down and tighten up If the arrival of swimsuit season has strengthened your motivation to get in shape, the latest fitness books offer valuable advice on exercising and eating sensibly this summer and every season of the year.

With a foreword by the renowned Dr. Kenneth Cooper, founder of the aerobics movement, Active Living Every Day: 20 Weeks to Lifelong Vitality is not just another exercise book. Developed by scientists and presented in medical education agencies across the country, this is a self-paced, 20-step program that includes checklists, charts and color photos that make all the information clear and easy to understand. Particularly interesting are the "signpost" notations such as Activity Alerts, Myth Busters, Expert Advice, Up Close and Personal, Did You Know? and Weighing In. There's no mystery about how to stay trim and tight, yet 40 to 50 million people don't exercise at all. If you're part of that group, this book will appeal to you especially if you've found it difficult to start and maintain an exercise program.

Suzanne Somers' Eat, Cheat, and Melt the Fat Away will interest anyone who wants the basics on food-combining. Referring to the work of endocrinologist Diana Schwarzbein, Somers points out that sugar and starchy carbohydrates, not fat, are the real culprits that make you gain weight. Somers' program has become popular because, in addition to offering delicious recipes, it is also convenient to maintain if you travel frequently. This latest book offers more than 100 new recipes and features desserts made with a new sweetener that won't put on the pounds or raise your insulin level. Suzanne Somers' Eat, Cheat, and Melt the Fat Away is perfect for those who want an uncomplicated nutrition plan with no calorie, fat or carbohydrate counting.

Personal trainer Jim Karas says his new volume, The Business Plan for the Body: Get Serious, Get Thin, Get Fit, is the "first book to apply the concepts of a business plan to a successful weight loss strategy." To motivate readers, Karas uses language that every business professional will understand: Mission Statements, the Competition and the Management Team. We are the "largest nation in the western world, weighing on average 16 pounds more than our neighbors in Western Europe," says Karas, a Wharton business school grad who creates fitness plans for CEOs. With the author's advice, busy professionals will learn how to implement simple eating guidelines and stick to a regular exercise program. Dr. Shapiro's Picture Perfect Weight Loss Shopper's Guide is a small pocket companion for grocery store shopping. Dr. Howard Shapiro, author of the best-selling Picture Perfect Weight Loss: The Visual Program for Permanent Weight Loss, believes shedding pounds starts in the supermarket with "awareness training," which involves making good food choices. Using color photos, check lists, tips and nutritional pointers, the book shows readers how to become supermarket-savvy by reading food labels, stocking the pantry with healthy items and adding variety to your weight loss program. Think you're losing weight by eating reduced fat items? Then pay attention to the chapter on "Food Saboteurs." Shapiro's book offers common sense grocery shopping that everyone should practice.

Win the Fat War for Moms by Catherine Cassidy is a book for all mothers of young children. It offers 120 secrets to losing post-pregnancy pounds. The tables, photos and real-life stories motivate moms to do what seems impossible shed the baby weight. There are lists of foods that fend off prenatal discomforts, nutrient information for nursing moms and strength training tips to get mothers back on the road to postpartum fitness. The photos alone will convince any new mother that her curves need not be a thing of the past.

Pat Regel lectures on weight loss and fitness for business professionals and travelers.

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