Men’s Health editor offers up a comprehensive eating plan with recipes, and a weight training regimen to achieve a flat belly and a tighter physique in six weeks.

THE GOOD. The Abs Diet doesn’t count calories. Instead it offers 12 superfoods, like leafy greens and nuts, which should be incorporated into six small meals daily.

THE CHALLENGING. There’s no alcohol on this plan for the six-week duration.

WHY TO TRY IT. This is one of my favorite plans to help sculpt out the body. The Abs Diet provides several smoothie recipes, which are quick to make and oh so tasty. David and his team added even more recipes to this updated 2012 version.

Click here to learn more.

Master Your Metabolism by Jillian Michaels

Yes, THAT Biggest Loser trainer released a nutrition book discussing the many factors that can throw our metabolism out of whack, from our hormones and processed foods to environmental toxins.

THE GOOD. With a detailed report of how our hormones are affected by what we eat and what’s in the air, and what we need to do to bring them into balance, this read is fascinating physiology. Jillian provides a master shopping list and recipes.

THE CHALLENGING. The book is science-heavy in Part I, and some of that jargon continues into the master eating plan in Part II.

WHY TO TRY IT. Understanding why our body holds on to fat and its unhealthy side effects puts us in a better position to take care of it, especially as we age. Jillian goes into detail on how to deal with menopause to help us maintain our bodies through the life-changing process.

Click here to learn more.

The Four Habits of Healthy Families by Amy Hendel

Lifestyle therapist and “Health Gal” Amy Hendel doesn’t limit sensible eating just to herself. She’s designed a meal guide with sample meals of yes, no and maybe foods, as well as food proportions the whole family can enjoy.

THE GOOD. Amy identifies four steps: plan, prepare, portion and play, to make a household an HLF (Healthy Family For Life) one. She offers tons of lessons on portion control, along with recipes and exercise guidelines.

THE CHALLENGING. Getting your kids on board… Amy includes tips on palate re-training so children can learn to love healthy choices.

WHY TO TRY IT. Amy Hendel practices what she preaches. The mother of two is regularly in the gym and makes sure to stick to a healthy eating plan. Her first-person account of how she lost and has kept off the weight for more than three decades is uplifting and motivating.

Click here to learn more.

Eat Well, Move Well, Live Well by Roland and Galina Denzel

This is one book I can’t wait to add to my collection. Cute spouses Roland and Galina have dedicated themselves to educating others on living well through diet, exercise and good mental health. Their upcoming book shares 52 tips that will revamp the way you eat and improve your healthy life goals.

THE GOOD. Offering straightforward suggestions that can be read in any order, Roland and Galinda’s steps include take-charge action items like slowing down your meals and walking for longevity, to more unconventional steps, like not owning a couch (no couch potatoes here!).

THE CHALLENGING. Waiting for it to come out in October. You can keep up with the Denzels at their website EatWellMoveWell (http://thefitink.com/about/).

WHY TO TRY IT. The Denzel’s latest book is a handy reference guide that can provide improvements to your cooking, nutrition, body (there’s a section on healthy poo!) and lifestyle. Incorporating many can change your life in a week… and for a lifetime.

Click here to learn more.

Check with your doctor before beginning weight-loss program.