Best Diet Books: 'Chubster,' 'The Petite Advantage,' and Other Weight-Loss Books

The Daily Beast has the new year’s best books for shedding those holiday pounds.

The holidays are filled with fattening fun, from Christmas cookies to Chanukah latkes and lots and lots of booze. Regardless of your new year’s resolution, a little diet is probably in store for anyone who participated in December’s festivities. While apps are great for maintaining weight loss, some prefer to go the old-fashioned diet-book route. The Daily Beast has selected some of the best guides to getting fit in 2012.

<em>A Course in Weight Loss: 21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering Your Weight Forever</em>

Weight loss doesn’t begin with the body—it begins with the mind. Not only do you have to be determined to slim down, Marianne Williamson argues that you must embrace dieting spiritually—allowing not only your body but also your mind and emotions to lose weight. Her new book, A Course in Weight Loss: 21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering Your Weight Forever, is especially geared toward people who are addicted to food, who eat compulsively, or who consider food the enemy. None of these approaches to food are healthy, and Williamson aims to convert her readers’ relationships with food to one with their body, holistically changing the way they eat.

<em>Chubster: A Hipster's Guide to Losing Weight While Staying Cool</em>

Being a hipster is all about keeping up appearances, wearing the right clothes, listening to the right music, riding the right bike, and drinking the right beer. But what about the chubster? The apathetic snob who can’t zip up his skinny jeans or balance on his Schwinn road bike. The truth is, fat hipsters just aren’t cool—but neither is going to the gym. Willamette Week editor and self-described former chubster Martin Cizmar details how he lost 100 pounds in eight months without hitting the gym once. Cizmar shares tips on staying active—from always taking the stairs and “urban hiking” to choosing healthy foods—from frozen meals to ethnic restaurants—and, above all, calorie counting.          

<em>Your Body Beautiful: Clockstopping Secrets to Staying Healthy, Strong and Sexy in Your 30s, 40s and Beyond</em>

OB-GYN Jennifer Ashton refuses to believe that a woman's peak years of beauty and fitness are over after her 20s. With her new book, Your Body Beautiful: Clockstopping Secrets to Staying Healthy, Strong and Sexy in Your 30s, 40s and Beyond, Ashton advises women on how to eat, exercise, and reduce stress to make their 30s and 40s the “most beautiful, energetic, and passionate” time of their lives.

<em>Drop Dead Healthy: One Man's Quest for Bodily Perfection</em>

Author A. J. Jacobs leads by example in his new book, Drop Dead Healthy: One Man’s Quest for Bodily Perfection. Join Jacobs on his journey to physical fitness as he navigates an endless maze of diets and exercise tips, consults medical advisers, and tests out a variety of practices to improve every aspect of his body—from hearing to sleep. 

<em>Eat This, Not That!</em>

Sometimes a desperate dieter just needs someone to put them in their place, someone to tell them exactly what to do—and what not to do. The authors of the successful diet book Eat This, Not That! are back with a 2012 edition that guides readers through the American dining landscape, instructing them on where to stop and what to skip in order to stay healthy and fit.

How to Lose Weight ... Point Blank!

How to Lose Weight … Point Blank! prides itself on guiding readers on the antithesis of an overpriced fad diet. This book, available for Kindle in 2012, connects weight with nature and offers tips on how to not only lose weight but keep it off. Author Nurse Sheryl uses her certificates in nutrition, weight-loss management, diabetics, and gastroenterology, among other focuses, to compile the best weight-loss advice for dieters of any size or age.

<em>The Earth Diet</em>

When searching for a new diet, it’s often best to skip any pills and powders, fake sugar, and other supplements and stick to nature. Liana Werner-Grey developed The Earth Diet in 2009 as a challenge for herself to eat only foods found in nature for an entire year. Her book, for sale in 2012, shares all-natural recipes for every taste, tips for more conscious eating, increasing your metabolism, and detoxifying while losing weight.

<em>Gluten-Free Shopping Guide, 2011–2012 Edition</em>

The revelation that a gluten-free diet leads to weight loss has made celiac disease almost trendy. But you don’t have to feign a wheat allergy to avoid gluten. Cecelia’s Marketplace has provided gluten-free shopping, cooking, and eating guides for the allergic as well as the weight-conscious for the past five years and is back with a new edition for 2012. From the best grocery stores for gluten-free shopping to the most trustworthy brands, Cecelia’s Marketplace provides the perfect go-to guide for a wheat-free lifestyle.

<em>The Petite Advantage Diet</em>

Little ladies, rejoice. There’s finally a diet book out there dedicated specifically to you. Health guru Jim Karas has put together a customized diet for women under 5 feet 4, insisting that petites are able to burn more fat working out than tall women, can raise their metabolism at any age, craft their bodies into an hourglass figure, and even use exercise to look younger.