Diet and Fitness Books 2006

by Charles Platkin, PhD

Diet and Fitness Books 2006

are traditionally released in January, the “official” start of season. With that in mind, I thought it would be interesting to look at some of the latest releases in the field of diet and fitness. While the trend seems to be moving away from the fad diet, publishers and authors alike still try to come up with a new angle — some sort of hook. Following is a roundup of the latest:

The Sonoma Diet (Hardcover) by Connie Guttersen, R.D., Ph.D. (Meredith Books, $24.95)
The Claim: “Trimmer waist, better in just 10 days.”
The Concept: This looks like a better, more practical version of French Women Don’t Get Fat, written by an actual nutritionist and diet expert, Connie Guttersen, a registered dietitian and nutrition instructor at the Culinary Institute of America. She offers practical advice and tips on eating good, healthy, power foods.
Notable: Looks like it could be the winner of the group. You’ll find detailed meal plans and lots of healthy recipes for tasty foods. And it includes an easy diet pullout guide in the back with portions and food lists.

The Flavor Point Diet: The Delicious, Breakthrough Plan to Turn Off Your Hunger and Lose the Weight for Good (Hardcover) by David L. Katz and Catherine S. Katz (Rodale Books, $24.95)
The Claim: “The Flavor Point Diet tricks the brain into being satisfied all day long, so readers don’t eat when they don’t need to.”
The Concept: By combining foods by flavor, you eat the foods you want and enjoy what you eat — and because the food is satisfying and enjoyable, you don’t need to overeat. The diet doesn’t require any calorie counting or restrictions of food groups.
Notable: David Katz, M.D., M.P.H. is a true public health advocate and really cares if you lose weight and eat healthfully. As a leading medical spokesman and professor at the Yale School of Public Health, his diet is focused on maximizing eating pleasure. This book also has more than 100 recipes by someone who knows how to cook.

Betty Crocker Win at Cookbook: A Healthy Guide for the Whole Family (Hardcover) Betty Crocker, editor (Wiley, $24.95)
The Claim: The entire family can lose weight by eating the healthy foods in this book.
The Concept: Simple “user-friendly” recipes low in calories and fat that the whole family will enjoy. The 140 recipes included contain kid-friendly options like Nutty Whole-Grain Silver Dollar Pancakes or Chicken and Noodles Skillet, both of which take only 25 minutes and have 300 calories per serving. There are even desserts such as Honey-Lime Watermelon Dunk, 15 minutes to prepare, 1 hour to chill and 140 calories per serving.
Notable: Advice from famed weight-loss expert James O. Hill, M.D. is peppered throughout the book. This is an easy-to-read, healthy family starter kit.

Weight Watchers Family Power: 5 Simple Rules for a Healthy Weight Home (Hardcover) by Karen Miller-Kovach, M.S. R.D. (Wiley, $22.95)
The Claim: This book will get your entire family moving and healthy.
The Concept: Weight Watchers typically offers sound advice. Here the objective is to tackle childhood obesity by offering five rules: “Focus on wholesome, nutritious foods; include treats; keep non-homework screen time at two hours (or less) per day; be active an hour per day; the rules apply to everyone in the home.”
Notable: Written by Weight Watchers’ chief scientific officer, it contains sidebars called “Coach’s Corner” with advice for difficult situations, such as whether to enforce a “no-sugar” rule. The book says no.

The Rice Diet Solution: The World-Famous Low-Sodium, Good-Carb, Detox Diet for Quick and Lasting Weight Loss (Hardcover) by Kitty Rosati and Robert Rosati (Simon & Schuster, $25)
The Claim: “Men lose on average 28 to 30 pounds and women on average 19 to 20 pounds per month!” Also, a promise of body detoxification.
The Concept: How can you go wrong limiting saturated fats and sodium and eating good complex carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, grains and beans)? But promises of 20-pound weight losses in a month may set the stage for some major disappointments.
Notable: Recipes from the renowned Durham, N.C., Rice Diet Clinic.

