Small Changes, Big Results: A 12-Week Action Plan to a Better Life

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Product Description

An easy-to-start, simple-to-maintain, scientifically sound, and eminently usable twelve-week program of small steps on the road to better health

Small Changes, Big Results is not about cutting all the carbohydrates out of your diet. Or replacing every single gram of sugar with omega-3 fatty acids. It’s not about doing one hundred sit-ups a day, or getting on the treadmill whenever you have a free second. In fact, it’s not about any of the total lifestyle-replacement gimmicks—whether diet, exercise, or pop psychology—that have swept our culture in recent years, putting untold millions of Americans on the risky roller coaster of success and failure that defines fad diets and programs.

Not here.

Small Changes, Big Results is about reality—the reality of what you can do, the reality of what you want to do, and the reality of what works. It’s about introducing a series of small changes each week for three months in the three core areas of diet and nutrition; exercise and fitness; and emotional wellness. For each of the twelve weeks, nutritionist Ellie Krieger introduces a very finite, completely practical action plan for the week—and not only are these tasks incredibly doable, they’re in fact so accessible that it’s tough not to be inspired.

For example, in Week 1 the nutrition task is merely to go shopping, buy some healthful pantry items, and start keeping track of what you eat; the exercise consists of taking three twenty-minute walks; and the wellness aspect is to do a five-minute breathing exercise. That’s it. And it doesn’t really get any harder.

But these small changes do in fact lead to big results. At the end of twelve weeks, a totally unhealthy diet has been overhauled: armed with easy, delicious recipes and tips, you’ve removed unhelpful munchies and replaced them with healthful snacking, you’ve cut down on lethal trans fats while adding beneficial fat choices, you’ve replaced refined grains with whole grains, you’re eating more fish and less red meat, and so forth. Yet you’ve never been forbidden to eat a single thing: instead of prohibiting entire food groups, Ellie categorizes foods as Usually, Sometimes, and Rarely—and now you should be eating more from the Usually choices, less from the Rarely category. Furthermore, you’ve integrated physical activity into your life, and you’ve developed a set of tools to help you deal with stress—you’re not only eating better, but you’re also exercising better and feeling better.

The beauty of this program is that none of these action steps is remotely intimidating, because they’re not a full immersion into a totally new lifestyle. Instead, it’s a series of incremental changes—removing bad habits one by one, while at the same time adding good ones. There’s nothing to scare you off—on the contrary, here’s a whole book full of small changes that produce big results.

From the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews:

    I love Ellie , she is bright and informative. Her book is simple but full of ideas you may have not already thought of. I enjoyed the recipes too. Give it a try!...more info
  • Healthy changes
    A book for those beginning the weight loss process. This isn't a fad diet, it's about healthy changes to your lifestyle where nothing is actually banned but "wrong" foods are only discouraged....more info
  • Small changes can work!
    I think this book is very good for people who are normally sedentary and need an easy to understand, workable plan of action to improve their health and shed some pounds....more info
  • Ellie Kreiger's Small Changes
    Ellie's book is excellent and quite a relevant plan. Diets don't work, lifestyle changes do! Her suggestions are often common sense, but she offers many, many great ideas for a healthy lifestyle and options for weigh loss and weight management. I truly enjoyed the book and will keep it handy for quick reference.
    ...more info
  • routine advice
    Nothing new here. Just like every other "self-help" lifestyle book. Save your money, just buy the cookbook which is excellent....more info
  • A Great Guide
    Small Changes, Big Results put my health, nutrition, and exercise goals within reach. Ellie Krieger's style is upbeat and so encouraging - it's like having your own personal life coach! I was inspired to make little adjustments to my daily regimen, and before I knew it I was feeling better than I had in a long time.

