There are a lot of books out there about health and fitness, and how to eat less and move more. And I have read a lot of them in my past two experiences losing the baby weight. (I gained 40+ lbs with each of my four boys, and lost it each time – I’m currently halfway through my fourth and final baby weight loss journey.)
You can set up your own home gym with the basics for $50, and get the first 3 books below for $25 total, lose the weight easily over the next 6 months and change your life forever! I believe in you, let me know how it goes! Here is a little about each book and how it will help you.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. Learn more here
Of all the books I read over the past 5 years of losing baby weight over and over again, these are my top 5 all time favorites:
1. – The UltraSimple Diet: Kick-Start Your Metabolism and Safely Lose Up to 10 Pounds in 7 Days, by Mark Hyman
As a practicing physician, in The UltraSimple Diet, Dr. Hyman sets out a simple and effective weight loss regimen that is interesting, easy to follow, and has transformed the lives of thousands of his own patients. The first time I worked at losing the baby weight was after my second boy. About halfway through my progress stalled, I hit a plateau and this book was what got me unstuck. It inspired my daily routine that allowed me to lose the second 20 lbs that time, to get back down to my target of about 140 lbs.
My favorite 4 things about this book and the diet are:
- you can learn one daily routine and 3 recipes, and that iss all you need for the entire week.
- The book is very accessible, and easy to read and he lays out step by step exactly what to do.
- His wholistic approach aligns with my approach to life and my core values. This is shown in the inclusion and emphasis he puts on other facts that nutrition and exercise. Two important parts of the daily routine are journaling and taking a bath in the evening. These activities help your mind and emotions, supporting them in a similar way to what the healthy food is doing for your body that week.
- Exercise is not a prominent part of the diet. The focus is on detoxing and cleansing your system. This is a good place to start, and when I’m really changing how i eat, it’s hard to find time to work out as well. It’s already hard enough to find time to exercise as a mom. I loved that this diet didn’t ask me to do everything, just take a week to focus on certain things and not worry about vigorous exercise. He does encourage you to find time for some yoga or to take a walk. He also says the hot bath is a form of passive exercise. (so if you needed an excuse there it is!)
What The UltraSimple Diet helps you do:
Cleanse your system, reset your eating habits and adjust your palate. You should also see a boost in weight loss, which can encourage and motivate you to keep going.
2. Pilates for Weight Loss: The fast and effective way to lose weight and change your body shape for good, by Lynn Robinson
As you begin to lose weight, it’s good to start doing lower impact physical activity that gets you in touch with your body. Robinson is a well know pilates professional and wrote this wonderful book to help make pilates accessible to beginners, in their own home. I love the way Pilates makes my body feel, and so it helps me feel better about my body, something that is challenging after having a baby.
This book has clear descriptions and color photos. As you learn the different motions, write your favorites down on some index cards to easily keep the handy and remind you of the routines. Since you can do pilates on any soft floor without any equipment, it’s a great 5-10 min activity to relax and recenter yourself when you have a few minutes away from the kids.
What Pilates for Weight Loss helps you do:
- improve your posture, circulation, balance and flexibility
- build lean muscle tissue and relieve stress
As moms, it is a way to have a moment to ourselves, while improving our mental state and helping us rediscover or continue to kindle a positive relationship with our bodies.
3. This is Why You’re Fat (and How to Get Thin Forever), by Jackie Warner
Warner is a successful personal trainer who shares in this book everything she would teach you if she was working with you. She focuses as well on eating healthy food, but in a way that can support vigorous exercise.
She begins by explaining how hormones affect your health and your weight, and how what you eat can cause hormone imbalance in your system. For many of us understanding these kinds of things is the final key we need to changing how we eat.
In her unique food approach you start by adding foods into your diet. You can eat anything you want, but each day what you eat needs to include 2 eggs, 1 cup of oatmeal, 2-3 servings of vegetables, 2 servings of fruit, 1 whey protein shake, water with lemon juice, and some green tea. Eating all of these good foods helps fuel your body and it starts to push the bad foods out of your diet naturally, while allowing you to focus on what you are eating.
She has a few more good food chapters on topics such as why deprivation doesn’t work and how to shop in our modern food environment, and then she gets into detailed chapters about what workouts to do. She focuses on shorter 20 min workouts and explains techniques such as using intervals and power circuits to burn more fat in less time; she includes chapters of diagrams with various workshouts you can do with dumbbells or your body weight. She also covers cool down stretches and includes an appendix with meal plans and recipes.
I used this toward the end of my first baby weight loss journey. As I lost more of the weight I needed to mix up my food plan to keep it interesting, incorporate more exercise in order to avoid plateaus, and build muscle in order to feel better and not just fit back into my pre-pregnancy clothes.
What This Is Why You’re Fat (And How to Get Thin Forever) will do for you:
- change your attitude toward food, and begin the process by focusing on what you should eat
- teach you how to do cardio and strength training quickly and easily from home
- show you how to use equipment in your own home gym on a budget
Start with those three first. Right now you can buy all of those on amazon for a total of $25.
If you’re ready for more, these are great:
4. You On a Diet: The Owner’s Manual for Waist Management, by Michael F. Roisen and Mehmet C. Oz
You On a Diet is a big fun book full of all kinds of interesting material. These two doctors incorporate fun diagrams to illustrate the topics they talk about. This reads more like a textbook in that it has Factoid boxes and you can easily open it and start with any chapter that sounds interesting. They include a section of recipes and exercises along with some science, history, and psychology. I really liked the section of resistance band exercises, and how easy it is to pick it up and read a bit, get something good and come back to it again later.
I also really loved You: Being Beautiful – The Owner’s Manual to Inner and Outer Beauty, by the same authors.
5. Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual, by Michael Pollan
If you are interesting in learning more about nutrition, if you realize you need to adjust and reassess your relationship with food, I highly recommend everything by Michael Pollan, especially The Omnivore’s Dilemma, In Defense of Food, and Cooked.
Food Rules is a condensed version of the main concepts he shares in In Defense of Food. You can sum up the entire book in three words of advice about what we should consume: “Eat (real) food. Mostly plants. Not too much.”
When it comes to finishing my final baby weight loss journey, moving on with life and finding a balanced approach toward food that will serve my family far into the future, those words are what I intend to guide me. This little book has 64 tips for how to put those phrases into practice. I intend to keep it in my kitchen as a reference and a reminder. If you want a deeper read along these lines, read In Defense of Food. It’s one of those books that makes you change the way you eat, but in a way that makes you feel good about it, and a little bit like it was your idea.