10 Best Diet Books Reviewed

“Diet” has become a dirty word for people struggling to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle. It brings visions of restrictive eating, bland foods, and a hopeless cycle that never seems to end. If any of this sounds familiar to you, then you’ve been looking at dieting all wrong.

Going on a diet isn’t about cutting calories and preventing yourself from eating foods that you enjoy. It’s about changing your relationship with food and improving your lifestyle through healthier choices. Eating is necessary to live, and strict restrictive diets won’t work for long. Losing too much weight too quickly is unhealthy, and really has little impact on your long-term health. Food is fuel, and the healthier the fuel the more efficiently your body will run. Athletes understand this, and they eat according to their activity level.

If you’re laboring under the misconception that dieting is impossible, then you haven’t read a good diet book lately. As usual, we’ve done our research and put together a list of the best diet books on the market. Don’t let the word “diet” fool you any longer, these books bring more to the table than just low-calorie recipes!

Standout Picks

Eat to Live: The Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program for FAst and Sustained Weight Loss, Revised Edition
Eat to Live: The Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight loss, Revised Edition is a six-week weight loss program designed by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. It is ideal for people who have a problem with self-control and can’t stop giving into their unhealthy cravings.
Amazon Link
The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom
The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig, will help you completely overhaul your entire diet and you will learn exactly which foods are causing your health issues. This diet is best suited for anyone who can strict, to a very strict, 4-week long program.
Amazon Link
The Complete Ketogenic Diet for Beginners: Your Essential Guide to Living the Keto Lifestyle
If you change your body’s energy source, you will lose more weight- that is the diet philosophy of the Complete Ketogenic Diet for Beginners: Your Essential Guide to Living the Keto Lifestyle. Reminiscent of the Atkins diet, the Keto lifestyle does sacrifice some protein intake. It is a one-stop guide on how to go “keto” with a ton of informative and helpful information to support your keto journey.
Amazon Link
Dirty Genes: A Breakthrough Program to Treat the Root Cause of Illness and Optimize Your Health
This book by Dr. Ben Lynch, Dirty Genes: A Breakthrough Program to Treat the Root Cause of Illness and Optimize Your Health, uses natural and holistic approaches to address a population that has suffered for years with chronic and unexplainable health problems.
Amazon Link
Cheese Trap: How Breaking a Surprising Addiction Will Help You Lose Weight, Gain Energy, and Get Healthy
Gasp!? No Cheese!? Well here is the hard truth, cheese can be dangerous. It is loaded with calories and fat and cholesterol, and sugar. This toxic cocktail can cause a barrage of health implications such as weight gain, high blood pressure, even arthritis! Dr. Neal Barnard presents a comprehensive program to break the cheese addiction in the Cheese Trap: How Breaking a Surprising Addiction Will Help You Lose Weight, Gain Energy, and Get Healthy.
Amazon Link
The Fast Metabolism Diet: Eat More Food and Lose More Weight
The Fast Metabolism Diet: Eat More Food and Lose More Weight offers a philosophy of being strategic about what and when you eat. If you can do it the right way, you can actually make your body more a much more efficient and effective fat-burning machine that will ultimately help you lose more weight.
Amazon Link
Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less: Your Guidebook for Living a Low-Carb and Low-Sugar Lifestyle
Atkins at is classic best, Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less: Your Guidebook for Living a Low-Carb and Low-Sugar Lifestyle is a refreshed version of what you already know about Atkins and that is you eat high-fat and low-carb. Atkins has been a leading brand for over 40 years with staying power because the Atkins approach has time-tested proven results, it just works.
Amazon Link
The Plant-Based Solution: America’s Healthy Heart Doc’s Plan to Power Your Health
Leading cardiologist Dr. Joel Kahn designed a plant-based plan to help you feel and look better inside and out in The Plant-Based Solution: America’s Healthy Heart Doc’s Plan to Power Your Health. Learn how to cultivate optimal well-being with the use of whole-foods through this nutritious program.
Amazon Link
Daily Dash for Weight Loss:  A Day-By-Day Dash Diet Weight Loss Plan
Rated #1 overall by the US News and World Report, Daily Dash for Weight Loss: A Day-By-Day Weight Loss Plan will help you lose weight and lower your blood pressure. This book offers a proven history of success as it has helped millions of people gain control over their health by making simple adjustments to your routine you can achieve the success you want.
Amazon Link
The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet: Smart, Simple, Science-Based Strategies for Losing Weight and Keeping it Off
Named the most effective diet of 2011 by the Daily Beast and a #1 New York Times bestseller, The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet: Smart, Simple, Science-Based Strategies for Losing Weight and Keeping it Off by Dr. Barbara Rolls and Mindy Hermann offers a solution to people who are over starving or restricting themselves to be thin. With a simple, science-based and shrewd approach to learning how to lose weight and keep it off.
Amazon Link

