20 Books To Help You Beat Belly Fat

Whittle your middle with these books on food philosophy, diet and living a healthy lifestyle.

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'Eat-Taste-Heal' by Thomas yarema, Daniel Rhoda and Johnny Branigan

This guide to Ayurveda, an ancient form of healthy living, contains more than 150 recipes and is written by a doctor, a patient and a chef. (amazon.com)

'Fast Food Nation' by Eric Schlosser

"The Golden Arches are now more widely recognized than the Christian cross," writes Schlosser in this myth-shattering examination of the fast food industry and the way it's shaped the nation. (amazon.com)

'Food Matters' by Mark Bittman

"By simply changing what we eat we can have an immediate impact on our own health and a very real effect on global warming—and the environment, and animal cruelty, and food prices," writes chef Bittman in this no-nonesense look at the way government policy, big business marketing and global economics influence our diets. Bonus: more than 75 recipes for a better you. (amazon.com)

'In Defense of Food' by Michael Pollan

"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. That, more or less, is the short answer to the supposedly incredibly complicated and confusing question of what we humans should eat in order to be maximally healthy," writes Pollan in the followup to his hugely popular eating tome The Omnivore's Dilemma. (amazon.com)

'Mindless Eating' by Brian Wansink

"Can the size of your plate really influence your appetite? Why do you eat more when you dine with friends?" Wansink answers these questions and more in this fascinating exploration of why we eat more than we think. (amazon.com)

'Real Food' by Nina Planck

Food activist Planck (the Guardian has dubbed her the "patron saint of farmers' markets") wrote this book, which explains the truth about foods that have gotten a bad wrap (beef and butter to name a few), as a call for the return to old-fashioned foods. (amazon.com)

'Rethinking Thin' by Gina Kolata

Science writer Kolata reveals the truth about society's obsession with dieting—that it's more about money, power and impossible ideals than staying fit—in this revealing investigation. (amazon.com)

'Skinny Bitch' by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin

"You don't need to spend all day at the gym to get skinny," insist the authors of this bitingly funny diet book. "You just need to smarten up and use your head. Really. It is that simple. We have been so brainwashed by fad diets, magazine articles, and advertising that we have forgotten how to think for ourselves." (amazon.com)

'The Skinnygirl Dish' by Bethenny Frankel and Eve Adamson

Reality TV star and entrepeneur Frankel teaches readers how to cook natural, filling, fiber-rich foods in The Skinnygirl Dish. (amazon.com)

'The Writing Diet' by Julia Cameron

A unique weight loss book for creative types, The Writing Diet encourages readers to count words instead of calories and illuminates the relationship between creativity and eating. (amazon.com)

'What to Eat' by Marion Nestle

"The basic principles of good diets are so simple that I can summarize them in just ten words: eat less, move more, eat lots of fruits and vegetables. For additonal clarification, a five-word modifer helps: go easy on junk foods," writes Nestle of her philosophy for healthy living. (amazon.com)

'Women Food and God' by Geneen Roth

If you're determined to diet, read Women Food and God, a fascinating book that explains how the way you eat is deeply rooted in your core beliefs about being alive. (amazon.com)

'YOU: On a Diet' by Michael F. Roizen and Mehmet C. Oz

Manage your middle with this diet and exercise book that redefines what it means to be healthy. (amazon.com)

'Eat This Not That! Supermarket Surival Guide' by David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding

Save money and lose pounds with this easy-to-use guide for what to buy at the grocery store. (amazon.com)

'The End of Overeating' by David A. Kessler

Kessler, the former FDA commissioner who crusaded against the tobacco industry has turned his eye to tackling the food industry and our growing dependence on products containg fat, sugar and salt. (amazon.com)

'Eating the Moment' by Pavel Georgievich Somov

Change your habits with this book on mindfullness, which examines the ways our brains trigger what we eat. (amazon.com)

'Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy' by Walter C. Willett, M.C. and P.J. Skerrett

This book, from Harvard Medical School, puts forth its own take on the revised USDA pyramid and includes research on the healthiest carbs, fat and proteins as well as menu plans and recipes to help you reinvent your diet. (amazon.com)

'Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream' by Jennifer Ackerman

Science writer Ackerman takes readers on an incredible journey through the human body and shares curious facts like what time of day to take a nap, give a presentation, take medication and drink a cocktail. (amazon.com)

'Eating Animals' by Jonathan Safran Foer

Part memoir, part investigative report, Foer's book on ethical eating explores the dark side of our dining habits. (amazon.com)

'The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth' by Jonny Bowden

From almonds to yucca, this book reveals the best nutrient-rich, disease-fighting foods you can consume. (amazon.com)


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For a slideshow of 20 classic self-help books, click here.

First Published December 23, 2011

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