If you want to lose weight, you might want to buy a weight loss book or cookbook.
However, it can be hard to figure out which book to buy.
Many books promise quick results by drastically cutting calories or limiting whole food groups, but these diet plans are hard to keep up with and can make you have a bad relationship with food and your body.
Instead, we found the best books that talk about long-term and realistic ways to lose weight.
The best weight loss books are on this page.
How to choose the best weight loss book
When you go to buy a weight loss book, think about what you want and what you need.
There are a lot of good cookbooks out there if you want to learn how to cook healthy food at home. It could also be the case that you learn best by doing, so a workbook might be the best way for you to learn.
Some of these books may work well together, so it might be good to read more than one.
Regardless of which book you choose, be sure to find one that is based on evidence and doesn’t recommend a diet that is too restrictive or could be dangerous.
Instead, look for something that is both sustainable and realistic, so you can both reach your goals and keep them up for a long time.
Healthline’s picks of the best books for realistic weight loss
Best overall weight loss book
Embrace You: Your Guide to Transforming Weight Loss Misconceptions into Lifelong Wellness
Author: Sylvia Gonsahn-Bollie, MD
Dr. Gonsahn-Bollie tells her own story of how she overcame emotional eating, which makes Embrace You a book that people can connect with.
Everyone is different, and so she thinks that weight loss plans should be tailored to each person.
Compassion, self-love, and acceptance are all important parts of the author’s weight loss strategy. She also gives practical advice and tips on how to lose weight and keep it off.
Each chapter has two main subheadings: “Release” and “Embrace.” These are meant to help you let go of bad habits and thoughts and embrace healthy behaviors and a positive mindset instead.
Best weight loss cookbook
Fit Men Cook: 100+ Meal Prep Recipes for Men and Women
Author: Kevin Curry
Kevin Curry is a personal trainer and a person who talks about fitness. He’s also the creator of FitMenCook, which is a brand that has a YouTube channel, a website, and an app. All of these things have recipes and tips for healthy living.
More than 100 recipes are in Curry’s cookbook, “Fit Men Cook,” and they’re meant to be quick and easy to make. Many of them take less than 40 minutes to make.
Also, each recipe has the full nutrition information, which is very useful if you’re trying to keep track of calories or macros, as well.
“#HealthyAF, Never Boring” is the book’s tagline. It shows that you don’t have to give up taste to eat healthily.
The book has more than 2,000 mostly positive reviews on Amazon.com. People say they like Curry’s fun and conversational tone in the book.
The recipes are also a big hit with reviewers. They also like that the book makes living a healthier life seem doable.
Best weight loss cookbook for athletes
Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow.
Author: Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky
This cookbook isn’t meant to help you lose weight, but it does give good advice about how to eat before and after exercise, as well as recipes that are both tasty and healthy. All of these things may help you keep your weight in check.
You can read “Run Fast. Eat Healthy” by Shalane Flanagan, an Olympic silver medal winner, and Elyse Kopecky, a chef and nutrition coach. Loved: “Cook Fast, Eat Slow.” In fact, the book has almost 2,000 reviews, and most of them give it five stars out of five.
Many customers prefer this second cookbook because it has more simple recipes that don’t take as long to make. “Run Fast, Eat Slow” was also very popular.
Recipes for Superhero Muffins and their many variations are very popular with cookbook fans, especially the one in the book for them.
Besides recipes, you’ll get advice from both Flanagan and Kopecky about what to eat before, during, and after a workout in this book.
There are no nutrition facts for these recipes. The authors wanted to keep the focus on eating whole, nutrient-dense foods instead of counting calories.
Best cookbook for meal prep
Skinnytaste Meal Prep
Author: Gina Homolka
Gina Homolka is the person who makes the recipes on Skinnytaste. She is a James Beard Award finalist and a nominee for the International Association of Culinary Professionals. She is known for making healthy changes to traditional recipes.
“Skinnytaste Meal Prep” is one of many cookbooks written by Homolka. It is one of many. It also has nutritional information from a registered dietitian named Heather K. Jones.