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Effectiveness

We considered over 1300 reviews to learn what readers had to say about what happened when they followed the diet plans in the books on our list. Of course everyone is different, but some plans were obviously more effective than others and we ranked them accordingly.

There's no sense in buying and reading a book, following the diet and exercise plan it contains, and then have it turn out that it's not effective at helping you meet your goals. In addition to the effectiveness of the plan itself, in order to get the most benefits from the diets in these books it's important that you follow the instructions carefully and stick to the plan. Some of these diets may be more effective than others, but in the end your success and achieving your weight-loss goals is up to you and how disciplined you are and able to follow instructions. Some diets may also be better for other people than others depending on their body types and activity levels, so be sure to take that into account before starting a new diet and exercise regimen.

Ease of Use

In order to maximize your chances of dieting success, we recommend choosing a diet plan that is easy to follow. Plans that are complicated, and/or make a big chore of shopping for certain ingredients and cooking for hours and hours on end are likely to leave you feeling stressed out, which can lead to binge-eating, which is the exact opposite of what you're trying to accomplish.

We looked at the plans in each book, as well as what reviewers had to say about how easy each diet was to follow, and ranked them accordingly. Plans that are simple and easy to follow and don't require a lot of extra shopping and cooking got the highest marks. Now, some of the plans in the books on our list are a bit more complicated to follow however we still included them because of how effective they were not just at helping people lose weight, but also in achieving better overall health and wellness outcomes.

Side Effects

Your health is nothing to mess around with, and although each of these books was written by an expert in the field of health and nutrition, everybody is different, and it's possible that some people can experience negative side effects while following a particular diet plan.

We pored over the reviews for each product, looking for any reports of side effects that users experienced while on the diet plan. We found that most people only had side effects if they weren't following the plan and only following bits and pieces of it where and when it suited them. Some people had genuine side effects however, and while we wouldn't recommend anything that would harm you, it's a good idea to talk to your doctor before starting a new diet and/or exercise program.

Release Date

With all the cutting-edge research on health that is constantly being conducted, it's important that you receive up to date information. With dieting especially we're constantly learning new things, and often times what's all the rage today is barely talked about or practiced just a few months or years down the road.

Conversely, sometimes classic knowledge is the best, and there's a reason that it's stood the test of time. We don't want to discourage you from trying a diet that sounds like it will work for you just because it's been around a long time. In fact, because it has been around a long time probably means it's very effective at what it's meant to do, which is help you to lose weight and keep it off for good.

Accuracy

Following a diet plan from a book can only be effective if that book has been well-researched and accurate. If the author is just spewing words onto the page for the sake of selling copies and taking advantage of the dieting craze to make money, they're probably not going to take the time to make sure what they're writing is accurate.

We looked over the reviews for each book on this list to see what people had to say about the accuracy of the information it contains. We also chose books that had a high degree of accuracy and up to date information, or in the case of older books that the information hasn't been debunked by science or updated to fit new cultural norms.

