Diet books have long promised better health, smaller waists and lifetime sex appeal. But this year’s crop doesn’t just hope to help your weight-loss efforts. Most come with a secondary promise: brain health, balanced hormones, lower blood sugar, pain elimination.
Here’s a sample of what’s new:
The New Atkins for a New You Cookbook, by Colette Heimowitz (Touchstone; $19.99): The diet that shouts “Lose up to 15 pounds in 2 weeks!” now has a cookbook of 200 low-carb recipes you can make in 30 minutes or less. It hardly sounds like a diet if you get to eat Lime-Chili Grilled Wings or skirt steak with chimichurri sauce. Even its No-Bake Cheesecake doesn’t sound half bad.
Master Your Metabolism, by Jillian Michaels (Three Rivers Press; $15): The book by The Biggest Loser’s meanest trainer ever is now out in paperback. Michaels reaches out to yo-yo dieters with a plan that promises to tap into fat-burning hormones. She urges readers to dump “anti-nutrients” such as hydrogenated fats, refined grains, high-fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners in favor of lean meats, whole grains and fresh fruit and vegetables.
The Doctors: 5-Minute Health Fixes, by The Doctors, with Mariska van Aalst (Rodale; $17.99): The physicians known for their popular TV show offer quick advice — now in paperback — on a variety of health topics, including weight. Diet advice boils down to five tips: Cook your own food at home; get help if you’re an emotional eater; walk 30 minutes a day, five days a week; eat carbs, protein and fat at every meal; watch portion size.
The Women’s Health Diet, by Stephen Perrine, with Leah Flickinger and the editors of Women’s Health (Rodale; $25.99): If you can remake your body in “just 27 days” as the book cover promises, maybe your body wasn’t in such bad shape after all. Still, if you focus on healthy foods, get rid of sugary drinks and exercise as the book advocates, you’re likely to lose fat and build muscle — and that’s what we’re all after, right? Its authors spend a fair amount of space going over the “Secrets of the Slim” — eating fresh produce, never skipping breakfast, learning to love salad. It provides plenty of resources to help you navigate supermarket aisles and restaurant menus.
The Men’s Health Diet, by Stephen Perrine, with Adam Bornstein, Heather Hurlock and the editors of Men’s Health: This version for men is much like its women’s counterpart, save for language that’s more likely to appeal to guys. For example, “Secrets of the Slim” becomes “Rules of the Ripped.” Its list of best foods for men are much like those of women, but organized differently and geared to men’s tastes.
The Diet Detective’s All-American Diet, by Charles Platkin (Rodale; $25.99): The book’s cover refers to Platkin as a Dr., but he’s a Ph.D., not an M.D. This public-health advocate has put forth a book that would only appeal to people who don’t want to cook and have no interest in learning how. It focuses on exercise in one short chapter, then lays out a plan for building meals out of convenience foods such as Pop-Tarts (no kidding), instant oatmeal, Jimmy Dean sausage biscuits and Stouffer’s lasagna. Not to completely diss the plan; it includes hundreds of convenience foods, including some that are lower in sodium, fat and-or sugar and will surely help you control how much you eat.
Six Weeks to Skinny Jeans, by Amy Cotta (Rodale, $24.99): The author’s picture-perfect derriere on the cover will surely catch the attention of any woman who’s looked backward at a three-way mirror and shuddered. Cotta, a Nashville-area fitness trainer, provides before and after photos of her clients — real women with lives, jobs, children and imperfect bodies — who lost a jeans size or two in six weeks. Her plan will have you watching your carbs, relying on low-glycemic foods, working out and keeping a diet-exercise log.