Book Recommendations

The Diabolical Dietitian website is exactly what I needed five years ago. In building The Diabolical Dietitian, I hope to help those who are exactly where I was not so long ago find peace in food and their bodies. Below is a list of books I wish I had also read back then!

My book suggestions are broken down into two categories: those related to diet culture and body positivity, and those unrelated but still incredibly valuable. I am a proud affiliate of Indie Bound, meaning that I get a small percentage if you purchase a book through the below links. Buying a book through these links supports my website and small, local bookstores. I only recommend books that I truly love.

Anti-Diet/Body Positivity/HAES Books

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Anti-Diet by Christy Harrison

Christy Harrison refers diet culture as a life thief, and she goes into a deep-dive on diet culture in this book. In this book, she discusses how diet culture has sexist, racist, and classist roots, and it’s a fascinating, terrifying, informative, wonderful journey. 


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Body Respect by Lindo Bacon & Lucy Aphramor

You gain weight when you eat “too much”. Simple as that, right? Nope. Body Respect dives deeper into the misunderstanding about the “dangers” of fatness. This evidence based book is written by legendary author Dr. Lindo Bacon and Dr. Lucy Aphramor, an expert on weight science and HAES.

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Health at Every Size by Lindo Bacon

Many of us know by now that being thinness does not equal health. We have been conditioned to think that people of larger bodies can’t possibly be healthy, and many of us dislike ourselves if we are in larger bodies, or we fear gaining weight. Health at Every Size takes a long look at our preconceived notions of size and health, and it will likely challenge your beliefs and open your mind.

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It Was Me All Along by Andie Mitchell

Christy Harrison refers diet culture as a life thief, and she goes into a deep-dive on diet culture in this book. In this book, she discusses how diet culture has sexist, racist, and classist roots, and it’s a fascinating, terrifying, informative, wonderful journey. 


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Intuitive Eating 4th Edition by Eveyln Tribiole and Elyse Resch

This is the latest version of the golden oldie of a book that gets many people started on their intuitive eating and anti diet culture journeys. I had just begun straying from restrictive diets before reading this, but this book gave me the boost I needed to go into it full force. Definitely a must-read for anyone looking to break free from diets and compulsive exercise.

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Intuitive Eating Workbook by Evelyn Tribiole and Elyse Resch

Can be used on its own or in conjunction with the original Intuitive Eating book. This is a more hands-on approach, and has been helpful for many people who wanted more guidance after reading Intuitive Eating. This book focuses on helping you recognize hunger cues and satiety. It provides an awesome base, and I’m a huge proponent of deep reflection and writing out one’s thoughts, so give this one a try. 

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The Body is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor

Sonya Renee Taylor’s masterpiece of a novel to educates readers on the idea of radical self-love. Many of us struggle to even perceive our body neutrally, let alone find full on self-love. She argues that finding radical-self love in ourselves and our own bodies helps our society become more loving and accepting of all bodies and those inhabiting them. This book is incredible, and I highly recommend everyone gives it a read to open their minds and fill their hearts.


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The F*ck It Diet by Caroline Dooner

If you aren’t yet sure if intuitive eating is the path you want to take, or you feel hesitant about reading science-y books on the subject, give this one a try. Caroline Dooner has crafted a humorous take on the transition from chronic dieter to intuitive eater. This book tells her story in a compelling way, and I found myself laughing out loud while feeling like someone completely understood what I went through a few years ago.

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Bad Science by Ben Goldacre

Diet culture thrives on convincing us that we need a new supplement or this new diet is the best for our health or weight loss. But how can all diets claim to be the best? Bad science, the practice of manipulating or misrepresenting data, makes this possible and rampant all around the world. Dr. Ben Goldacre challenges the practice of nutritionists (not registered dietitians), and discusses how we can be easily fooled by science-y sounding terms and figures that appear to have authority. I highly recommend Bad Science because it can give you the tools you need come to your own conclusions instead of relying on sketchy articles and supplement-pushing “health professionals”

Incredible Books Not Related to Diet Culture and Stuff

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Atomic Habits by James Clear

Atomic habits is an excellent read about creating and maintaining new habits. Many of us feel random bursts of motivation and try to go from yoga zero days per week to five days per week overnight. Habit building just doesn’t work that way, but James Clear explains how it does work, and why small changes make the biggest impact on us. This book does talk about changing habits with diets, so enter with caution.


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Ego Is The Enemy by Ryan Holiday

Ego is the Enemy was my first introduction to Ryan Holiday’s writing and the ancient practice of stoicism, the art of staying calm and collected no matter what. This book focuses on how we can become too full of ourselves if we don’t keep ourselves in check. It’s surprisingly easy to get caught up in ego, even if you don’t think of yourself as bigheaded.

