Too much coffee, too little sleep, too busy: January can be an intense moment of reckoning as we swivel away from the entertainment and indulgences of the holidays and face a more somber and sober time of year.
The New Year is often when we ask ourselves that common—but mighty—question: What do I want to do differently?
If you’re stepping into 2018 with an outside shape that doesn’t match your inner self, you’re not alone. The term “get healthy” was the top Google resolution search term from 2016 to 2017 according to the marketing firm iQuanti, while “stay fit and healthy” ranked No. 1 on a 2015 Nielsen resolution report. Some things, apparently, never change.
However common the desire is to get healthier, how you accomplish that goal couldn’t be more diverse. Are you thinking of cutting carbs? Ditching your sugar habit? Or maybe eating more fat instead? We’ve rounded up four popular books that approach wellness in different ways. The one commonality to brace yourself for? Bye-bye, white flour; so long, refined sugar.
Embrace the Fat
Ketogenic eating, commonly known as “going keto,” is more popular than ever. And it’s easy to see why: There’s no calorie counting or limitations on proteins and healthy fats (think nuts, seeds, avocados, coconut oil). But during the introductory phase, there’s also no wiggle room for grains, legumes, alcohol, or fruit, with very little whole-fat dairy allowed. You’ll also fast until lunch, which sounds needlessly intense, but the point is a mindful one: to attune you to your body’s distinct needs and discover your WHEN—When Hunger Ensues Naturally.
Take a Phased Approach
Haylie Pomroy likes to keep you guessing—and by “you,” we mean your body’s metabolism. In The Fast Metabolism Diet approach, you’ll cycle through different combinations of foods intended to trick your body into heating up its fat-blasting capabilities. First up, carbs and fruit. Then, it’s on to proteins and vegetables. Lastly, you’ll incorporate all of those food groups, in addition to healthy fats and oils. Full meal plans (including vegetarian and gluten-free options) make it all the easier to follow along.
Go Cold Turkey
For a gonzo approach to health, Timothy Ferriss is your man. Timed binging, gadgets, supplements, circuit workouts, ice baths—you name it, he’s tried it in the name of fitness. The 4-Hour Body is wide-ranging and oddly entertaining in Ferriss’ exuberant research, focused reporting, and . . . oversharing. (A full range of bodily functions is embraced as he chronicles his trials and triumphs.) You’ll be sticking to proteins and vegetables while cutting out a lot of food groups from your diet, but take heart: you’ll have a massive cheat day every week to keep you sane. You’ll also pick up some NSFW sex tips and how to keep those baby-making bits in tip-top shape as well.
Nix Sugar for Good
Give Sarah Wilson eight weeks, and she’ll help you break free of your sugar addiction. With one of the friendliest and inviting formats of any healthy living book, I Quit Sugar gets right down to it: We are eating too much sugar, and most of it in covert ways, swirled into “all-natural” barbecue sauce and woven into that organic granola. Although you’ll be giving up artificial and even natural sugars like honey, agave, and fruit (at first), take solace in these three words: full-fat dairy.
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