    I'm usually overwhelmed by fitness programs, but Small Changes, Big Results made lifestyle changes seem possible and approachable - we can all make small changes, and those changes can really add up to major results. I sent copies to my mother and sister! ...more info
  • Blueprint for Health Living
    I wanted to make some significant lifestyle changes. I had seen Ellie Krieger on the Food Network so I decided to purchase both of her books. She offers straightforward advice on how to make healthy choices and include more whole grain foods, fruits and vegetables and lean proteins in your diet. She also advises people to move more and stretch. I love the recipes!...more info
  • Book
    Great book. Still reading it but am using her suggestions to change how I eat....more info
  • Slow and Sure
    The basic concept of this book was good. To make small changes in your lifestyle instead of trying to make an unattainable commitment. Too many people go "gung ho" when starting a diet and give up too many foods and try to exercise till they are sore and stiff then give up. This gives you ideas to start out slow and sure.
    I just expected a few more recipe ideas to alter the high calorie ones, etc. For someone that doesn't know about how to start out slow, this is a good book. ...more info
  • life changer wanna be!
    I bought this book thinking it would be something interesting and something i had never read before! It is a huge rip off and replica of the lifechanger by julia havey! If you dont believe me, go to and check out this book and program. I have lost 185 pounds using Julia Havey's lifechanger program and love to read all material on weight loss. It is an obsession now rather than food. Im always looking for new and motivating material and if i thought it was legal, I would have to assume that cliff notes for lifechanger were used in writing this book. I made small changes and had big results! Same information, just a new title! If anyone is interested in the same appraoch, but more understandable, go check out julias website! She has lived the life of obesity and overcame it, just as I now have! A real person, with a real approach! ...more info
  • Just wonderful!
    It is almost like a novel, once you start reading you don't want to put it down! It is so easy to read and easy to follow and true to itself. It really does offer small changes and really produces BIG RESULTS! I just love Ellie Krieger, watch her every week on Food Network, and I also purchased her new cookbook - The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life - love it!...more info
  • Big Bummer
    I cook healthy all the time and just got this book as a gift...I'm so unimpressed. I'd seen Ellie's show on the Food Network a couple of times then stopped watching because the stuff she makes is still fattening if you're trying to stay in shape. Sure it has healthy fats, blah, blah, but that doesn't keep you in shape. I'd be a bit forgiving if the stuff actually tasted great, but it's mediocre at best. The book is no different. And she's not even fun to watch like Rachel or Giada. I have a pile of healthy cookbooks and diet books this one is definitely my least favorite. ...more info
  • Ellie's Plan to a Better Life
    I have not had an opportunity to delve very far into this book, but I did thumb through it and found it very exciting. I can hardly wait to get into the Plan. It appears to be very thorough and touches on a variety of things. I look forward to this with pleasure....more info
  • Great author, "So So" book
    I really like Ellie's TV program . I like that she gives lots of nutritional information about each recipe plus much more. In purchasing the book, it was the lay-out that I did not like. It serves its purpose if you are going to strictly stick to a 12-week program. But I also needed to be able to at a quick glance look up recipes according to category and lumped together for those times after going methodically thru the book. I like some of the tips on exercise, but they were difficult to find as they are blended in with so much other. Many of the exercise tips are found in every book. Please don't misunderstand, the book will be helpful, and I think Ellie is extremely helpful with what I think is highly important - Nutrition and good recipes. But I feel like I need to go thru and pull out the things I am looking for and put them in my own file for easier reference. I would love to try one of her other books, but feel like I need to wait awhile to save up a little more $$. But don't quit writing, I am still very interested!!! V

    ...more info
  • Big results for me!
    A few months ago, I bought this book. Its easy-to-follow plan with great recipes inspired me to make some small tweaks to my eating habits and life style. I lost weight and found a bit more inner peace as a result. I love many of the recipes and tips.

    I also caught the premier of Ellie's new show on the Food Network last weekend -- she is so cute and down to earth. If you love the book, you will love her show!...more info
  • Huge help
    Reading the book is like listening to Ellie Krieger speak. She is warm, enganging, helpful and supportive. The book walks you through steps to improve your health and well-being PLUS offers great recipes and snack tips....more info
  • A Terrific Book
    This is a great book. It contains very common sense guidelines and ideas for nutrition, fittness and wellness and organizes them into an easy to follow, step-by-step process. The section on fat is very helpful. I finally understand what all the terms mean (mono-unsaturated, trans fat, etc). Another section on fruits and veggies by color and what they do for you is also well organized and informative.

    I stumbled upon this book at the library and after taking pages of notes, decided to look it up on Amazon. Sure enough it was selling at a great price so I bought it and have been marking pages and highlighting passages ever since I received. It will make a great gift this Christmas for several people.

