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Bathing suit or muumuu: That is the Question?

by the Social Diary Health Expert Columnist Ruth S. Jacobowitz
Column #14, June 11th, 2006

With swimsuit season upon us, there I was looking around my favorite book
store to check out the new diet books before heading to the La Jolla Beach &
Tennis Club to beach not racquet.
The number of books concerned with weight
seems to double or triple each time I make my summer pilgrimage to their
shelves. I bought a number of them, at least those that seemed to have
something new to say and then came home to 'Google' weight loss books to see
what else I could find.

There right on WedMD, I found a press release by their director of
nutrition, Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD and read her list of favorite diet
books. It was hard to believe that I had purchased many of the books that
she recommended. Armed with a bowl of carrot and celery sticks, I sat down
to see what's what and what's new in dieting.

I suggest that the only new consideration, and it is an important one, is
determining what works with your lifestyle
because if dieting is only a
sometime thing---like two weeks to a new you---forget it. Search for an
eating plan, not a diet, that you can continue forever. I know that I
Atkinsed myself into needing Welchol, a cholesterol-lowering medicine. In
fact after I had my routine blood work done, my physician telephoned me to
ask a precise question and deliver the news. She said, "What have you been
doing differently to raise your LDL (the bad cholesterol) so precipitously?"

I admitted to my high protein diet. You know the kind---eggs, bacon, cheese,
meat, etc. in unlimited quantities to quell my hunger and make me sleek.
Well, sleek comes slowly or not at all and cholesterol raises occur quickly.
So here I am not bathing suit perfect with a new medication---three pills
taken twice a day with meals. That's what sent me to the bookstore.

"Okay" I said to myself, "Self, this is it this time we find an eating plan
that has a beginning, but no end."

I know that all diets work briefly but what I needed was a plan that worked
for me. The basic rules remain the same. Eat less and move more and you'll
lose pounds and that can work for me for about six weeks maximum and then,
feeling sorry for myself, I begin to add back the foods I feel I'm deprived
of-big time!

For me, portion control seems vital and filling up on vegetables can help.
Also eating meat seems to slow or stop my weight loss and eating fish seems
to advance it.

The following are the books that I bought, some new and some not so new,
because they appeared to be helpful and that Kathleen Zelman recommended
along with her description of them. Let's look.

1. The Way to Eat by David Katz, MD, MPH, and Maura Gonzalez, MS, RD
(Sourcebooks, 2002).
Katz is a well-respected obesityobesity expert who
knows how to simplify the science behind weight loss with helpful tips on
how to make small changes for lifelong weight control. Included in the
six-step plan are skills and strategies to help dieters master control over
eating so they never have to go on a diet.
2.The Step Diet by Jim Hill, PhD, John Peters, PhD, and Bonnie
Jortberg, MS, RD (Workman Publishers, 2004).
Even though the word "diet" is
in the title, this little book (comes with a pedometer) is a wonderful
compilation of tips, ideas, and step counts to help get you moving and
improve your lifestyle. All you need is a good pair of sneakers to walk your
way to weight loss.
3.Volumtetrics Weight-Control Plan by Barbara Rolls, PhD, and Robert
Barnett (Quill Books, 2000).
Eat more food and lose weight is the premise of
this book. The authors explain the scientifically proven method of "energy
density" and teach you how to bulk up meals with foods that fill you up on
fewer calories. Recipes are included to help get you started eating foods
that won't leave you hungry and help you trim your waistline.
4.Thin for Life by Anne Fletcher, MS, RD (Houghton Mifflin, 2003).
Secrets from successful losers are the foundation of this reality diet book.
The author interviewed hundreds of successful "masters" who have lost weight
and kept it off to come up with 10 keys to successful weight loss.
5. No Fad Diet: A Personal Plan for Healthy Weight Loss by the
American Heart Association (Clarkson Potter, 2005).
This is the first diet
book from the esteemed AHA touting three simple tenets to permanent weight
loss - "think smart, eat well, and move more." It has recipes and meal plans
at 1,200, 1,600, and 2,000 calories along with lots of helpful tips on how
to resist temptation and eat for a healthier heart.

* Ruth S. Jacobowitz is a health advocate, lecturer, and the author of five consumer health books and a lecturer on health matters. Her newest book is Final Acts—a novel. Visit Ruth at her web site www.ruthjacobowitz.com .


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