There is a subject that always finds its way into discussion, and that is weight loss and diet. However, this concern is bigger than only aesthetic problems, but is also a beyond health and longevity issue. Without knowledge of the subject, many people start to listen to very restrictive diet plans that promise true miracles, but this needs to be done very carefully, since weight loss can be directly linked to improving your health. This article suggests ten books that will help to change your perception on weight loss and quality food, as well as giving you the appropriate motivation to persevere in your journey. The content of these books is based on solid fact and scientific evidence, not mere guesswork, and helps us to understand that food impacts everything that is related to our body, our health and even our brain performance.
- The Modern Art of High Intensity Training, by Aurelien Broussal-Derva, Stephane Ganneau
This book is like no other of its genre. If you use it as a complement to an existing training programme, or replace a tired and outdated programme, this book will be read and used many times. This book includes everything you need and want in an exercise programme, and has amazing illustrations to ease your understanding of the exercises presented. Change, inspiration, encouragement, challenge and outcomes: this is what you’ll find on every page!
- Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life, by Brendan Brazier
Brazier’s book offers information on nutritional stress principles and the proportion of resource nutrients, which provide good ideas to dramatically reduce meat consumption. The book was written in response to all the work Brazier put together in an effort to find the best foods that would improve his athletic efficiency.
- Jim Stoppani’s Encyclopedia of Muscle and Strength, by Jim Stoppani
Jim Stoppani, PhD, worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the John B. Pierce Laboratory and at Yale University School of Medicine’s Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, where he studied the impact of exercise and diet on gene regulation in the muscle skeletal. His book is a perfect guide for those involved in weight training and weightlifting. Stoppani outlines exercises for all the muscles, to help ensure that nothing is left out. In addition to offering useful knowledge about “divided routines, the pictures of the exercises are very interesting, as are the details about the anatomy relevant to the weight and the use of the tool”, says Maria A. Barker, book blogger.
- The Talent Code, by Daniel Coyle
In terms of talent facts this book is one of the most cited. It answers the questions of whether talent is born or built. The premise behind this book is that talent is made of what Coyle calls “deep practice”. This theory essentially explains that talent is not just doing things over and over again, but about doing, making mistakes and repeating a certain method before you get it right. Coyle explains why we see increases of talented people. It’s a fascinating study of the success, the success of individuals of people in widely separated parts of the globe and in various fields of work.
- The Pursuit of Endurance: Harnessing the Record-Breaking Power of Strength and Resilience, by Jennifer Pharr Davis
Davis, National Geographic Adventurer of the Year and a former FKT record holder on the Appalachian Trail, discusses resistance in this fascinating read. Part memories, study of characters from ultra-runners, thru-hikers and the new human ideas and methodologies that aim to achieve what seems impossible. This book is both a biography of many of the FKT record holders on the Appalachian Trail, as well as a glimpse into Davis’ journey, her friendship and bonds with endurance mates and an effort to deepen the psychology of a group of athletes who excel and fail in achieving their goals.
- Unthinkable, by Scott Rigsby
This is the very inspirational story of a man who was told for many reasons (very old, very overweight, very slow, disabled) that he was not going anywhere, but crossed his personal finish line anyway, on the way to being the world’s first double amputee to complete an Olympic distance, half Ironman and eventual Ironman Triathlon. “Scott spares no details, describing to the reader his years of mental, physical and spiritual suffering, dealing with depression, alcoholism and prescription drug abuse”, says John K. Crisp, health writer.
- My Life on the Run, by Bart Yasso
This is Bart Yasso’s amazing running journey, being an alcoholic turned athlete. He’s one of the most famous runners of all time. Yasso completed over a thousand races on seven continents. The life of Bart Yasso could easily inspire everyone to accomplish what they set their minds to. While many runners struggle to achieve what Yasso has achieved in his life, the book communicates the message that all runners are part of the greater runner group, no matter how far or how fast they go.
- Running with Raven: The Amazing Story of One Man, His Passion, and the Community He Inspired, by Laura Lee Huttenbach
Anyone who’s ever done, or even contemplated, a distance run will be inspired by Robert Raven Craft, not just because he’s running eight miles a day, but because he is presented as a kind and caring person. The book looks deeply into Raven’s history and present, and how he always found peace and comfort when running along South Florida’s shores. He has also found camaraderie and friendship over the years which leads us to another central book theme: Raven fosters unity among athletes and embraces individuality. This book is a reminder that we as human beings are much stronger than we know, regardless of our background, desires or beliefs. It is not a sports book in the literal sense of the term, but an account of passion, suffering and perseverance that we can all relate to.
- The Runner’s Guide to the Meaning of Life, by Amby Burfoot
It is a fantastic reading on running, and all of the running references you can apply to other areas of your life. There’s a lot of lessons for the reader, no matter how old or where you are in life. It’s not your typical running guide, since there is no information on exercise techniques, routines, diet, fitness or running style. Using his years of running experience, Burnfoot decided to focus instead on the essential aspects of running and life.
- Fast-Track Triathlete: Balancing a Big Life with Big Performance in Long-Course Triathlon, by Matt Dixon MSc
This is a great book, whether you’re a self-taught runner, chasing Ironman’s dream or trying to beat your personal record for a few spare minutes. It’s very detailed and comprehensive, and Dixon focuses heavily on making you understand the purpose of the sessions and what each training aspect can provide. Dixon takes a realistic approach to incorporate triathlon into his everyday life and how to cope when life is interfering with that. He explains how training, proper sleep, a healthy diet, endurance and focus produce practical and workable training plans.
Psychological factors like lack of motivation can be the worst enemies when training and trying to lost weight. You probably don’t pay attention to this, but you should. It is a fact, proven by practice and science: psychological factors like these can be the worst enemies at the time of training. Lack of motivation or spirit, laziness, moodiness, ill will and other such issues can ruin your goals in becoming an amazing athlete – or in many other aspects of life. There are a lot of people who spend money buying equipment to exercise at home, signing up for online training and the like, in the hopes that with this they can circumvent the lack of motivation. But in addition to being an unnecessary expenditure of money, it is not these purchases that will bring your spirits back. Money only buys procrastination, not the motivation to meet your goals.
Therefore, you should always align your values with your interests in order to found for a successful plan, rather than focusing purely on results. Being sincere with your goals is an indisputably necessary attitude to achieve the results you’ve set for yourself. If you don’t define what you hope to achieve, then not only will it be impossible to get a decent plan, but it will certainly give you less direction to get where you want in the long run. Setting arbitrary goals without a personal meaning will not give you motivation when carrying out your workouts.
When you think you are not seeing results in your body and you feel like giving up, have a reason strong enough to hold on to. The books listed in this article are truly great examples of people who turned body resilience and mental strength into the epitome of success. Hopefully you’ll get inspired by the training plans you’ll find in their pages, as well as the fantastic life stories that are role models not only for physical goals, but psychological transcendence.