It is of course entirely possible to lose a hell of a lot of weight without ever reading a book about the subject, but like those swots in school who actually read the books on the reading list, you’ll give yourself a huge helping hand if you do some reading so that you can start to understand the science behind weight loss and why it can be so damn difficult to shift those pounds (spoiler alert: it’s all psychological).

Gaining some insight into why, for example, sugar is bad for you or why you feel the need to eat another bar of chocolate even though you’re stuffed means that you can begin to find ways of working through your bad habits, knowing exactly why you do them in the first place.

Here are 5 of our favourite books about weight loss.

It Starts With Food

It Starts With Food is the companion book to the Whole 30 plan, which aims to help you ‘reset’ your eating in 30 days by cutting out all the crap and focusing on good, whole foods. Although it’s designed to be read before starting the Whole 30, it’s still a good read even if you’re not going to do it. 

What they say: “This is the best book! Even if you don’t end up following the plan, it is well worth the read just for the education! It will inform you on how the body works at digesting food and what certain foods do to your system. It was surprising to learn that a lot of the foods that we thought were very healthy, really aren’t the best choice. It makes you look twice at what you are feeding your body.” – shellic

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The MAN v FAT Weight Loss Manual

OBVIOUSLY. This post isn’t designed to shift our own book (no, really! Come back!) but we still reckon our very own Weight Loss Manual is one of the most helpful books around if you’re a man looking to lose weight. In it, we take an unbiased look at all sorts of weight loss plans and set out to help you figure out why you got fat and what you’re going to do about it.

What they say: “This book is like no other I have read on the subject – and I have read many – it’s not about one set diet and it doesn’t rely on you buying products from the author or company. It’s a simple set of instructions that will help you achieve your goals of weight loss, written by someone who has done it and understands the struggles us MEN go through” – JC247.

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

Well, with a title like that, who wouldn’t want to give this a read?! Author Tim Ferriss has built himself a little empire advising people on how to break their life down into four-hour chunks (he can also tell you all about the four-hour workweek). In this book, he introduces his version of the ‘slow-carb’ diet and also gives advice on everything you need to ‘redesign’ the human body and ‘reach your genetic potential’. Which all sounds a bit strange but it’s a good read.

What they say: “Fantastic book, lots of great knowledge. Recommend for anyone who can read.” – LewisWegg (I don’t think you can get praise better than that, can you?!)

Get it here.

The Primal Blueprint: Reprogramme Your Genes for Effortless Weight loss, Vibrant Health and Boundless Energy

Yes, this is another book that promises to help you ‘reprogramme your genes’ but wait! Don’t let that put you off (if you’re wondering if it’s even possible, read what author Mark Sisson has to say about the subject here). If you’ve ever even looked into following the ‘primal’ diet, it’s likely that you’ve come across Mark’s Daily Apple, which is a fab website chock-full of resources. The Primal Blueprint is Mark’s book, in which he collects all his knowledge gained from living the primal lifestyle and helping countless people lose weight this way.

Get it here

What they say: “5 stars because it is a great price for the health advice the will last you a lifetime! I’m certainly feeling less bloated, a lot happier and healthier and losing weight even though I don’t feel like I’m trying too hard! Plus not feeling peckish 24 hrs a day like I’m accustomed to means I’ve wasted less money on stodge and have more to spend on travelling! I doubt he’ll ever know I’ve written this but thanks Mark for the advice.” – Ben

Eating Less: Say Goodbye to Overeating

If you’re reading this it’s likely that you have some kind of problem with eating too much. This book aims to help you tackle your overeating by giving you the tools to start thinking differently about food. The author likens overeating to smoking and other addictions and although it’s twee to say that a self-help book can change your life, I honestly found my relationship with food changing for the better when I read this book and started putting Gillian’s advice into practice.

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What they say: “At last, an insight into why I find it so difficult not to binge occasionally, and to stick to the way of eating that I know I should be following! This is the best book I’ve found so far on why I do what I do, and how to control it. Anyone who wants to get healthier should read it and take note” – LDB

Do you find reading books about weight loss helpful in your own battle against the bulge? Got any favourites we’ve missed? Let us know over in the forum!