Health & Spirit

Sick of Dieting? Sick from Dieting? Read This Now.

Marilynn Preston on

--Food cravings are real. Diets based on forbidden foods push people to eat more, not less. When the diet ends -- successful or not -- people regress to their previous eating habits ... and the pounds come back, plus a few more just to add to the overall sense of failure.

So if diets don't work to reduce obesity, what does? That's the billion-dollar question, and Kravitz's extensive roundup of contemporary research has led him to this smart, sensible conclusion: Make small changes. Cut calories by eating one piece of bread instead of two. Or make simple substitutions, like mustard for mayo.

Small changes -- better than diets, better than pills, better than all the traditional dietary interventions -- are easier to do and maintain. Choose an olive oil dressing on your salad instead of a creamy one. Switch from a glass of orange juice to a cup of cantaloupe. Split a main course.

"There's no way of getting around it," Kravitz explains, "a person who eats and drinks too much is going to gain weight, and a person who seeks to lose weight must limit calorie intake."

Limiting is way different than dieting. It starts where you are, and builds on small steps that bring a feeling of success, not failure. The small-change strategy that Kravitz writes about is based on years of research and observation by James Hill and others, reported in 2009 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

"Small changes are more realistic to achieve and maintain than large ones," says Kravitz. The diet industry fails us by focusing on which foods we should eat, instead of how much we are eating and drinking.

Kravitz's article includes 50 small changes you can make to cut calories. I'll end with a few of my favorites, but here's what you need to understand: No one changes because some expert tells you to. You're in charge. It's your readiness to change that matters.

If you are ready, try these tricks:

--Have your burgers without the bun. Or just go with half a bun.

--Avoid anything that says "double" or "triple" or "supersize."

--Swap out fries for veggies; extra cheese for extra lettuce and tomato.

--Name your favorite foods and continue to enjoy them, in smaller portions.

--Can the soda.


"Since a bagel today is equivalent to about five slices of bread, try a breakfast of egg whites, fruit and a quarter bagel instead." -- Len Kravitz


Marilynn Preston is the author of Energy Express, America's longest-running healthy lifestyle column. Her new book "All Is Well: The Art {and Science} of Personal Well-Being" is available now on Amazon and elsewhere. Visit Creators Publishing at to learn more. For more on personal well-being, visit

Copyright 2018 Creators Syndicate Inc.


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