It doesn’t matter if you want to lose weight or just eat better. This cookbook aims to help you do both by teaching you how to make food and snacks ahead of time.
Cookbook: The book also has recipes for breakfast and lunch as well as ideas for freezer-friendly meal prep ideas for people who want to plan ahead even more.
This makes it easy to find the right meal for you. Recipes are marked vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy free, quick (meaning 30 minutes or less), freezer-friendly, Instant Pot-friendly, slow cooker-friendly, air fryer-friendly, and so on.
Fans love the cookbook because it has mostly five-star reviews and almost 7,500 reviews in all. Reviewers talk about how easy it is to make the food ahead of time, and many also say that the recipes are good for families.
Best intuitive eating book
Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Anti-Diet Approach
Author: Evelyn Tribole, RD, and Elyse Resch, RDN
Their company is called Intuitive Eating. Evelyn Tribole is a registered dietitian, and her partner is Elyse Resch.
“Intuitive Eating,” which was written in 1995, is now in its fourth edition and is still the best book on the subject.
When you eat, you should pay attention to your hunger and fullness cues instead of following a strict diet. It has also been shown to help improve mental health and cut down on the chances of having an eating disorder, too (1).
Throughout the book, you’ll learn about diet culture and how to use real-world tools to change your eating habits.
They say their goal is to help people rebuild a healthy body image and make peace with food by following ten principles of Intuitive Eating.
There is also a workbook that can be bought separately for people who want a more interactive experience.
“Intuitive Eating” has a lot of positive reviews. Many people say that the book helped them get rid of their dieting mindset and be at peace with their bodies.
Best book for healing your relationship with food
Author: Christy Harrison, RD
She is a registered dietitian, an Intuitive Eating Counselor, and the host of a podcast called Food Psych that talks about food.
In her book, “Anti-Diet,” Harrison uses her professional experience and scientific research to come up with an alternative way to dieting. It’s a good book to read if you have bad body image and a hard time eating.
Harrison uses an Intuitive Eating method to help her readers break out of the endless cycle of dieting and regain control of their lives. She also talks about what to do after you decide to stop dieting the traditional way.
Satisfied readers say the book is kind and welcoming. Many people say that the book helped them have a better relationship with both food and their bodies.
However, some people aren’t happy that the book isn’t written in a “how-to” style like they thought it would be.
You should keep in mind that even though this book can be helpful for people who are having problems with their eating, you should still get help from a qualified health professional.
Best book for mindful eating
The Mindful Eating Workbook
Author: Vincci Tsui, RD
Mindful eating, which is part of Intuitive Eating, helps people slow down and enjoy their food, which can lead to better eating habits and even less overeating (2, 3).
Vincci Tsui, a registered dietitian and Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, wrote “The Mindful Eating Workbook.” It is good for anyone who wants to learn how to be more mindful when they eat.
Before getting into the main part of the book, Tsui talks about how mindful eating helped her break free from dieting and bad eating habits.
The book is for people who learn best by doing. It teaches you how to be a mindful eater and gives you chances to practice and record your experiences.
Several reviewers say the book is a “game changer,” and many say it’s good for anyone who wants to be more mindful about what they eat.
Best plant-based diet book
The Plant Based Weight Loss Solution: A 28-Day Plan and Cookbook to Lose Weight the Healthy Way
Author: Marina Savelyeva, RD, and Viktoria Waite, DTR
When you read “The Plant Based Weight Loss Solution,” you’ll learn how to lose weight through a 28-day plan that was written by a registered dietitian and a nutrition expert.
The book talks about the basics of plant-based eating, like the health benefits and how to start. Also, it has a 28-day meal plan and 75 recipes.
The recipes are not only vegan and whole food-based, but they also use spices and herbs to flavor food instead of salt and sugar.
In addition, the book has a portion control guide that uses the size of your hand to help you figure out how many servings you should eat.
There are a lot of good reviews that say the recipes are good and the meal plan is easy to follow. Readers also like that the meal plan gives advice on how to use leftovers.
However, some people may not be able to eat enough calories from the recipes and meal plans.