6 Books That Will Take You From Flab to Fab

With summer right around the corner, temperatures—and hemlines—are rising. Which can only mean one thing: It’s beach body season, whether we’re ready for it or not. While fad diets and kooky workouts abound online, we prefer to stick to tried-and-true methods, like healthy eating and amping up our normal exercise routines.  So in preparation for upcoming vacation season, we pulled together a few of our favorite books that are filled with the best advice on eating and exercising well. Here’s to feeling happy, healthy, and confident, whether you’re heading to the pool, the beach, or just hoping to show off some toned arms at a wedding.


The Diet Trap Solution

Why do so many diets fail? Because the longer you remain in a state of deprivation, the harder it becomes to maintain it.  At some point, the siren song of your coworker’s baked goods becomes too powerful to resist. Which is why this book from mother-daughter duo Judith Beck and Deborah Beck Busis is so valuable: it’s not just about changing what food we put in our mouths, but about changing our approach to food in general. Backed by cognitive science theories proven at the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior and by proven success stories from their clients, this is the holy grail for anyone sick of following fad diets, and looking for something sustainable.


Savor is kind of like carrying a personal nutritionist and Zen master around in your pocket. Renowned mindfulness expert Thich Nhat Hanh has written the ultimate holistic guide to integrating mindfulness into our diets, exercise plans, and thought patterns, so that we approach every aspect of our health with consciousness and empathy. Which means there are no guilt trips here—Savor is more like a friendly yoga instructor than an intense Barry’s Bootcamp trainer. For all the Zen encouragements, though, the book is still highly practical, filled with tools like personalized goal setting plans and a nutrition guide.

(Psst—this book is in this month’s Scribd Selects!)




While different diets often offer conflicting advice—low fat vs Paleo, low carb vs Mediterranean—one thing just about every diet seems to agree on is that we should be eating more vegetables. Sarah Copeland is well-known for her Newlywed Cookbook, which focused on cooking for couples. With a vegetarian husband, it’s no wonder that her next book shifts gears to focus on veggie-centric meals. Feast is a great resource for those hoping to swap in a few more veggie side dishes alongside their meat mains, and for anyone flirting with becoming a full vegetarian. With gorgeous, drool-worthy food photography and hearty recipes appropriate for all skill levels, veggies never looked so decadent.



Beat the Gym

Tom Holland’s credentials are seriously impressive: He was named one of the Top 10 Trainers in America by Women’s Health, and is a fitness expert frequently tapped by sources like Good Morning America and Self. He brings all that expertise to Beat the Gym, offering readers the chance to get personal trainer results without the personal trainer price tag. Filled with workout ideas and tips and tricks to get the most out of every gym machine, Beat the Gym is a great way to take your exercise regimen to the next level.


Yoga Girl

If you looked up “beach body” in the dictionary, Rachel Brathen’s photo would probably appear. With over one million(!) followers on her Instagram account—which showcases Rachel doing sun salutations and downward dogs everywhere from Aruba to Costa Rica—this Swedish yogi has made a living photographing her workouts in gorgeous, tropical locations. If that’s not beach-body inspiration, what is? This New York Times bestselling book features envy-inducing photos of her travels and step-by-step yoga and workout instructions plus a few simple recipes, making Yoga Girl the perfect pre-vacation inspiration.


8 Weeks to SEALFIT

Looking for something a little—ok, a lot—more intense? Written by a Navy SEAL commander, this two-month long program features the mental and physical training regiments that Navy SEALs go through to get whipped into shape. In other words, this workout is not for the faint of heart. If you’re looking for a hardcore workout and proven results, however, this is the book for you. Including exercises on teamwork and mental preparation, these low-equipment workouts won’t just increase your strength and stamina—they’ll increase your mental fortitude and durability. Strong, toned muscles and a better work ethic? Sign us up.

(Psst—this book is in this month’s Scribd Selects!)

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