Top 10 Diet Books

1. Eat to Live: The Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program for FAst and Sustained Weight Loss, Revised Edition

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Eat to Live: The Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program for FAst and Sustained Weight Loss, Revised Edition
Amazon Link

Eat to Live: The Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight loss, Revised Edition is a six-week weight loss program designed by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. It is ideal for people who have a problem with self-control and can’t stop giving into their unhealthy cravings.

Read more

A Detailed Program
This 6-week program discusses what to eat with all new recipes and menus so all you have to do is follow the pre-set plan each day. It also discusses Dr. Fuhrman’s discovery of toxic hunger as well as how food addiction affects your weight. You learn about how and why the foods your eating leads you to toxic hunger and ultimately the need to consume more calories thus causing weight gain. You will learn how to rid yourself of toxic hunger, cravings and food addictions.

Weight Loss and Longevity
This book is not only focused on a quick weight loss solution. It will help you lose weight, understand how your body works in relation to what you take in and then teach you how and what to eat not as a diet, but as a lifestyle. Embracing a new way of looking at food and eliminating your cravings will allow you to overall stick with it, and as such you will not only lose weight but you will change your health dramatically. You should expect to see a reduction in your medications, lose weight and most importantly live longer.

Cost and Value
Point blank, eating unhealthy foods and engaging in poor eating habits will not only make you gain weight, but will significantly impact your life expectancy and quality in a negative way. The book is written by a renowned doctor and gives you a life plan not, just a diet.

Amazon Link

2. The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom

Where to buy
Amazon Link
The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom
Amazon Link

The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig, will help you completely overhaul your entire diet and you will learn exactly which foods are causing your health issues. This diet is best suited for anyone who can strict, to a very strict, 4-week long program.

Read more

Eliminating Sugar Addiction
Yes, this is a restrictive book that makes you cut out all sugar, meaning alcohol, grains, legumes, soy and dairy for 30 days. But sugar is one of the most addictive and most abundant parts of our food today and it is terrible for our health and most certainly our weight. Most people simply don’t realize what it is like to live without the side effects of high sugar consumption. Don’t worry though, this book will hold your hand to get through it with a step-by-step plan that if you can give yourself up to, after 30 days you will be a different person.

Motivating and Inspiring
This step-by-step plan will help you break unhealthy habits, reduce cravings, improve digestion and most importantly, strengthen your immune system. Helps teach you the cooking skills you need to succeed and keeps you going with real-life success stories. You have easy access to quick-reference and detailed elimination and reintroduction guidelines.

Cost and Value
This book is regularly seen on the New York Times best-sellers lists for a reason. It is one of the most healthy eating/diet books on the market today. With just 30 days of will-power, you will not only see weight loss but overall improved mental and physical well-being.

Amazon Link

3. The Complete Ketogenic Diet for Beginners: Your Essential Guide to Living the Keto Lifestyle

Where to buy
Amazon Link
The Complete Ketogenic Diet for Beginners: Your Essential Guide to Living the Keto Lifestyle
Amazon Link

If you change your body’s energy source, you will lose more weight- that is the diet philosophy of the Complete Ketogenic Diet for Beginners: Your Essential Guide to Living the Keto Lifestyle. Reminiscent of the Atkins diet, the Keto lifestyle does sacrifice some protein intake. It is a one-stop guide on how to go “keto” with a ton of informative and helpful information to support your keto journey.

Read more

Complete and easy-to-follow plan
A complete book and guide with 75 easy to follow recipes (using 5 main ingredients or even less for every one of your meals), 14-Day Meal Plan, a complete overview that explains the fundamentals of this diet and advice and tips for living the keto-lifestyle, as well as charts that illustrate for you calories and nutritional information.

Medical community approved
This book is endorsed by the renowned Mayo Clinic as well as many others in the medical community. It has proven research of its health benefits and it is a clear and effective way to lose weight. This program embraces low-carb, high-fat foods that will start your body’s ability to burn fat for energy instead of glucose.

