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Sally Squires
Washington Post Health and Nutrition Writer
Tuesday, January 22, 2008; 1:00 PM

Confused about nutrition? Wondering how to fit in more physical activity? Welcome to the Lean Plate Club. Ask Sally Squires, nationally syndicated Lean Plate Club columnist for the Washington Post, about eating smart and moving more every Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET. Sally draws upon her master's degree in nutrition from Columbia University to preside over the lively Lean Plate Club web chat. Whether you're trying to reach a healthier weight or simply maintain it, you'll find plenty of tips and strategies.

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Share your own food finds, creative workouts and secrets for healthy, great tasting meals. We'll cheer your successes and help with your setbacks. (None of this, of course, is a substitute for medical advice.) E-mail Sally, author of the newly published Secrets of the Lean Plate Club (St. Martin's Press) at leanplateclub@washpost.com.

Or just sign up for the free Lean Plate Club e-mail newsletter. The Lean Plate Club column appears Tuesdays in the Washington Post Health section and is nationally syndicated by the Washington Post Writers Group. Find other Lean Plate Club members at www.frappr.com/leanplateclub.

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Discussion Transcripts

A transcript follows.

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Sally Squires: Welcome to the Lean Plate Club! I've just returned from a wonderful conference at the Culinary Institute of America's Greystone Campus in St. Helena, Calif. I appeared on a panel and got to spend the weekend watching cooking demonstrations of healthy Mexican, Middle Eastern, Indian foods as well as many great American creations.

Plus, I saw a lot of familiar and well respected nutrition scientists from Walter Willett to Janet King, chair of the 2005 U.S. Dietary Guidelines. It was fantastic. Yes, and I know tough duty--but someone had to do it! :-)

I am already trying some of the recipes for the wonderful foods that they served us, from Mark Furstenberg's breakfast cereal made in a slow cooker to Anissa Hellou's various creations. It was delicious, fun, inspiring and yes, healthy! So watch in coming weeks for recipes and more from this conference where I learned so much.

Now on to the chat!

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Alexandria, Va.: On doctors and weight gain with patients. Doctors need to ensure THEIR weight is good. It discredits their advice to patients on weight. I lost 28 pounds in a year and on my annual visit found my doctor had lost the same amount....good for him. My aunt's doctor told her to lose 25 pounds and she informed him that he needed to lose at least 50... neither have lost weight and now he doesn't mention her weight, which is not a favorable medical practice for an internist dealing with older patients. So, docs, get skinny and talk about the weight.

Sally Squires: Or at least reach a healthier weight--and talk about the weight. For those of you who have not yet read today's Lean Plate Club e-mail newsletter, I included an anecdote from a doctor that I met this weekend in California. He talked about how he had lost his temper with a patient who had lost and then regained about 18 pounds. I asked for comments on whether having your health professional yell at you helps or hinders your motivation for weight loss. Thanks Alexandria.

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Pasadena, Calif.: It depends on the relationship. Health care providers have to earn the right to be "tough" with their patients. It also depends on the tone and delivery of the message. Very few people respond well to being yelled at or scolded. They also do not respond well to being demeaned or put down. Providers also need to remember that the patients behavior is not a reflection on them and that it isn't personal. Lastly providers need to, at all times, stay professional with their patients.

Sally Squires: Good thoughts, Pasadena. And in this case, the patient in question was a new father, 39 years old. The doctor was concerned because this fellow had regained weight and wanted him to be around for his child--a very admirable goal. But it turned out that the man had regained the weight just after his child was born. I wondered if the stress of having a new baby--and probably less sleep--had contributed to his regain. The doctor hopes that the patient will return for care, but doesn't know if he will.

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Fairfax, Va.: I dread seeing my primary care physician because I have heart disease and I am 60 pounds overweight and every visit is about how I must lose weight or else I will have a heart attack or stroke. I lost 25 pounds in one year only to quickly gain almost all of it back. I am now trying to quickly lose it again before I must visit my doctor and have him find out that I have regained instead of losing more weight.

Sally Squires: I know it can seem daunting, but it's much better to see your doctor to have your blood pressure, blood cholesterol, etc tested. You need to know where you stand. And you might also ask your doctor for a referral to a registered dietitian or to a weight loss program that can help with your efforts. Despite reality shows to the contrary, weight loss isn't a spectator sport. And it can take a number of tries before you succeed. But the good news is that small amounts of weight loss--about 5% of your body weight--can significantly improve your risk.

You might also address the question head on, before your doctor brings it up and ask for more help.

Hope you'll let us know how it goes.

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South Portland, Maine: Just a comment: that doctor's attitude is exactly why so many overweight people avoid going to their physicians. Doesn't this doctor realize that MOST people regain the weight they lose?? They need support, not recriminations. The doctor's temper tantrum didn't do anything except make HIM feel better. He wasn't helping his patient at all. Shame on him.

Sally Squires: Well, in his defense, he said that he was a bit surprised at his own reaction and can't think of another time that he has yelled at a patient. Doctors can have tough days too...but I know what you're saying.

