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Jan 31, 2007 01:23 PM

Good "diet" cookbook?

I finally decided to stop deluding myself that my knee issues weren't at least exacerbated -- if not caused -- by the extra pounds I'm carrying around.

I don't believe in "diets" per se -- I believe any diet that prescribes certain foods and forbids others is going to fail, eventually. So what I'm doing is reducing fats (especially added fats in cooking) and sweets and exercising careful portion control, and shooting for 1500 calories a day.

I actually have one cookbook I like: the Nutri/System Flavor Setpoint Cookbook. I like it because the recipes are flavorful (the premise of the book is that people eat more because they're trying to satisfy their need for taste and texture), and because it doesn't rely on a lot of "fake" foods. But one cookbook isn't going to do it for me for the long haul, so does anyone have any recommendations for a book with similar attributes?

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  1. Most of the Weight Watcher books are good, but my favorite source of lighter/healthier meal ideas come from Cooking Light magazine.

    1. I don't know how many people you're cooking for, but a good everyday book is "healthy cooking for two, or just for you."

      3 Replies
        1. re: ElissaInPlaya

          This is a great book; I've cooked from it a lot, and everything is tasty. Eating Well Magazine is good, as is "The Perfect Light Recipe." Any "healthy" cookbook or mag you're thinking of buying, flip through it first. Lots of these recipe use weird, fake ingredients, or unrealistically small portions. Basically, I think that if you don't eat processed or fast food, get a grip on portion size, exercise some every day, save sweets for rare treats, you can eat just about anything and maintain a healthy weight.

          When I was a kid, nobody I knew dieted, and fat folks were uncommon.

          On the "knee" note: My knees are problematic, and I find that just walking as much as possible helps a great deal. Good luck!

          1. re: pikawicca

            Yup. That's the plan. I already avoid processed foods, and I agree completely about the "fake" ingredients, which is why I posted this specific question. You're so right about the walking, too. There's definitely a "use it or lose it" factor, especially with arthritis. I have a dog who keeps me on top of the walking issue, and I'm also going to commit to some gym time (as soon as I get this current knee flare-up under control).

            Oh, and I bought a more precise kitchen scale -- portion size is really the key.

            I ordered the "healthy cooking for two, or just for you."
            cookbook, and I'll revisit this thread when I need fresh inspiration.

        2. I like the EatingWell cookbooks - also have an emphasis on real foods, whole grains, interesting flavors.

          1. I like the South Beach cookbooks - with the caveat that don't like to use artificial sweeteners and some of the recipes recommend them.

            1. Mayo Clinic has a cookbook, maybe two. Flavorful, healthy recipes. They have some sort of system for their menu planner that helps you get in all your food groups or keeps tab of total carbs/sugar, something like that.