Cost and Value
This book is a foundation and a must have for beginning and embracing the Ketogenic Diet. Whether you want to lose weight or simply eat healthier, you will get a tried-and-true guidebook with everything you need to do just what you want. It is a proven diet and has had a cult following because of its impressive results.

Amazon Link

4. Dirty Genes: A Breakthrough Program to Treat the Root Cause of Illness and Optimize Your Health

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Dirty Genes: A Breakthrough Program to Treat the Root Cause of Illness and Optimize Your Health
Amazon Link

This book by Dr. Ben Lynch, Dirty Genes: A Breakthrough Program to Treat the Root Cause of Illness and Optimize Your Health, uses natural and holistic approaches to address a population that has suffered for years with chronic and unexplainable health problems.

Read more

Personalized Plans
Everybody’s body chemistry is different and if you can get the right plan in place for YOU, eliminating negative symptoms and optimizing both your physical and mental health is possible. You can actually rewrite your genetic circumstance, that is pretty amazing. Dr. Lynch will show you how to identify and improve upon the two types of dirty genes and how to clean them up with a combination of quality sleep, stress relief, healthy eating, holistic and natural approaches as well as environmental detox.

New Science
According to Dr. Lynch’s research, our genes can be “born dirty” or “act dirty” as a response to factors including our environment, our diet, and our lifestyle. All combined will cause life-long and life-threatening chronic health problems. He has functional medical experience successfully helping thousands of patients cure cleanse and cure their toxic health.

Cost and Value
We are learning more and more about chronic diseases that plague our health such as autoimmune, cardiovascular disease, anxiety, depression, obesity, cancer, diabetes, to name a few. Where in the past the root cause of these diseases was not taken into account, rather treating the symptoms was the go-to plan of attack. Today we are waking up to the root cause of our disease and how to actively treat and heal that instead of just addressing our symptoms.

Amazon Link

5. Cheese Trap: How Breaking a Surprising Addiction Will Help You Lose Weight, Gain Energy, and Get Healthy

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Cheese Trap: How Breaking a Surprising Addiction Will Help You Lose Weight, Gain Energy, and Get Healthy
Amazon Link

Gasp!? No Cheese!? Well here is the hard truth, cheese can be dangerous. It is loaded with calories and fat and cholesterol, and sugar. This toxic cocktail can cause a barrage of health implications such as weight gain, high blood pressure, even arthritis! Dr. Neal Barnard presents a comprehensive program to break the cheese addiction in the Cheese Trap: How Breaking a Surprising Addiction Will Help You Lose Weight, Gain Energy, and Get Healthy.

Read more

Creative Program
Dr. Neal Barnard has designed a program that will help you break your cheese addiction all the while you are enjoying a tasty, easy-to-follow diet. There are a ton of creative and healthy recipes that will keep you satisfied and help you bust those cheese cravings.

Ideal for Those who overdue dairy on a daily basis
The philosophy of this diet is that cheese can be as addictive as heroin-that is pretty serious! This is the bible for those of us who love our cheese but know it is our kryptonite. Learn how the makeup of cheese works in our bodies physiology and get tips and tricks to wean yourself off cheese as a main ingredient in your daily menu.

Cost and Value
This book offers a realistic program that will help curb those cheese cravings. It is full of information about the nutritional break down of cheese and how it causes disease within the body. The book provides you with tips and recipes that will keep you satiated without missing the cheese as the main event in your meals.

Amazon Link

6. The Fast Metabolism Diet: Eat More Food and Lose More Weight

Where to buy
Amazon Link
The Fast Metabolism Diet: Eat More Food and Lose More Weight
Amazon Link

The Fast Metabolism Diet: Eat More Food and Lose More Weight offers a philosophy of being strategic about what and when you eat. If you can do it the right way, you can actually make your body more a much more efficient and effective fat-burning machine that will ultimately help you lose more weight.

