The 15 Best Healthy Weight-Loss Cookbooks, According to Dietitians may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Learn more about our affiliate and product review process here.
The best weight-loss cookbooks include healthy recipes with lots of fiber and protein and encourage you to take pleasure in your food.
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While it requires a little extra effort, cooking at home is a smart habit to invest in if you're trying to lose weight.


Eating in can lighten both your waistline and your wallet: People who cooked at home six or seven nights a week ate fewer calories, less sugar and less fat than those who dined out regularly, according to preliminary research by the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health presented at a November 2014 American Public Health Association meeting.

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Plus, with the right recipes, cooking can be a great source of stress relief and a lot of fun. The only question is: Because there are so many weight-loss cookbooks out there, how do you choose one?

Our Picks

How We Chose

We tapped a couple of body-positive dietitians to share what they consider to be the best healthy weight-loss cookbooks. We've included their top picks below, which are broken into categories and based on the following criteria:

  • Focus on healthy eating rather than quick weight loss
  • Include recipes with plenty of fiber and protein
  • Spotlight a variety of nutritious foods
  • Provide accessible recipes for all cooking levels


Best for Reducing Disease Risk

"This book is all about optimizing your nutrition to reduce disease risk. It's packed full of high-fiber whole grain and vegetable recipes, which can increase metabolism and help with weight loss," says Cassie Christopher, RD, a body-positive registered dietitian and founder of the Stress Less Weight Mastery. "This is a great choice for anyone looking to improve the quality of their diet."


The book includes two weeks of pre-planned meals and grocery shopping lists to help get you started.

Recipes to Try

  • Sheet Pan Citrus Chicken with Brussels Sprouts
  • Herb Stuffed Mushrooms
  • Cinnamon-Pecan Baked Apples

Buy; ‌Price:‌ $15.19

Best for People With Allergies

Cooking at home can be particularly challenging if you or your family members have any allergies.



"In my experience, it can be hard to find gluten-free or dairy-free recipes that both taste good and have the right texture," Christopher says.

Luckily, this comprehensive cookbook — which was co-written by a registered dietitian — features 365 recipes that are specifically targeted to people with food sensitivities or allergies.

"I have personally cooked most recipes in this book and can vouch for them," Christopher says. Her favorite? The Zucchini and Pine Nut Lasagna.


Recipes to Try

  • Quinoa Salmon Burgers
  • Sweet Potato Falafels
  • Raw Blueberry Cheesecake
  • Zucchini and Pine Nut Lasagna

Buy it‌:; ‌Price:‌ $23.99

Best for Vegans/Vegetarians

3. 'Wild About Greens' by Nava Atlas

We all know veggies are good for you. One November 2018 Nutrients study found eating more vegetables helps you lose weight and prevents weight gain. The problem is that a lot of vegetable recipes can be a bit bland.


Christopher says this book is a "good option for vegetable experimentation as the recipes have a lot of spice and flavorings."

Recipes to Try

  • Sautéed Sweet and Citrusy Beets With Greens
  • Hoisin-Glazed Bok Choy With Tofu and Soba Noodles

Buy; ‌Price:‌ $35.30

Best for People On-the-Go

When life gets busy, it can be hard to commit to making a three-hour meal.



Christopher says that "the recipes in this book are full of satisfying fiber and whole grains, which will keep you full for longer." Plus, they leave you with a little extra time on your hands.

This book is also perfect for anyone pressed for time, because it has many options for meals you can make in advance.

Recipes to Try

  • Red Lentil Soup
  • Cauliflower Frittata
  • Buckwheat Bars

Buy; ‌Price:‌ $16.19

"This healthy cookbook elevates fresh, whole foods with simple recipes for busy people," says dietitian Kayla Girgen, RD, founder of Nutrition Untapped.

The book's premise is that each recipe only contains five ingredients, so it's great for anyone who doesn't want to complicate the cooking process. It also includes some wonderful imagery that will delight visual learners.

