Diet Books – How do I choose one?

Advising clients about diet books can be tricky. A diet that has worked for you or some of your friends may come to mind. Indeed, anything that can help produce results in the weight loss battle is information to be shared.

I encourage books written by registered dietitian nutritionists (RDN’s), because their expertise helps ensure that you’re getting valid information about nutrition.

A great resource is the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website, www.eatright.org.

According to the Academy, fad diets are those that contain any of the following:

  • Claims that sound too good to be true: “Lose 15 pounds in 7 days!”
  • Recommendations to use a single food on a repeated and consistent basis
  • Promises of quick and easy weight loss with no effort
  • Elimination of an entire food group, such as carbohydrates or dairy
  • Guarantees of an outcome in a specified time period
  • Provides only the quotes of dieters as evidence of effectiveness

Authors to Choose From
Over the years I’ve recommended books by the authors listed here. Anne M. Fletcher, MS, RD, has written several books on weight loss that are scientifically sound and easy for patients to follow.

Some of the books by Nancy Clark, MS, RD, CSSD, have a sports nutrition emphasis. Ellyn Satter, MS, RD, LCSW, BCD, has written on children and weight problems and provides advice for parents; her social work degree adds to her expertise.

Two dietitians with useful weight loss books containing recipes are Ellie Krieger, MS, RD, and Joy Bauer, MS, RD.

Hot New Titles
The next time you need a new nutrition or diet book or a friend tells you he or she is following or has used a fad diet, suggest one of the following newer titles for nutrition-based weight loss and maintenance:

  • Eat Right When Time Is Tight, by Patricia Bannan, MS, RD
  • Energy To Burn, by Julie Upton, MS, RD, and Jenna Bell-Wilson, PhD, RD, CSSD
  • Nutrition and You, by Joan Salge Blake, MS, RD, LDN
  • Nutrition Diva’s Secrets for a Healthy Diet: What to Eat, What to Avoid, and What to Stop Worrying About, by Monica Reinagel, MS, LN, CNS
  • The Small Change Diet: 10 Steps to a Thinner, Healthier You, by Keri Gans, MS, RD, CDN
  • Read Before Dieting: Your 4-Step Plan for Diet Success, by Stephanie Karpinske, MS, RD.

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