Read more

No calorie counting or food eliminations
If the last thing that you are interested in is meticulously counting calories or restricting your food group intake, then this is the book for you. By learning how to rev your calorie-burning abilities you can jumpstart your metabolism and see not just weight loss but improvements in sleep, energy and stress levels. This four-week diet book three meals and at the very least two snacks a day. It offers a good amount of recipes and allows you to eat from all the food groups.

Metabolism Whisperer
You will eat a lot on this plan and it is broken down into three phases: lots of carbs and fruits; lots of proteins and veggies; all food groups. Plus healthy fats and oils. It works by keeping your metabolism “guessing” in a very specific and deliberate way so as to change your metabolism to work faster. A results-based design and successful program.

Cost and Value
This book is a complete 4-week meal planning guide with over 50 recipes to help you along. It caters to every person, vegetarians, organic, gluten-free and especially those who don’t want to restrict any food groups from their diet. It is a natural and safe way to lose weight and get healthy.

Amazon Link

7. Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less: Your Guidebook for Living a Low-Carb and Low-Sugar Lifestyle

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less: Your Guidebook for Living a Low-Carb and Low-Sugar Lifestyle
Amazon Link

Atkins at is classic best, Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less: Your Guidebook for Living a Low-Carb and Low-Sugar Lifestyle is a refreshed version of what you already know about Atkins and that is you eat high-fat and low-carb. Atkins has been a leading brand for over 40 years with staying power because the Atkins approach has time-tested proven results, it just works.

Read more

Atkins on your own terms
Back to sugar again, this book will discuss how sugar can sideline you and how to find it and avoid it. You will learn how to eat the right proportions of proteins to healthy fats and nutrient-dense carbohydrates. It is a more flexible guide that focuses on eating right, not less to enjoy weight management and improved overall health.

It’s a lifestyle not a diet
When you are ready to embrace a healthy lifestyle and not just look at the approach to weight loss as a quick-fix. When you are ready to stop talking diet and start talking lifestyle you will realize you can actually lose weight and keep it off. You can learn to follow the Atkins lifestyle and it is sustainable so you can be happier and healthier and look great doing it.

Cost and Value
People who are easily able to or don’t struggle with giving up carbs will find success here. If Kim Kardashian can get her pre-baby body back touting this diet, it could be worth a try. This new guide helps make Atkins more well-rounded with providing information on how to make healthy decisions. It has a ton of resources like recipes, meal planning strategies and goal-setting tips to help you succeed.

Amazon Link

8. The Plant-Based Solution: America’s Healthy Heart Doc’s Plan to Power Your Health

Where to buy
Amazon Link
The Plant-Based Solution: America’s Healthy Heart Doc’s Plan to Power Your Health
Amazon Link

Leading cardiologist Dr. Joel Kahn designed a plant-based plan to help you feel and look better inside and out in The Plant-Based Solution: America’s Healthy Heart Doc’s Plan to Power Your Health. Learn how to cultivate optimal well-being with the use of whole-foods through this nutritious program.

Read more

Ultra heart healthy
Dr. Kahn is known as “America’s Healthy Heart Doc” so obviously he would design a program that would target heart health, but that is not all this program tackles. It also addresses other chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, gut health, osteoporosis, autoimmune disease, even low-sex drive! All of these conditions can be improved with a plant-based diet. Don’t believe the hype? Dr. Kahn has the research and evidence to prove it.

Special issues addressed
Sex drive is not generally what people say they are looking for when they want to find a good diet book. However, sex drive is an important part of being a human and it actually can be affected by poor nutrition and a nutrient deficient lifestyle. Not only that, but proper nutrition can also help with brain chemistry.

Cost and Value
There is a ton of research out there that proves people do better overall when their nutrition is plant-dense. With so many chronic diseases, including Alzheimer’s on the rise, adopting alternative options to our food intake may be worthwhile. This book will help you transition from the meat with simple tips to help you stock your pantry, eat out and visit with others.