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Mindset by Carol Dwek

Some chronic dieters resist the idea that they can be free and trust themselves around food- they think they can never change and they’re damned to eternal yo-yo dieting. This book is all about growth vs. fixed mindsets, and it will open your eyes and mind to the fact that the question isn’t whether or not you can change. Instead, the question is will you or won’t you change? Mindset can be applied to nearly every aspect of your life, including your eating habits

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Stillness Is The Key by Ryan Holiday

This is my favorite of the three Ryan Holiday books suggested, and it ties in with mindful eating and exercise quite well. The thesis of Stillness is the Key is basically that we have too much stimulus from the outside world all day long, and we are never actually in silence to get work done or think deeply. Our minds are always somewhere else, so it’s hard to enjoy what is going on in front of you.


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The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

I saw this book time and time again in the self-help section, and the provocative title was enough to make me finally pick it up. This book is simply about how we tend to care too much about things that barely matter, while neglecting the things that actually do. I see a parallel between caring too much about one’s body’s appearance and neglecting how much it actually does on a daily basis.

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The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday

Humans tend to avoid struggle; we don’t like feeling bad or unequipped for challenges, so we often avoid them altogether. Ryan Holiday’s argument in this book is that going up against obstacles is the very way we improve ourselves and become more resilient. Feeling sorry for ourselves when we come up against a challenge won’t get us anywhere, so it’s time to apply some stoicism and work toward growth without unnecessary emotion.

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I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak

This is my favorite book of all time. Whenever anyone asks me for a recommendation, this is the one I give first. It’s about a 19-year-old self-proclaimed loser who drives a taxi in Australia. He has no ambitions, and lives a mediocre existance; at least until he is present during a bank robbery, and everything begins to change. I have read this batboy at least five times, and I get chills every time thanks to Zusak’s beautiful writing and story-telling.


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Caeser’s Last Breath by Sam Kean

If someone asked me to list interesting topics, air molecules wouldn’t have been near the top. We have been surrounded by air since the moment we were born, what could be so exciting about it? Turns out, air, and its several components, tell a fascinating story. A story that Sam Kean does a great job of illustrating and explain. Sam Kean is an amazing author, and his books always leave me feeling awestruck and a bit more knowledgable about something I never bothered to think about before.

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The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons by Sam Kean

Like psychology? Of course you do! Author Sam Kean does a fantastic job of (once again) explaining some of the intricacies of the fascinating organ resting in our noggins. The brain will always be mysterious and weird, but it’s definitely worth learning about it as much as possible. In typical Kean fashion, this book is fantastic for people who know a little or a lot about psychology, and it’s just an overall fun, nerdy, fantastic read. Check it out!

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Grit by Angela Duckworth

Grit is a fantastic read about persistence and effort over time. Duckworth investigates spelling bee champions, top recruits at military academies, and highly successful salesmen and women. She found the common denominator for high-performing individuals isn’t innate talent, it’s grit. Some parents want their kids to develop grit, so they utilize abusive and abrasive parenting styles to toughen up their kids. Duckworth shows grit can be developed with gentle support and encouragement instead.


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Together by Vivek Murthy

Former surgeon general Vivek Murthy investigates the impact loneliness has on humans, physically and emotionally. Turns out, loneliness is incredibly harmful to our health, which might seem obvious to a lot of people. Most of us don’t like to talk about loneliness or feeling disconnected, but Murthy does an excellent job of handling this topic with care. At the end, he explains different ways to feel more connected to others.

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Mistakes Were Made (but Not By Me) by Carol Tavris & Elliot Aronson

It can be hard to admit when we are wrong, that’s for sure. Why is that? Why do we have such a difficult time reflecting and admitting our mistakes? Tavris and Aronson wrote this excellent book about our biases, and how we justify our decisions to others. One quote I think about quite a bit is “we are excellent lawyers for ourselves and judges for others.” This book investigates this phenomenon in depth.

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The Broken Ladder by Keith Payne

The Broken Ladder investigates inequality in America, and how it shapes literally everything we do. Interestingly enough, being poor isn’t enough to cause the physical and mental health problems poverty is linked to. Instead, feeling poor is what is related to these issues. Inequality, as it turns out, is all relative. This book has fundamentally changed the way I view inequality, and I am excited to read it again someday soon.


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The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk

Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk spent a long time working with people who have suffered terrible traumas. He specializes in PTSD, and has helped countless people overcome these horrible events and challenges. The Body Keeps the Score is a heavy read. It’s a thick, detailed book full of hardship, awful events, and some of the worst parts of human nature. At the same time, it’s full of hope and strategies you can use to overcome your struggles too.

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Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

David Sedaris is one of the funniest writers I have ever read. His sense of humor is dry, honest, and relatable, and his story-telling is fantastic. This book is full of hilarious anecdotes and stories that will make you laugh out loud and feel strong emotions. It’s a wonderful combination of entertaining and heartfelt.

As a proud Indie Bound affiliate, I get a small commission on books and products sold using the links on my website. It doesn’t cost you anything extra! I only recommend books that I truly love and believe in, and your purchases on Indie Bound through my website support both my work and small bookstores. Thanks!

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