Recipes to Try

  • Easy Sausage Carbonara
  • Sticky Pork Stir Fry
  • Nutty Kale Salad

Buy; ‌Price:‌ $19.49

Best for Post-Bariatric Surgery

This one is written by a registered dietitian — which gets major bonus points — and it's much more than a cookbook, Girgen says. "It includes high-protein recipes with nutritional information, along with various texture progressions following surgery."


She especially recommends it for anyone who's undergone bariatric surgery, as "Kent does a wonderful job of addressing the mental barriers of self-compassion and eating healthfully."

Recipes to Try

  • Baked Halibut with Tomatoes and White Wine
  • Baker Potato Soup
  • Pumpkin Spice Latte Protein Shake

Buy; ‌Price:‌ $9.69

Best for Instant Pots

"An Instant Pot can be an intimidating appliance to master, but this cookbook removes all the mystery," Girgen says.

This book tells you all about the specific settings and gives you shortcuts for quick and healthy meals like Tomatillo Chicken Chili and Seafood Risotto.

"This cookbook includes easy reference charts to help determine Instant Pot cooking times as well as dietary preferences such as vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free, recommending substitutions when appropriate" she says. "Each recipe includes nutritional information and clear instructions on which setting(s) to use."

Recipes to Try

  • Tomato Red-Pepper Bisque
  • Southern Smothered Chicken
  • Glazed Honey Lemon Cake

Buy; ‌Price:‌ $14.59

Best for Low-Carb Lovers

"Filled with over 100 low-carb and keto recipes, this cookbook includes QR codes so you can quickly track your food intake using the Carb Manager app," Girgen says.


If you want to kick it old-school, there's nutritional information included for all of the recipes, including net carbohydrates as well as dairy-free and gluten-free identifiers.

Recipes to Try

  • Cream of Cauliflower Soup
  • Buttermilk Biscuits
  • Crab Cakes with Spinach and Artichokes

Buy; ‌Price:‌ $18.85

Best for a Healthier Relationship With Food

9. 'Good Food, Bad Diet' by Abby Langer

Registered dietitian Abby Langer takes her experiences working with clients to explore some of the deeper issues behind our eating habits. Girgen says the book is "science-based yet light-hearted and easy to read" and provides "a refreshingly realistic approach to ditching diet culture and establishing healthy habits to serve you for the long haul."

Recipes to Try

  • The Best One Pan Roasted Chicken and Gravy
  • My Mom's Classic Chili Recipe
  • The Best 30-Second Mug Brownies

Buy it:Amazon; ‌Price: ‌$16

10. 'The Fiber Fueled Cookbook' by Will Bulsiewicz

"This is a great general healthy-eating lifestyle cookbook, especially if you think you have food sensitivies," Christopher says. "Even when Dr. Bulsiewicz discusses food sensitivities, his goal is to heal and repair the gut so foods can be added back in, which is important for a healthy relationship with food."

The leading gastroenterologist shares over 100 delicious, plant-based recipes, including hearty soups, refreshing salads and nutritious desserts.

Recipes to Try

  • Lemon Lentil Salad
  • Cheezy Broccoli Potato Soup
  • Maple Peanut Granola
  • Chocolate Cookie Milk

Buy it:Amazon; ‌Price: ‌$21.89

Best for People With Thyroid Conditions

11. 'The Thyroid Connection' by Amy Myers

Author of the New York Times bestseller ‌The Autoimmune Solution‌, Amy Myers, MD, knows the struggle of a thyroid dysfunction firsthand, a condition that can cause weight gain and weight fluctuations, per the American Thyroid Association.

Myers has the scoop on all the lab tests you need and supplements that are recommended in a 28-day plan to reverse the condition. Plus, there are recipes, additional resources and the best tool of all: knowledge.

"Dr. Myers explains not only what you can do to combat thyroid disorders but also covers why," Girgen says. ‌"‌Learn how the thyroid works and is impacted by diet, environmental toxins and more."

