Lose weight without dieting: three books you need to read

Before beginning another diet (how many have you tried, actually?), do yourself a favour and consume these three intelligent, nourishing reads. You’ll find there’s another way to eat, another way to treat yourself, and another way to lose weight.

Consume these books

Consume these books, and you’ll set yourself up for a decent, lifelong weight loss. Laura Lloyd 2015

These are my top 3. Liberating philosophy, simple science, understanding the biology of appetite, plus a little cognitive behavioural therapy, hypnotherapy, habit change. Step away from the scales and read this eye-opening writing.

Did I say calorie-counting, self-discipline or meal planning? I most certainly did not.

Some great reading materials I find myself recommending over and over again:

1. The Slow Down Diet, Marc David

Spells out the metabolic advantages of focusing on how we eat, rather than how much. Great, easy-to-consume science coupled with a radical and liberating no-need-to-restrict-your-diet philosophy.

Explains why losing stress around food, slowing down, increasing awareness, food quality, increasing pleasure, breathing better at mealtimes, timing your meals, supporting your eating with positive ideas about food and about nourishing yourself, and even introducing a spiritual sense of our connection with food, can all radically shift our bodies to assimilating food and calorie-burning fully.

With better nourishment and better eating style, we are fully satisfied, stop cravings and overeating, and have a relationship with food that’s relaxed, enjoyable, and sustainable for life.

2. Health at Every Size, by Linda Bacon

Explains, also with a great incisive evaluation of current science, why repeated dieting confuses our body’s natural metabolism and ability to find its natural weight, or ‘setpoint’.

This book debunks the myths around weight, explodes the politics and the diet industry, and explains in a practical way how we can reconnect with our appetite. You also get the breakdown of how ‘appetite’ is a collection of hormonal instructions from the body to the brain, rather than something to fight and fear.

Bacon notes how categories like ‘obese’ are defined by, (and moved around by) governments, and how for reasons that are culturally, politically and economically motivated (the diet and pharmaceutical industries love our attempts to artificially control our eating) we’ve adopted a range of false beliefs about bodyfat and food that push us away from trusting our body’s natural appetite.

3. Slim from Within, by David Brookes

Yes it does have Carol Vorderman on the cover. Yes it was written in 1996, originally sold with 4 hypnotherapy audio cassettes (remember tapes?). Yes I was tempted to wrap the cover in wallpaper so I could read it on the tube.

But, if you can pick up a second-hand copy, it’s still the most brilliant set of simple exercises that take you through a slow process of unpicking your unconscious beliefs about food, our bodies, exercise, as well as our attitude towards waste, pleasure, responsibility … all the things that affect our everyday eating habits, in fact, without us really giving it a moment’s thought.

It’s a great Cognitive Behavioural Therapy 101 on food, weight loss and self-love, with (if you can get hold of the audio) some hypnotherapy to help you relax into a slower and more permanent process, and then finally some habit change coaching.

Aged 19, I ordered this book from the cutout slip on the bottom of an advert in a Sunday paper – an incredibly unlikely purchase admittedly, but I was bulimic, overeating, obsessed and miserable – and it was my first, utterly life-changing intro to the world of cheaply-available self-help manuals.

It is a weight loss book, not a bulimia book, but all that inner self-examination sorted out my bulimia. I did, at the time, lose weight too. And although my journey as an eater has been a longer one than that, and self-love is a bigger project than a year or two, this put me on the path to where I am now – relaxed and happier with my own eating than I’ve ever been, and a trained eating psychology coach.

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ps I don’t get paid to recommend things on my website. I don’t get paid for links you click on. I don’t get paid to advertise anything. This is free, unbiased recommendation.

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Great books for weight loss you’ve found? Please add them into the comment thread below!