Last updated: Mar 20, 2008
Ready to start your New Year diet? Don't get caught up in the hype. Health magazine looked at this year's hottest new diet books and compiled this tip sheet for you.


The Enlightened Diet
by Deborah Kesten and Larry Scherwitz, PhD (Ten Speed Press; $16)


In a nutshell: The fix for food woes, according to the authors, is spiritual well-being. They say having balanced emotions and sharing meals in positive social settings are just as important as the food you eat.

Try this if youre ready to make major, introspective life changes. The bottom line: This easy-to-read little book is full of worksheets to help you understand your relationship with food, and self-reflective exercises to improve it.


The SuperFoods Rx Diet
by Wendy Bazilian, RD, Kathy Matthews, and Steven Pratt, MD (Rodale; $26)

In a nutshell: The authors expand their list of 14 foods in 2003s Super-Foods Rx to include new picks and spices like cinnamon and turmeric. Plus, menus, shopping lists, and recipes help you drop pounds.

Try this if you need a plan to change how you eat. This book gives you smart ways to add fruits and veggies to your meals.The bottom line: Eating nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables to lose weight is a slam-dunk strategy.


Weight Watchers Start Living, Start Losing
by Weight Watchers (John Wiley & Sons Inc.; $23)

In a nutshell: More than 60 successful dieters tell personal stories about how they managed to take weight off—and keep it off, too.

Try this if you need diet motivation. One of these first-hand accounts will give you a second wind. Sorry, no formal diet-and-exercise plan.

The bottom line: The tips from fellow dieters could provide the spark you need.


The 30-Minute Celebrity Makeover Miracle
by Steve Zim (John Wiley & Sons Inc.; $25)

In a nutshell: Hollywood-star trainer Steve Zim helps you get an A-list body through the combination of cardio and strength training into a one 30-minute work-out three times a week. If you add his eating plan with six meals a day, then you will be lean and toned in 10 weeks, he says.

Try this if you dont mind planning six meals a day. Oh, and be sure youre ready to devote yourself to an aggressive exercise program.The bottom line: As a personal trainer, Zim excels at fitness but gives short shrift to eating.


The GenoType Diet
by Peter J. DAdamo with Catherine Whitney (Broadway Books; $25)

In a nutshell: Eleven years after publishing Eat Right for Your Type, naturopathic physician Peter J. DAdamo puts out a new book that calls for using diet and exercise to manipulate genes that influence weight. You measure parts of your body and complete written tests to determine where you fit among six different GenoTypes with unique eating and exercise strategies.

Try this if youre curious. We defintely cant call this a plan for success. The books strategy is based on anecdotal reports and one physicians loose interpretation of the complex genetic-science field.

The bottom line: While most of these dieting strategies wont harm you, theres no proof theyll help you lose weight, either.


Honorable Mention

Confessions of a Carb Queen
by Susan Blech (Rodale; $16)

This memoir gets an honorable mention. Susan Blech, 42, talks candidly about fat sex, unfeeling doctors, and how she used food to numb painful emotions. She shares her successes, too, chronicling the sometimes funny points of her journey to shed more than half her size—250 pounds—without surgery. A must-read for anyone who lets her emotions influence her eating.