4 Good Books to Help Kickstart New Healthy Habits


Knowledge is power! Whether late sixteenth century scientist Francis Bacon first said this or not, its truth is obvious. The more you expose yourself to quality fitness and nutrition information, the better you’re able to evaluate options to determine what’s right and sustainable longterm for you.

Here are a handful of our book recommendations, shared by Anytime Fitness trainers. If you don’t like to read, audio books and documentaries are other great ways to learn and stay informed!

“No Sweat!”

By Michelle Segar

In order to get to a healthier place, you must figure out how to turn exercise into a gift, instead of a chore!

NoSweat_bookMany people struggle with sticking to exercise routines or healthier eating habits. We have been taught to set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely) goals. So, we devise what seems to be a great plan, get started, and then stop over and over. Not only does this affect your ability to reach your goals, but it makes starting again harder.

In Segar’s book, you will learn how our approach to changing habits might be the very thing sabotaging our efforts. Segar provides a fantastic, easy to follow four-part system designed to help you get started for the last time! You must learn to turn exercise into a gift—something that provides you an immediate return on your investment. Whether you’re looking to overhaul your eating habits or get started with a new exercise plan, this book is a must-read.

Reviewed by Shannon Fable, Anytime Director of Exercise Programming 

“Practical Paleo”

By Diane Sanfilippo, BS, NC

Practical Paleo is designed to help you change your lifestyle and promote long-term health benefits.

Practical PaleoPaleo has become a buzz word within the health and fitness communities within the past few years. “Practical Paleo” isn’t simply a cookbook because it provides much more information than recipes. It demystifies the diet and lifestyle by answering all your questions with tear-out guides, over 120 easy-to-follow recipes, and 11 30-day meal plans for everything from fat loss and athletic performance to multiple sclerosis, thyroid health, cancer recovery, and more. Did I mention the food photography makes you start salivating as soon as you thumb through the pages? “Practical Paleo” is a resource I have referenced time after time for delicious recipes and information on living a healthier lifestyle.

Reviewed by Christine McDonough, h21 at Anytime Fitness Quincy

“The Eat-Clean Diet: Fast Fat-Loss that Lasts Forever!”

By Tosca Reno

The Eat-Clean Diet is not an unhealthy & restrictive diet…it’s a lifestyle choice.

Eat Clean DietYou could spend many hours every day in the gym, but without proper nutrition you will not reshape your body. Eating more is part of the plan, whether you’re trying to lose fat or gain lean muscle. The trick is to make sure those food options are healthy and “clean,” including healthy fats, complex carbs, and lean proteins. Although published in 2007, “The Eat-Clean Diet” is known by fitness professionals and enthusiasts alike as a nutritional bible. When followed properly, it has the ability to transform readers both mentally and physically. You can expect a faster metabolism, increased energy levels, improved mental clarity, better sleep quality, and most important, better health—all by cutting out processed foods and eating more whole and nutritionally rich options.

Reviewed by Christine McDonough, h2i at Anytime Fitness Quincy

“Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation”

By Michael Pollan

We need to understand how cooking our food affects what we eat.

CookedThis book is broken down into four parts: fire, water, air, and earth. Each element plays a unique role in the history of food and how it is prepared, and the author explains this and how what we eat is affected by them.

One of the points made in the fire section is that everyone who eats meat should be familiar with where it comes from and how it’s processed. That theme rings true throughout the book for everything we eat. He writes that we should never eat anything if we are not comfortable, or familiar, with its origin. Human beings are the only species on the planet who cook their food, and as such, we should know where it comes from and how cooking affects the nutritional value of everything we eat. Yet Americans spend less time cooking (but more time watching others cook, or simply talking about cooking) than people from any other nation. What are the repercussions? A four-part series of this topic, with absolutely amazing cinematography, is available on Netflix for those who prefer that medium over reading.

Reviewed by Bryan Forsing, Certified Personal Trainer & Anytime Fitness Owner in Culpeper, Virginia

Have you read anything that’s been really interesting and helpful? Please share in the comments below!

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