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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

30 Models Considered
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60 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best cookbooks for weight loss

Weight loss can be highly rewarding but also highly challenging. As you drop the pounds, it can be difficult to know exactly what you should eat to maintain good health. It can be helpful to have a set of steps to follow as well as a set of healthy recipes to try. A cookbook for weight loss is a prudent addition to your kitchen if you’ve got weight loss goals in mind.

As with any weight loss plan, it is important to find a dieter’s cookbook that fits your lifestyle and tastes. For example, if you prefer simplicity in the kitchen and the recipes in your cookbook are too complicated, it won’t do you much good. Further, if the recipes involve foods you dislike, the book will be of little value to you.

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Take notes in your cookbook as you try different recipes. Your notes can remind you of what worked and what you’d like to try differently next time.

Key considerations

General or specific

One of your biggest considerations is whether you want a cookbook with general recipes or one that fits a specific diet plan.

Some people want a cookbook with recipes that adhere to a specific diet, such as the Mediterranean diet or the keto diet. Other people don’t follow a particular diet plan and would prefer a general weight loss-minded cookbook that involves a variety of foods they enjoy.

Ease of use

The majority of cookbooks for weight loss are marketed as easy to use. Even someone who doesn’t have much experience with cooking should be able to handle the majority of recipes in this type of book. However, a few cookbooks are geared toward advanced cooks. Often, these books focus on a certain type of diet, such as the keto diet.

Number of recipes

The average cookbook for weight loss contains at least 100 recipes, but some have 200 recipes or more. For the majority of people, 100 recipes is plenty. You’re sure to find some that you like, some that you love enough to prepare multiple times, and some that aren’t your favorite. If you were to make a new dish every night, a book with 100 recipes would provide more than 14 weeks of meals.

For those who love trying new recipes, a book with closer to 200 recipes may be beneficial. Along those same lines, if you are a picky eater who only likes certain foods, you might find more winners in a voluminous recipe book.

Cooking appliances required

Some weight loss cookbooks focus on using a particular type of appliance, like a slow cooker. If you live a hurried lifestyle, this may interest you, as a slow cooker that cooks your meal while you do other things can certainly reduce some everyday stress.

Some cookbooks for weight loss require you to own specific kitchen appliances, such as an air fryer or convection oven. If you do not own these appliances, you may want to avoid cookbooks for weight loss that have such recipes.

Spilled foods and other ingredients can wreak havoc on a cookbook. Consider a hardcover edition, which should last longer than a paperback version.

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Features

Book binding

Some people prefer a spiral-bound cookbook because it simplifies opening the book to a particular recipe and keeping it open. Hardcover and paperback books may fold shut when you aren’t holding them, which can make it tough to complete a recipe.

Book layout

The way a cookbook is organized can make it easier (or harder) to use, depending on what you prefer. Many cookbooks are organized by food type: main entrees in one section, salads in another, and desserts in another. Others are organized alphabetically, so it’s easy to thumb through and find the recipe you need.

Cookbooks may also be organized by meal (a breakfast section, a lunch section, a dinner section) or by the amount of prep time required. Still, other cookbooks serve double-duty by not only providing recipes but also recommending a meal plan or schedule for each day.

Often, a cookbook includes an index to help simplify your search. If you’re someone who prefers visual cues, there are cookbooks with lots of illustrations or photographs to help you on your food prep journey.

Additional resources

Some cookbooks for weight loss provide additional resources you can use as you attempt to lose weight, such as exercise plan recommendations or substitutes for foods you may not like.

With the purchase of certain weight loss cookbooks, you also gain access to detailed online resources where extra recipes or an online food/calorie tracker might be found. Maybe the book has an online community that readers can use to share ideas with each other.

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DID YOU KNOW?
Beware of cookbooks for weight loss that guarantee quick results. Changing your eating habits gradually is one of the best ways to keep off weight.
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Accessories

Diet plans: Nutrisystem Meal Delivery Diet Plan
If you do not have the patience or aptitude to cook for yourself, a diet plan with prepared foods may work better for you. The Nutrisystem diet plan has a number of price points, customized food choices, and menu options that fit within dietary restrictions.

Walking weights: Nordic Lifting Ankle/Wrist Weights
As part of your weight loss routine, you might also begin exercising. (Note: always check with a doctor before starting an exercise routine.) If you walk or jog for exercise, these ankle and wrist weights can add some resistance to help you in the early days of your exercise program.

Keto diet snacks: Stoka Nutrition Stoka Bars
Finding healthy snacks that fit within a weight loss plan can be challenging. You don’t have to follow the keto diet to enjoy these nutrition bars, and because they’re high in protein and low in carbs, they work nicely with nearly all weight loss plans.

Keto diet books: Maria Emmerich Keto Comfort Foods
If you have decided to try the keto diet, you may want a weight loss cookbook that focuses on keto-friendly meals. The author of this recipe book has extensive experience with the ketogenic diet and has included some of the tastiest keto-friendly foods in this cookbook. 

Cookbooks for weight loss: prices

The majority of cookbooks for weight loss carry a reasonable price tag. Cost does not vary much from title to title. Perhaps the biggest differentiator between price tiers is the form of the book.

Hardcover: Hardcover cookbooks with a weight loss focus may cost $15 to $35. Because of the protective cover, this type of cookbook tends to last the longest. Spiral-bound cookbooks also tend to cost between $15 and $35

Paperback: A paperback cookbook for weight loss may cost from $5 to $20. Paperbacks are the least-expensive versions of print cookbooks, but due to their flimsier construction, they may not last as long as hardcover books.

Digital: A digital version of a weight loss cookbook for your Kindle or tablet may cost $5 to $15.

Some people prefer to download a digital version of a weight loss cookbook to their tablet rather than deal with a paper copy.

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Tips

  • Expect your grocery bill to go up the first week or two. When you start using a new cookbook, you may have to stock up on spices or other basic ingredients you do not yet have. Once you buy these staples, your grocery bill may go down again.
  • Create a shopping list before you leave home. Include only the items needed to make the meals in the cookbook. This will help curb any temptation to reach for impulse buys that are not diet-friendly.
  • You may need to invest in improved pots and pans as well as a kitchen scale. To successfully complete some recipes that focus on weight loss, a kitchen scale, in particular, may come in handy.
  • People who dislike leftovers can still lose weight. If you dislike leftovers, you may need to adjust the amount you make so you have enough for just one meal.
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If your kids are picky eaters, look for a health-centered cookbook that focuses on feeding the whole family.

FAQ

Q. How easy are cookbooks for weight loss to follow?

A. As long as you have a little bit of experience in the kitchen and are willing to try some new foods, you should be able to use these cookbooks successfully. If you’re new to cooking, there are cookbooks designed for you as well; consider a book aimed specifically at beginners.

Q. Are there cookbooks for weight loss for people with dietary restrictions?

A. Yes. For example, there are titles that contain recipes for those who follow a vegetarian diet and those who follow a gluten-free lifestyle. If your dietary rules are highly specific, you may need to look a little harder to find what you need.

Q. Will a weight loss cookbook actually help me lose weight?

A. It’s possible, but your outcome depends on how closely you follow the instructions and advice. You may have a better chance of success if you choose a book that incorporates ingredients and recipes you think you would like.

 

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