Holiday downtime doesn't have to be time off from healthy living. Turn your beach read into a new beach body with these 10 inspirational books that will help you shift those excess pounds and get fit.
Half-Assed: A Weight-Loss Memoir - Jennette Fulda
Whereas most weight loss books take a dry fact-based and instructional approach, Jennette Fulda goes the opposite way. In her weight loss memoir she highlights the honest and human side of her story, in which she lost half of her weight after reaching a life threatening 169kg (372 pounds). Tears are shed, cakes are regretfully hidden, and arguments are had, but throughout her tale Jennette retains her positive tone and genuine personality. You'll connect with her story on a level you never before thought possible, and soon transfer her weight loss philosophy to your own pound-shedding journey.
Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating - Mark Bittman
It turns out eating healthily is just as good for the environment as it is for your body. Food journalist Mark Bittman explains how healthy eating and preserving the environment go hand in hand, with many unhealthy foods contributing highly to pollution. After that he outlines how you can counter that. Losing weight and saving the planet - what's not to love? The second half of the book contains 75 recipes that are both weight and environment friendly, which highlight just how tasty this kind of conscientious eating can be.
The No Diet Diet: Do Something Different - Ben Fletcher
A diet that doesn't actually require any dieting sounds too good to be true, but Professor Ben Fletcher uses countless case studies and facts to prove it really is. Instead of restrictive eating habits and fad diets, the book highlights the power of behavioural change when it comes to weight loss. In a 28-day programme the book lays out various behaviour changes that will break your bad eating habits in a way that's so fun you won't even notice it's happening! It'll even benefit other aspects of your life as well - if this doesn't inspire you to change, nothing will.
Thin for Life: 10 Keys to Success from People Who Have Lost Weight and Kept it Off - Anne Fletcher
Ignore the cheesy image of a woman randomly waving her arms around on a beach on the cover - this book is not your stereotypical diet book, and will encourage you to change your life. The key to this book's effectiveness is its variety. Anne Fletcher studies 160 'masters of weight loss' who have all lost significant amounts of weight through various methods. She details how they did it, and why it was so effective. You have the luxury of choosing the solution that works best for you, and it's almost guaranteed that at least one of the 160 weight loss stories will inspire you.
Our Lady of Weight Loss: Miraculous and Motivational Musings from the Patron Saint of Permanent Fat Removal - Janice Taylor
Don't worry; we aren't signing you up for some sort of dieting religion. Weight loss is tough, so the more you can stay positive and even laugh about it the better. 'Our Lady' (Janice) is a dieting companion that'll be there for you through the good times and the bad, with lighthearted tips on learning to love healthy food, and taking up creative hobbies to keep you away from the junk food. It even lets you enjoy the odd indulgence in return for a confession about it afterwards, and provides you with 'righteous recipes' that can be enjoyed guilt free.
The Long Run: A New York City Firefighter's Triumphant Comeback from Crash Victim to Elite Athlete - Matt Long
Before you even open this book, prepare yourself for one of the most tear-jerking inspirational stories ever told. After being hit by a bus, avid amateur athlete Matt Long was told his chances of survival were slim, and even then he would likely be paralysed. Not one to go down without a fight, Matt attacked his rehabilitation head on, eventually battling through excruciating pain to finish the 2008 New York Marathon. But that wasn't enough. As soon as you read the unbelievable conclusion to the book, which includes an Ironman challenge, you'll take on your own fitness challenges with a newfound determination to succeed, just like Matt.
LEAN & MEAN: Fat Burning Secrets of the World's Best Personal Trainer - Billy Beck III
Reading these inspirational books is all well and good, but what's the point if you never actually do anything about it? With Lean & Mean, you'll have no excuse. Written by Billy Beck III, who is widely regarded as one of the world's best personal trainers, the book takes a no nonsense approach to fitness and nutrition by providing tips and techniques that have been proven to work time and time again. It's not all healthy eating and working out though. Billy also goes into detail about the powers of visualisation and mental motivation, and includes inspirational quotes to help you on your way.
Slow Fat Triathlete: Live Your Athletic Dreams in the Body You Have Now - Jayne Williams
If you're new to exercise and weight loss you probably view triathlons as super tough events reserved for ultra fit people. This book will prove you wrong. Jayne Williams was just your every day slightly overweight person when she decided to take on the challenge, dubbing herself the 'Slow Fat Triathlete'. However, through months of dedication and determination, she found out it was more enjoyable than she ever thought possible. She'll tell you how you can gradually build yourself up to triathlon standard, or even just build up your overall fitness no matter what your starting point.
Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen - Christopher McDougall
This book has a simple message - we were born to run, and it should not be a boring activity. Chris McDougall visited the famous Tarahumara Indian tribe, who run hundreds of miles every week barefoot through canyons without a care in the world. For them, running is as natural as breathing. This results in a fascinating insight into what running really means for us as humans, and will make you see the sport in a completely different light. Its climax sees the Tarahumara pitted against the world's best ultra runners, in a page turning account that will no doubt end with you putting on your kit and heading for a run as soon as possible.
Drop Dead Healthy: One Man's Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection - AJ Jacobs
What would happen if a perfectly ordinary man dedicated two years of his life to achieving the perfect body? AJ Jacobs was determined to find out. In this chronicle of his journey he lays out exactly what he tried, what worked for him, and what didn't. When things go wrong his quirky tone makes it undeniably hilarious, but there are more serious undertones to the book, notably in AJ's account of his dying grandfather who was once extremely athletic. Amongst the laughter you'll find genuine fitness and nutrition tips from someone who is truly willing to try anything, no matter how embarrassing it might be.
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