The best non-diet books

Alissa Rumsey Author Of Unapologetic Eating: Make Peace with Food and Transform Your Life
By Alissa Rumsey

Who am I?

I went on my first diet in high school, a reaction to panic brought on by weight gain (which was a completely normal part of puberty). That first diet led to a decade of yo-yo dieting and food and body obession. It also led me to pursue a career in nutrition and fitness. Six years ago, I came across the book Intuitive Eating, which completely changed my life. Now, as a registered dietitian, nutrition therapist, and certified intuitive eating counselor, I'm passionate about helping people reclaim the space to eat and live, unapologetically. I'm the founder of Alissa Rumsey Nutrition and Wellness, a weight-inclusive nutrition practice that offers virtual counseling, group programs, and online trainings. 


I wrote...

Unapologetic Eating: Make Peace with Food and Transform Your Life

By Alissa Rumsey,

Book cover of Unapologetic Eating: Make Peace with Food and Transform Your Life

What is my book about?

Everything you think you “know” about food, appearance, body size, and more, is something you were taught at some point. Unapologetic Eating walks you through unpacking and questioning everything society has taught you so that you can let go of dieting, make peace with food, and find your way back to your body, your intuition, and yourself. Using food as the entry point, the book helps you explore more about yourself, your beliefs, your values, and what you truly want out of life. You will learn how to reconnect with your body and yourself using your relationship to food as the entry point—going from trying to “fix” or change yourself to unapologetic eating and finally to unapologetic living.

The books I picked & why

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The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love

By Sonya Renee Taylor,

Book cover of The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love

Why this book?

World-renowned activist and poet Sonya Renee Taylor explores how radical self-love dismantles shame and has the power to dismantle whole systems of injustice. She offers specific tools, actions, reflection prompts, and resources to help you heal from body shame and rebuild your relationship with your body. Beautifully written, this is a book I go back to again and again. There is also now a companion workbook: Your Body is Not An Apology Workbook.


Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia

By Sabrina Strings,

Book cover of Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia

Why this book?

This book completely changed the way I thought about diet culture and anti-fat bias. It helped me to better understand the racial origins of fatphobia and how our modern diet culture began hundreds of years ago. It is a must-read to understand how racism and colonialism impact all of our thoughts and beliefs about bodies to this day.


Body Respect: What Conventional Health Books Get Wrong, Leave Out, and Just Plain Fail to Understand about Weight

By Linda Bacon, Lucy Aphramor,

Book cover of Body Respect: What Conventional Health Books Get Wrong, Leave Out, and Just Plain Fail to Understand about Weight

Why this book?

Body Respect was one of the first books that introduced me to the Health at Every Size® approach which changed how I thought about health. The book highlights the science behind health and weight in an approachable and easy-to-understand way. They break down the reasons why weight loss is not the key to health, the misconceptions of the BMI, and why fatness is not as linked to health as we’ve been led to believe.


Anti-Diet: Reclaim Your Time, Money, Well-Being, and Happiness Through Intuitive Eating

By Christy Harrison,

Book cover of Anti-Diet: Reclaim Your Time, Money, Well-Being, and Happiness Through Intuitive Eating

Why this book?

Christy Harrison, host of one of my favorite podcasts Food Psych, explores the history of diet culture and the multi-billion dollar diet and beauty industries that profit from it. She clearly lays out all the ways in which diet culture robs us of our time, money, health, and happiness. You’ll learn how to recognize all the sneaky forms of diet culture – including all the ways in which it now infiltrates the health and wellness world. Backed by strong scientific research and filled with stories from people who’ve reclaimed their bodies, minds, and lives. 


Intuitive Eating, A Revolutionary Anti-Diet Approach

By Evelyn Tribole, Elyse Resch,

Book cover of Intuitive Eating,  A Revolutionary Anti-Diet Approach

Why this book?

This is the OG non-diet book, originally published in 1995 by registered dietitians Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, it has since been updated and revised four times to reflect the latest research. The book outlines the 10 principles of the intuitive eating framework, including tips and suggestions on how to integrate intuitive eating into your day-to-day lives. Learn how to let go of dieting, reconnect to your body cues, and build back body trust so that you can follow your inner wisdom to tell you when, what, and how much to eat. 


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in body image, obesity, and weight loss?

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And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Women Who Run with the Wolves, The Body Image Book for Girls, and The Five Invitations if you like this list.