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Athens, GA: I have no health problems and was wondering what the thought is about what to have on my toast: real butter or the fake butter.

Sally Squires: Small amounts of real butter are okay, Athens. But so would be small amounts of healthy margarine or spreads such as Take Control, Promise, Benecol or Smart Balance. And don't forget nut butters either. Besides peanut butter, you can now get almond butter, sunflower seed butter, cashew butter...the list goes on and on. Plus, pumpkin, apple and other fruit and vegetable butters are other flavorful spreads for toast that also count towards your daily consumption of fruit and vegetables. There are lots of options. Even a little Greek yogurt with cinnamon or fruit can be wonderful.

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Washington, D.C.: Hello Sally,

I just bought some couscous from Whole Foods (open bins) and I'm not sure how much water to add to 1 cup of couscous.

Is couscous a high fiber grain? If not, which grains are?

Sally Squires: Couscous is not necessarily a whole grain, although you can now buy whole grain couscous. Couscous, which is used in many Middle Eastern dishes, is actually pasta made from semolina. The great thing about it is that it's ready in minutes, making it a fast food. Plus, you can put all kinds of vegetables, nuts and fruit with it for an endless list of tasty combinations. Serve it in place of rice or potatoes for another side dish at dinner. Or even as a snack. Yum!

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creating a calorie deficit: Sally, you've often said that in order to lose a pound or so a week, people need to create a daily 500 calorie deficit (preferably split between exercise and diet) and I understand that. However, does the formula change if one is on the birth control pill? I've been trying to lose weight unsuccessfully for the 8 years I've been on the Pill; I went off it for almost a year about 2 years ago and lost 10 pounds. Since I went back on the Pill a year ago, I've regained 10 pounds. The only other thing that changed during that time is that I doubled the amount of time I am spending at the gym from 3 days a week to 5 or 6 six times a week. I would have thought more exercise would help me lose weight, but nothing has happened. How much more should I cut back on calories or increase in exercise in order to finally lose weight?

Sally Squires: The Pill delivers some hormones and those hormones can cause water retention. Exercise has many benefits but it generally burns a lot fewer calories than most people think. (Just take a look at the Biggest Loser and see how some people despite four to five hours of activity per day--and much greater body weight than you likely carry--sometimes only lose a pound or two a week. And if you saw the show a couple of weeks ago, a couple of contestants--both women--either didn't lose weight for the week, or gained a pound!

Check what you're eating carefully for a couple of days to be sure that you calories are not creeping in. (That's very easy to occur.) Also, if you are relying on the calorie counts from the exercise machines at the gym, you might reconsider doing that since they are notoriously inaccurate.

What else can you do?

Keep drinking plenty of fluids and lighten up on sodium where you can. Also, you might add some extra fruit and veggies which are rich in potassium--which helps counteract sodium's effects. Also be sure that you are getting enough sleep. There's good evidence to suggest that can play a role too.

If the weight still doesn't start to come off in the next three to four weeks, you may want to ask your doctor about switching to a different pill. Another option is to have your thyroid checked just to be sure that is within normal ranges.

Hope that helps. Let us know how it goes!

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Washington, D.C.: I'm tired of eggs for breakfast and need some new ideas for high protein start to the day. Milk and cereal or oatmeal in milk just doesn't get me far enough into mid morning.

Sally Squires: We tried some wonderful new breakfast items this weekend, including small pizzas on whole grain crusts loaded with veggies.

Do you like smoothies--or would that be in the same taste category as milk for you? If not, then you might try making a smoothie with nonfat or low fat Greek style yogurt, about a cup of fruit and plenty of ice. Put in a blender. It's delicious and quite portable.

Hope that helps.

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A Must Try: Balsamic Chicken & Pears: Hi Sally and LPC'rs. I have a wonderful find to share, courtesy of Goodhousekeeping Magazine, Healthy in a Hurry...and actually to honor heart-healthy month:

1pkg frozen roma beans (I used 1cello pkg of fresh green beans from Trader Joes, microwaveable)

1 1/3c whole wheat couscous

1TBL plus 1 TSP olive oil

4 skinless chicken breast halves

2 Bosc Pears, unpeeled, cored, and cut into 8 wedges each

1 c. chicken broth

3 TBL balsamic vinegar

2 TSP cornstarch

1-Prepare beans and couscous as directed on pkg

2-Heat 1TBL oil in 12"skillet, add chicken, and cook 12 minutes, turning once (juices should be clear when slicing thickest part of chicken) Set chicken aside in dish

3-In same skillet, in remaining oil, cook pear wedges until brown and tender

4-In cup, mix broth, vinegar and cornstarch and add to skillet with pears. Heat to boiling on medium-high for 1 minute, and then return chicken and juices into skillet and heat through.

Serve chicken on a bed of couscous, green beans on side, and add pears on side. It's ad delicious as it is beautiful AND heart healthy, and total time is 25 minutes. Enjoy.

Sally Squires: Yum. Sounds great! And thanks for giving credit where credit is due.

