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10 Must-Have Health and Fitness Books

I Got This: How I Changed My Ways and Lost What Weighed Me Down

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For inspiration's sake, get a copy of Jennifer Hudson's book. The former American Idol contestant and Oscar winner talks about her amazing transformation through a healthier lifestyle with the help of Weight Watchers. It will motivate you from cover to cover (and then straight to the gym).

Skinny Bitch: A No-Nonsense, Tough-Love Guide for Savvy Girls Who Want to Stop Eating Crap and Start Looking Fabulous

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Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin (Running Press Book Publishers, 2005) sparked a movement with its bestselling manifesto that not only exposes the food industry's many horrors, but also encourages people—boys and girls alike—to eat healthy and enjoy food.

Weight Watchers Take-Out Tonight!

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No matter what you're craving—Chinese, Mexican, Thai, etc.—Weight Watchers Take-Out Tonight! (Touchstone, 2003) will give you the lowdown on points. It's an excellent resource and houses some great recipes too!

The Science of Yoga: The Risks and the Rewards

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The Science of Yoga by William J. Broad (Simon & Schuster, 2012) takes its readers through a journey of discovery. Learn everything you need to know about yoga, from a health, fitness, and emotional well-being standpoint. Broad, a science writer for the New York Times, talks about the risks and rewards of practicing yoga (plus, its many myths and unexpected benefits), as well as teaches about yoga's historical context.

Complete Book of Juicing: Your Delicious Guide to Youthful Vitality

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It's the health trend that is here to stay—juicing (as in, the art of making yummy beverages that are packed with all sorts of vitamins and nutrients). Start making your fave concoctions with the Complete Book of Juicing by Michael T. Murray and Trillium Health Products (Crown Publishing Group, 1997).

Eat This, Not That! 2012: The No-Diet Weight Loss Solution

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We don't know about you, but we like to compare—even if it often means choosing the lesser of two evils (Sweet & Sour Chicken or Crispy Honey Chicken?). Eat This, Not That! 2012 by David Zinczenko (Rodale Press, 2011) will tell you how to decipher what to eat at the supermarket, restaurant chains, and more! Don't be fooled by tricky marketing techniques—use this book as your guide.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition

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Even if you're not a vegan, there are many benefits to knowing how to eat like one.The Complete Idiot's Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition by Julieanna Hever (Penguin Group, 2011) can help you with meeting your daily nutrient needs, spotting animal ingredients in packaged foods, and ordering at restaurants. In fact, physicians everywhere recommend a plant-based diet for patients with diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal

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Not to freak you out or anything, but Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser (HarperCollins, 2005) is an incredible and informative read. In this book, author Schlosser reveals his (sometimes shocking) investigation of the fast food industry. What you learn will surprise you and make you think twice before you pull into the drive-thru.

The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman

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We'll admit the title was the first thing that intrigued us about this book (Who wouldn't want to become superhuman?!), but upon opening, The 4-Hour Body by Timothy Verriss (Crown Publishing Group, 2010) boasts great tips from elite athletes, doctors, and jaw-dropping personal experiments. You'll learn how to lose unnecessary pounds through interesting food combinations (safely, that is) and even increase your sex drive.

Food Rules: An Eater's Manual

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The beautiful illustrations in Food Rules by Michael Pollan and Maira Kalman (Penguin Group, 2011) kind of reminds us of a children's book, but make no mistake, it's for adults who want to live a healthier lifestyle. The food wisdom you'll find in this handbook will school you on what to eat, how to eat, and more.


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