The Supermarket Diet (Hardcover) by Janis Jibrin (Hearst, $19.95)
The Claim: Lose up to 2 pounds per week eating regular food without feeling hungry.
The Concept: Simply go to your local supermarket and use ordinary packaged convenience foods to lose weight. From the publishers: “The book teaches you how to read food labels, shop for packaged foods that won’t sabotage a diet and stick to a healthy, balanced menu that is low in calories, high in fiber and moderate in carbs, fats and protein.”
Notable: This book includes more than 100 recipes, many using convenience foods, all “triple tested” in Good Housekeeping’s kitchen (which means they all have the tough-to-achieve Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval). Also, it takes you aisle by aisle through the supermarket picking the healthiest foods.

Core Performance Essentials: The Revolutionary Nutrition and Exercise Plan Adapted for Everyday Use (Hardcover) by Mark Verstegen and (Rodale Books, $27.95)
The Claim: More energy and “the benefits of yoga with exercises designed to improve flexibility, joint stability and balance.”
The Concept: Verstegen, who runs an elite-athlete training facility in Tempe, Ariz., called Athletes’ Performance, has come up with a simpler program for the average person. Focusing on your “core,” he provides strength-training routines using just body weight and minimal equipment that can be done in “a hotel room, family room — even an office.”
Notable: A unique fitness book from a trainer who really works with elite athletes. Good descriptive photos of exercises.

Other New Releases:

  • The South Beach Diet Quick and Easy Cookbook: 200 Delicious Recipes Ready in 30 Minutes or Less (Hardcover) by Arthur Agatston (Rodale, $27.95) 200 new recipes from Miami area chefs that use 10 or fewer ingredients and require 30 minutes or less of cooking time.
  • The South Beach Diet Dining Guide: Your Reference Guide to Restaurants Across America (Paperback) by Arthur Agatston (Rodale, $7.99) Top South Beach food picks at more than 75 restaurants.
  • Breaking the Fat Pattern (Paperback) by Charles Stuart Platkin (Plume, $15) Focuses on behavioral and personal environment components of eating. No meal plans — just good advice.
  • Lighten-Up (Paperback) by Charles Stuart Platkin (Razorbill, $7.99) A book for teenagers with real advice on how to eat healthy and stay sane in the process.
  • The T-Factor Fat Gram Counter, Revised and Updated Edition (Paperback) by Jamie Pope and Martin Katahn (W. W. Norton, $3.99) If you’re more aware of what calories cost, you’ll eat less. This checkout counter pocket guide contains 2,000 listings that include total fat, saturated fat, calories, fiber, carbs and sodium. The original sold more than 6 million copies.
  • 10 Habits That Mess up a Woman’s Diet (Paperback) by Elizabeth Somer, M.A., R.D. (McGraw-Hill, $16.95) A quick read on common issues faced while dieting. Somer has been writing about women and diet for 25 years.
  • The Body Noble: 20 Minutes to a Hot Body with Hollywood’s Coolest Trainer (Hardcover) by Derek Noble and Carol Colman (Wiley, $24.95) Noble is the star of his own daily fitness lifestyle show, Urban Fitness TV, on the FitTV network. Uses “simple props” to come up with an effective exercise program.
  • 6 Weeks to a Hollywood Body: Look Fit and Feel Fabulous with the Secrets of the Stars (Hardcover) by Steve Zim and Mark Laska (Wiley, $24.95) Weight resistance how-tos, including more than 100 black-and-white photographs that fully illustrate the exercises.
  • 28-Day Body Shapeover (Paperback) by Brad Schoenfeld (Human Kinetics, $17.95) This is by the author of Look Great Naked and published by a first-rate fitness publisher. Offers illustrations of a wide variety of exercises broken down by body parts.
  • The InVision Guide to a Healthy Heart (Paperback) by Alexander Tsiaras (Collins, $19.95) Tsiaras uses images generated by cutting-edge technology in a visually-driven health book that will educate and empower anyone worried about his own or a loved one’s heart health. Amazing to look at and extremely motivating.
  • The Diet Survivor’s Handbook: 60 Lessons in Eating, Acceptance and Self-Care (Paperback) by Judith Matz and Ellen Frankel (Sourcebooks, $12.95) Therapists give behavioral and food advice on how people can “step off the destructive diet bandwagon and regain their self-esteem, positive body image and a happy, healthy life.”
  • The Total Wellbeing Diet (Paperback) by Dr. Manny Noakes and Dr. Peter Clifton (NAL, $16.95) What may well be one of the biggest diet books of the year is not coming out until May. Already a best seller in the UK and Australia, this low-fat, high-protein diet was clinically tested by the Australian government.
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