Amazon Link

9. Daily Dash for Weight Loss: A Day-By-Day Dash Diet Weight Loss Plan

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Daily Dash for Weight Loss:  A Day-By-Day Dash Diet Weight Loss Plan
Amazon Link

Rated #1 overall by the US News and World Report, Daily Dash for Weight Loss: A Day-By-Day Weight Loss Plan will help you lose weight and lower your blood pressure. This book offers a proven history of success as it has helped millions of people gain control over their health by making simple adjustments to your routine you can achieve the success you want.

Read more

Science-based
The Dash Diet is based on an extensive scientific study. It offers 10 scientifically-proven reasons why the design of the Dash Diet actually works. It isn’t just about weight-loss it will also help you understand and identify your 3 health indicators. It will lower your blood-pressure and you can also lose weight.

Well-Rounded
This book is perfect for those people who want nothing to do with restrictive diets. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. Originally designed to target lowering blood pressure, it had an added wonderful side-effect of also losing weight! It is very clear-cut, eat more fruits and veggies, lean meats and whole grains and make sure you have heart-healthy fats.

Cost and Value
This book will provide you everything you need for success including serving-sizes and Dash approved foods. It offers delicious and most importantly, clear guidelines to help you lose weight in a healthful way. It is also nationally recognized as a leader in weight loss solutions.

Amazon Link

10. The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet: Smart, Simple, Science-Based Strategies for Losing Weight and Keeping it Off

Where to buy
Amazon Link
The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet: Smart, Simple, Science-Based Strategies for Losing Weight and Keeping it Off
Amazon Link

Named the most effective diet of 2011 by the Daily Beast and a #1 New York Times bestseller, The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet: Smart, Simple, Science-Based Strategies for Losing Weight and Keeping it Off by Dr. Barbara Rolls and Mindy Hermann offers a solution to people who are over starving or restricting themselves to be thin. With a simple, science-based and shrewd approach to learning how to lose weight and keep it off.

Read more

You don’t have to starve yourself
You are actually allowed to eat food on this plan and yes, lose weight! The type of foods you eat will help you figure out what to eat. You are to eat less energy-dense foods like fruits and veggies and this book provides you with a bunch of tools and resources to help you lose the weight and not feel unsatisfied.

Easy recipes with everyday foods
This is a terrific book to learn more about everyday healthy eating. No fads here. It can work for anybody at any age. You can eat and feel satisfied if you are eating nutrient dense foods, and with this plan you will learn what they are. You will learn how to look at what you eat differently, for instance if you want that cold beer, you might envisualize how much other foods you could eat instead of it and make your best decision from there.

Cost and Value
This book is straight to the point, and doesn’t require you to restrict yourself or eat any exotic foods, or make you count calories and prepare based on phases. Listen, the truth is there is no quick fixes out there, eat right and move and you will lose weight. It helps with understanding the best foods and understanding portion control.

Amazon Link

Sources

  1. WebMD, Dietician Picks 8 Favorite Diet Books, Clinical Information
  2. Women’s Health, 5 Diet Books You Need to Read in 2018, Women's Health & Fitness Publication
  3. Bodybuilding.com, Is it Time to Stop Dieting?, Fitness Publication
  4. Mayo Clinic, Nutrition and Healthy Eating, Clinical Publication
  5. Centers for Disease Control, Losing Weight, Health Information
  6. Bodybuilding.com, How to Chose Your Best Diet, Fitness Publication

Join our private, growing community of passionate runners

Inside RunnerClick Pro, runners of all strengths come together to meet and support one another, get answers to burning questions, learn from experts, participate in personal challenges, and more.

Join our private, growing community of passionate runners

Inside RunnerClick Pro, runners of all strengths come together to meet and support one another, get answers to burning questions, learn from experts, participate in personal challenges, and more.