Recipes to Try

  • Chocolate Skillet Cookie
  • Healthy Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

Buy it:Amazon; ‌Price:‌ $25.35

Best for Mental Health

While some people lose weight when living with mental health conditions like anxiety and depression, others may gain weight from stress, emotional eating, lack of exercise or other causes. Some antidepressant medication can also cause weight gain as a side effect, per the Mayo Clinic.

Enter: books that make connections to food and mental health, like ‌Eat to Beat Depression and Anxiety‌ by Drew Ramsey.

"Dr. Ramsey reviews advancements in one of medicine's newest specialties — nutritional psychiatry," Girgen says. "Explore the brain-gut connection and holistic ways to treat mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression sans medication. Informative, yet fun, this book includes a six-week plan to foster a healthy brain and body."

Recipes to Try

  • Honey Soy Wild Salmon Burgers
  • Kale Salads
  • Blueberry Smoothie

Buy it:Amazon; ‌Price:‌ $17.69

Best for Healthy Living

13. 'Fit Men Cook' by Kevin Curry

"Consider this the ultimate meal prep cookbook," Girgen says. "Curry's cooking philosophy centers around three requirements: Each recipe must 1) taste good, 2) be calorie-friendly and 3) be easy to prepare (in terms of cost and technique)."

Author Kevin Curry, fitness influencer and creator of the bestselling app FitMenCook, shares his story of overcoming depression and weight gain to build a successful business and lead a healthy lifestyle.

And don't let the title fool you. "This cookbook is [for everyone] and includes Kevin's 10 Commandments of Meal Prep and many other tips and tricks for navigating your way around the kitchen," Girgen says.

Recipes to Try

  • Chicken Crust Pizza
  • Amazing as Pho Bowl
  • White Mac 'n Cheese

Buy; ‌Price:‌ $14.50

14. 'Eat Happy' by Anna Vocino

Author Vocino, who has celiac disease, provides many comfort food variations minus gluten, grains and sugar, Girgen says.

Vocino provides a very helpful list of gluten-free and grain-free pantry and fridge staples, as well as a variety of low-carb and slow-cooker recipes.

Recipes to Try

  • Zucchini Pasta Bolognese
  • Chocolate Coconut Chia Pudding
  • Ahi Tuna Steaks and Lemony Spinach

Buy; ‌Price:‌ $28.02

Abbey Sharp is a registered dietitian and the creator of the popular food blog and YouTube channel Abbey's Kitchen. She's previously been described as "Nigella Lawson in a lab coat," and her vibrant descriptions might be just what you need to get you excited about spending more time in the kitchen.

"Abbey does a nice job of contextualizing how healthy food can be a part of living your best life," Christopher says. "After reading the cookbook, you are left wanting to share a yogurt parfait with her."

Recipes to Try

  • Tasty Breakfast Tacos
  • Brussels Sprouts with Figs and Grapes
  • Zucchini Noodle Pad Thai

Buy; ‌Price:‌ $19.64

How to Choose the Right Book for You

Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing a safe, sustainable weight-loss cookbook, according to Christopher:

1. It Doesn't Promise Quick Weight Loss

"Avoid books that are supposed to help you lose large amounts of weight quickly," she says. "A half pound to 2 pounds a week is considered a safe weight-loss amount."

Weight loss should always be primarily about improving your health and should be done over time, so don't go for detoxes or crash diets.

2. The Recipes Have Lots of Fiber and Protein

Look for books that are full of fiber (vegetables, fruits, whole grains) and protein, as that will boost your metabolism and keep you full longer.

3. The Book Includes Food You Like to Eat

"Start your search with the intention of eating that way for the rest of your life, so you can sustain any weight loss you may achieve," she says.

With that in mind: "Only buy books that look like you will enjoy them," she says. "Getting pleasure from your food is an excellent way to enjoy life."




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