As part of my non-diet Advent Calendar, I figured it would be useful to put together a list of the top non-diet books going around to give to friends and family, or to ask for yourself.
We know diets have a MASSIVE failure rate (some estimates that up to 95% fail), they can lead to poor body-image, lowered self-esteem, preoccupation with food and body, and are actually a risk factor for weight gain in the long term (not that’s there’s anything wrong with gaining weight!). Diet failure’s mean that people can end up weight cycling, or yo-yo dieting, which research suggests isn’t great health wise either.
So, how can we help people break the cycle?
Well, here are my top recommendations for non-diet books which make awesome gifts.
Even if they only flick through at this point, you might well have planted a seed. You can’t force anyone to break up with diets, but you can let them know that there are other ways of living without obsessing about food and exercise. Going to list my faves here, but would love to hear yours too.
Just a head’s up that these are amazon affiliate links, but don’t worry, they don’t charge you any extra. They just kick me some loose change to help keep the podcast up and running.
This is also just skimming the surface of diet culture, fat activism/acceptance, intersectional feminism and there’s a LOT of great books I’ve missed out so I can distill it down to just a handful.
FOR THE BEGINNERS
Intuitive Eating (3rd Edition) – Tribole & Resch (aka The Bible)
The Intuitive Eating Workbook
Health at Every Size – Bacon (check out my podcast with Linda Bacon if you haven’t already)
Body Respect – Bacon & Aprhamor
FOR THE FEMINISTS
Fat is a feminist Issue – Susie Orback
The Beauty Myth – Naomi Wolf
Shrill – Lindy West
Big Girl – Kelsey Miller
Lessons from the Fat-O-Sphere – Kirby & Harding – this is where I first got introduced to the
FOR THE BOPO WARRIORS
Body Positive Power – Megan Jayne Crabbe
Things No One Tells Fat Girls – Jes Baker
FOR NON-DIET NUTRITION
The Wellness Rebel – Pixie Turner – Pre order for when it comes out in April and print a pic to pop inside a Christmas card in the meantime.
FOR SCIENCE GEEKS
Why Diets Make us Fat – Sandra Aamodt
Secrets from the Eating Lab – Traci Mann (although be careful as diet-y in parts but science is interesting).
The Angry Chef – Anthony Warner – great for myth busting, but again, be careful if your relationship to food isn’t 100% as there’s a big focus on nutrition.
FOR THE YOGI
Every Body Yoga – Jessamyn Stanley
The Body Book – Ros MacLean
Let me know your favourite non-diet, body positive books in the comments!