5 books I read on my weight loss journey (and would recommend)

It's 5 things Tuesday again! About 5 years ago, I lost close to 50 lbs. I tried a lot of things to help me lose weight: weight watchers, yoga, running, weight lifting, biking, paleo diet--All of those things were a helpful part of my journey.

Now I'm at a different time in my life where I'm not so concerned about my weight, but more so my health. I have figured out what I should and shouldn't eat, what exercise I love and helps me stay healthy, and have also realized that sleep and stress are just as important as diet and exercise.

It's been a long road, but I thought I would share some of the books I really enjoyed along the way.

1. Master Your Metabolism by Jillian Michaels

This book surprised me. I thought Jillian Michaels was just an obnoxious trainer from the biggest loser. But she's not. She is educated and makes a lot of great points in her book. The biggest take away for me was thinking about hormones. We consume a lot of things that mess with our natural hormone balance (birth control, soy, alcohol, pesticides, processed foods, chemicals in our cleaners, soaps and detergents). It made me more aware of these things and was a good push toward living a cleaner lifestyle.

2. Naturally Thin by Bethenny Frankel

Another surprise book for me. I don't follow the Real Housewives, and to be honest, think maybe they're kind of silly (my opinion!). But Bethenny really hit a home run with this book. She outlines 10 rules to help you stop dieting and think like a "skinny girl." I've come far on my journey and am not sure how I feel about the term "skinny girl" but I do like her rules to help you make healthy choices, such as "Cancel Your Membership to the Clean Plate Club" "Your diet is a bank account" and "You can have it all, just not all at once."

3. It Starts With Food by Melissa and Doug Hartig

This book introduces the Whole 30 program, which I've done a few times.  They emphasize that everything we eat either makes us more or less healthy.  Reading that book, and doing the whole30 was a huge boost toward eating whole foods and limiting processed carbs and sugars. The whole3o shifted the way I think about my meals and eating habits, focusing mostly on healthy proteins, LOTS of veggies, and healthy fats.

4. Practical Paleo by Diane San Filippo

This book has a great description of how our bodies process food, and introduces the concept of a leaky gut.  I do believe everything we eat affects how our bodies function and she really explains that well.  There are a few really good recipes in it too, like pumpkin pancakes...yum.

5. The New Rules of Lifting for Women by Lou Schuler

Almost 3 years ago I bought this book and hit the weight room.  It outlines a weightlifting program that takes you through 6 stages, progressing the weight and reps as you move through the stages.  I was so strong after completing it, which cemented my belief that strengthening helps with weight loss.  Now, I use yoga for my strength training.

There were lots of other books along the way, but these 5 each made a big impact on my journey to better health.

Any books for physical health that you recommend?