Inside: Did someone order up a healthy dose of motivation? Check out this great list of Books and Podcasts Guaranteed to Jumpstart a Healthy Lifestyle. Affiliate links to products I believe in are used in this post.
Every year we hear the same healthy lifestyle soundtrack in January: New Year's Resolutions. Weight Loss. Join Now. Gyms. Shakes. Challenge Groups.
It is all well meaning, and every bit of it comes from a place of wanting to help. I know this is true but all the gyms and weight loss apps in the world don't do you any good without that key ingredient: Motivation!
Keeping your weight loss or healthy lifestyle goals front and center is hard work. It's so easy to start hard and burn out. And ignore the gym, shake or challenge group.
By reading motivational books and listening to health-related podcasts, you will have regular reminders that you have made a commitment to yourself and to your own healthy lifestyle.
Keep filling your bookshelf and play list with motivation, and it will add fuel to your motivational fire!
Below are some of my personal favorites as well as the ones at the tippy top of my wishlist.
Motivational Books to Inspire a Healthy Lifestyle
Slim By Design – Written by Brian Wansink, the renowned food scientist and Cornell University Professor, Slim By Design gives you hundreds of hacks to change your environment rather than rely on your will power. For example: One of his studies found that “women who had breakfast cereal sitting on their counters weighed 20-lbs more than their neighbors who didn’t, and those with soft drinks sitting out weighed 24 to 26-lbs more. The good news? Those who had a fruit bowl weighed about 13-lbs less.” The book takes Wansink's findings and turns them into actionable check-lists that you can implement right away. I have the original edition, but it looks like a new edition is coming out February 2018.
Foodist – The aim of this book is to arm you to makes decisions with a clear understanding of how to optimize health and happiness. It is filled with tips on food shopping, food prep, cooking, and how to pick the right restaurants and make smart menu choices. Unlike many healthy eating books this one focuses on what you like to eat, rather than what you should or shouldn’t eat, while teaching you how to make good decisions, backed up by an understanding of what it means to live a healthy lifestyle.
100 Days of Weight Loss: The Secret to Being Successful on Any Diet Plan – This is a really cool format for motivation. Think of it as almost a daily devotional for your weight loss journey. You read short snippets each day, ending with a writing prompt to help you examine your thoughts, actions and habits. It is perfect for anyone already doing daily journaling or using a planner that has space to reflect on each day- but anyone can use it.
Anything and Everything by Michael Pollan – If you are into the clean eating movement and you have not exhausted the Michael Pollan library, I highly recommend going through as many of his books as possible. Inspiring and fascinating, I found each one was more interesting than the one before it.
Unlimited by Jillian Michaels – I have never watched an episode of Biggest Loser, nor do I own and religiously use all of her DVDs, so this is not a fan girl entry. This is a powerful, look yourself in the mirror, get out of your head type of book. It's not specifically about losing weight, but more like getting rid of unhealthy habits in ANY part of your life. Get this one only if you are really ready to confront yourself in order to make change.
Healthy Brain, Happy Life: A Personal Program to to Activate Your Brain and Do Everything Better – This book is written by a neuroscientist who used her own research to improve her health and happiness. There is a good deal of sciencey stuff included but she really shows how each aspect of her findings was translated in her own life, and how you can use it in yours. Again, not specifically about weight loss, but it definitely talks about weight loss and motivates you with facts based in science.
It Was Me All Along: A Memoir – The memoir of a woman who overcame an eating addiction, this book is an emotional reminder of many familiar situations from the life of anyone who has battled with weight gain since an early age. You may find yourself crying, laughing or just nodding along.
The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl – Another memoir, this one is on my wishlist, actually. It is the uplifting true story of a young woman who defeated her demons and conquered her cravings to become a real-life superhero to inspire us all. One reviewer says she writes in a “self deprecating” way about her “struggles with low self-esteem, depression, and cravings.” Sounds like a personality that I can relate to!
This Year I Will…: How to Finally Change a Habit, Keep a Resolution, or Make a Dream Come True – Recommended to me by a bloggy buddy, this one is still on my wishlist. “In encouraging, easy-to-read chapters, Ryan tackles the obstacles that keep readers from their goals and provides helpful tools and language to quell negative, self-defeating thoughts. Championing affirmation and cognitive therapy strategies, Ryan urges readers to switch from “why” thinking to “what could be possible” thinking, using “right brain” skills to achieve success: “The right brain is future oriented. It's where our aspirations, our dreams, our longings reside.” “
Dealers choice on these two similarly titled books: 365 Health and Happiness Boosters and Better Each Day: 365 Expert Tips for a Healthier, Happier You both offer short, daily passages to help kickoff your day from a place of positivity. A perfect addition to a new morning routine, this daily happiness ritual will become something you look forward to every day.
Motivational Podcasts to Inspire a Healthy Lifestyle
Half Size Me Podcast – This was recommended to me by a friend. It is an interview style podcast with over 300 episodes of inspiration. The host interviews people who lost weight, people still trying to lose weight, people who help other people lose weight, etc. Keeping this on your playlist would be a great way to keep that healthy lifestyle at the front of your brain.
Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast – This athlete, nutritionist and coach's podcast is the real deal. It was recommended to me by a remarkable friend Jason who quit his Wall Street day job to start his own charity to do endurance races and raise money for pediatric cancer research (In fact, my friend is pure inspiration himself- I swear he could write his own book- but for now click here to read his amazing story). But man, I can see why he finds this podcast to be all he needs for health and fitness inspiration. Ben Greenfield puts the fit in fitness. With a capital F. And any other cliche you can think of.
Nourish + Flourish – The two hosts of this podcast have totally different outlooks, but together they explore the idea of finding what nourishes you — mind, body, and soul — so that you can flourish. It actually wrapped up recently, with the hosts following their hearts into a life pivot, but it is well worth going back to the beginning to feed your own mind, body and soul with this one.
Colorful Eats – This is a great inspirational podcast for anyone looking to get rid of the toxic chemicals- as well as the toxic behaviors- in their lives. These two dietitians talk each week about healthy eating, exercise, detoxing your life and emotional contentment.
While Ted Talks are not technically a podcast, I am slipping them in here as they are a great source of motivation. Experts from around the world share inspirational talks on subjects like Health and Happiness, my two favorite topics.
The One You Feed – I found this motivational podcast randomly, while surfing the interwebs. It is not centered specifically on weight loss or healthy eating, but on bettering yourself as a whole. The story behind the name really stuck with me. It refers to a parable about the two wolves that live inside each of us and I personally geek out a little at the idea of being reminded of the parable every time I listen to an episode. Like…I don't have tattoos but I kinda want a “The one you feed” tattoo after reading the parable. The topics are deep and soul-touching. Anxiety, addiction, finding happiness, mindfulness, habits, willpower, envy and a lot more. Cool bonus: They write and perform all the music they use.
Okay which motivational books and podcasts am I missing? Share your favorites that motivate your healthy lifestyle in the comments to help the next reader out!