    I believe that Ellie Krieger has written the best book out there on how to develop a healthy lifestyle. ...more info
  • I Feel Wonderful
    This book is a great guideline to a healthier life. I've always heard that to lose weight and keep it off you must make lifetime changes. The changes in this book are very easy and you don't feel like you are missing out on a thing. It shows you how to use easy substitutions to make your favorite dishes healthier, without losing flavor. I love Ellie Krieger's Food Network program as well. She has great, easy ideas that will benefit your entire family. Her ideas are realistic, she knows we don't all have all the time in the world when it comes to cooking and excercising. She also gives you guidelines to excercising, relaxing, and peace of mind that anyone can do. She advises you to go at your own pace which I like. This book will change your life. I am healthier, less stressed, more peaceful, and so much happier thanks to Ellie. BUY IT!!...more info
  • Small Changes, Big Results
    I really liked this book on how to change your lifestyle. It is a very doable plan. I look forward to completing the plan....more info
  • Realistic Approach to Healthy Lifestyle
    Ellie Krieger's approach to making healthy changes in eating and exercise are so doable. Results really feel big, while the changes are incremental....more info
  • small changes big results
    Not too much new information in this book written by a RD. I am a certified Chef and perhaps I am already aware of all of the info but am always trying to educate myself-this boo did not offer me this....more info
  • health conscience
    Ellie offers a lot of insight in healthy living. She has a lot of good, sound nutritional advice to offer regarding diet and exercise. She also gives you a standard of what foods to buy in terms of most healthy to least healthy. I would recommend this book!...more info
  • Great suggestions
    I love Ellies TV show on Food Network. This book has many of her best tips in one place plus the pacing allows you to take babysteps on the path to good health. I plan to send it to my Mom soon :)...more info
  • Big changes
    Love this book!! What a difference in my outlook on dieting and exercise! Thank you Ellie!...more info
  • Great book
    Wonderful book, easy changes to make in your life, can't wait to get started!! Her program is fun to watch and so informative. The book is a must read....more info
  • Enjoyable and informative-easy to follow
    I found the book enjoyable to read and easy to follow. Her tips are good and I especially found using the pedometer and heart monitor gave my work outs a better edge. I knew where my heart rate was during work outs and could see how much a little more made a difference.

    I also got her cookbook to make healthy yet tasty food....more info
  • Huge Waste of $
    Though I buy tons of books, I'm never one to write reviews. But this is so bad, I felt it was my duty to. I am insanely disappointed with this book. I read it cover to cover and there is not one new idea in here. Half of it seems stolen from a website I frequent of a woman who has lost 130 pounds. I wish I would have saved my $. Oh, and the food is totally bland. Ick! ...more info
  • Love the Book
    Love this book and it came just in time for the book signing at a local bookstore!!...more info
  • Not so good small changes
    The idea of small changes over 12 weeks sounds great, but I believe I could have come up with much better changes to make than what the author suggests....more info
  • A very Good Start
    For anyone just starting out with a lifestyle change this is a very good start. It will help you change your lifestyle step by step with a possitive and realistic attitude.

    Most people dont go from being a couch potato to living at the gym over night. Its a process that doesnt happen over night for the majority of people that are in need of life changes. This book will realistically help you get on your way to a better lifestyle.

    For anyone who's already educated about nutrition and diet I wouldnt recommend it. Its a VERY VERY good starter but for die hard health nuts its probably nothing you havent heard before. ...more info
  • Not for serious weight loss
    This program is not for people who have serious weight to lose. It is okay for people who just need a moderate eating plan for moderate weight loss.

    For all of us who need to lose 50+ pounds....get another program.

    It didn't work for me....more info
  • Great book!
    I have read this book twice and love all the practical tips that encompass all aspects of well-being.
    Ellie has a great way of presenting her information in clear and concise terms and it is an easy and even fun read!
    It gets me motivated to do more and continue down the path I have started several years ago.
    She covers all levels of fitness and lifestyles and current 'status' from those just rolling off the couch and knowing there is more to life out there, to those of who have been aiming for a better lifestyle over the years and maybe need some more motivation and sound advise to get all the way there.
    She writes like a good friend, who has your best interests at heart and knows how to convey it all without a preachy stance.
    I hope she writes more books and will definitely recommend
    this one to everyone I know.
    p.s. I bought it online for $6 on Amazon, the best deal yet!
    ...more info


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