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Whole Foods couscous: According to the Whole Foods "Bulk Basics" booklet, the grain-to-liquid ratio for couscous is 1 cup couscous to 1-1/2 cups liquid. The instructions are: "Boil water, add couscous, and simmer for 5 minutes." This booklet is a freebie from the bulk foods aisle.

Sally Squires: Thanks. We used to make couscous a lot when our kids were younger. I also used chicken broth--you could substitute low sodium--and frequently added raisins. Slivered nuts and grated carrots are also good. And as I recall, we used about 1/1 portions. But here's where you can play a little with ingredients and see what works for you.

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Mclean, Va.: I love drinking lots of water, but recently I got very ill from a GI infection, and though I'm okay now, for some reason, I do not have any desire to drink plain water -- which is very odd for me. Are there any good low calorie substitute drinks out there that are not too sweet that will let me get by until my taste for water comes back?

Sally Squires: Yes. Honest tea makes a drink for kids that is really quite refreshing and diluted fruit juice. It reminded me of an aqua fresca that the Culinary Institute also serves. And we tasted some wonderful beverages about to hit the market--I realize this won't help you now, of course--that were made from nice combinations like coriander and were not sweet. They had about 70 calories per 12 ounces.

You could also make your own sparkling beverage with seltzer and unsweetened fruit juice: pomegranate, blueberry, cranberry, etc. They add a little lime and a teaspoon of sugar or sugar substitute. You'll be way ahead of the game in terms of calories and hopefully can coax your taste buds back to beverages. You could also gradually decrease the fruit juice to take it down to just water with lime or lemon.

Hope that helps and hope you'll let us know how it goes.

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DC re: Couscous: My favorite way to eat couscous is to saute cumin and mustard seeds in oil, add onion, garlic, and ginger, and then add diced zucchini, green pepper, and carrots. Add currants, then couscous and water, cover, turn off heat, let sit for 10 minutes, and fluff with fork.

Sally Squires: Yum. Sounds delicious to me!

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Rockville, MD: I've recently been losing weight, not sure why as I don't exercise but do run around with two little ones all day. I'm down to a weight that is a bit lower than I'd like and I'd like to put on a few more pounds. I have high cholesterol but my blood pressure, sugar, etc. are all ok. What is a safe way to go about putting on weight without eating high fat foods? Thanks.

Sally Squires: High fat isn't necessarily to be avoided. You just want to choose foods that are higher in healthy fat. And you've got a lot of great options, starting with nuts and nut butter. They're calorie dense and contain healthy fat that is actually used by some researchers, such as David Jenkins at the University of Toronto to help lower blood cholesterol levels.

Soy nuts might be another option for you. They come in many flavors and are packed with protein and some healthy fat.

Also, you could have an extra serving of any healthy food. Figure that an extra 200 calories per day--beyond what you are burning--will add about 20 pounds per year. An extra 100 calories per day--beyond what you burn--will add about 10 pounds. So that gives you a sense of what you need to eat to gain weight.

Fish--particularly salmon--would be another good option for you. It's high in healthy fat. And need I mention that it also tastes great?

Good luck. A lot of people on this chat will likely moan when they read that you are trying to gain weight. But it's not an easy thing to do either.

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Tips for breakfast: For me, a good combination of protein and a little fat keeps me going further for breakfast. Have you tried putting a spoonful of nut butter or a handful of nuts along with a bit of flaxseed in your oatmeal or cereal? This makes it much more filling. I also mix a very small amount of granola with nuts into Greek yogurt, which has much more protein than the regular kind.

Sally Squires: All good suggestions. Thanks.

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Lothian, MD: Yep, no one likes to be yelled at BUT in a doctor's defense a patient comes in and is asking for him/her to solve their health problems. For many of us losing weight would improve our medical conditions yet ignore the advice to lose weight. I think most doctors would be pleased to just see a few pounds lost rather than an continued weight gain. They are people too, and most of all they want us to be healthy but it has to be very frustrating to see us and know we aren't doing the best for ourselves.

Sally Squires: That seemed to be the tipping point for this particular doctor who really was worried about the health of his patient. The key point is to go back to the doctor to make sure that all the important tests are done. Thanks for weighing in.

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Ohio: RE: Health professionals "yelling" at their patients.

They are being paid to render a service for which they have been trained. They are no better than their clients/patients, they are just educated in health care. They also, if they are not, need to be taught how to deliver their message to their clients/patients in a diplomatic manner, no condescending, holier than thou attitude, they would definitely get better results by pursuing better ways of conveying their diagnoses and decisions.

Sally Squires: This topic has sure generated a lot of interesting postings. Thanks for weighing in Ohio.

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Washington, DC: I've always avoided sushi but recently tried some spicy tuna rolls at a New Years party. They were pretty good and my host assured me that there were very few calories in them. What is regarded as a normal portion size for sushi for a 1500 calories per day diet? And should be I concerned about sodium, salmonella, etc? Thanks!

Sally Squires: Sushi can be quite low in calories. An ounce of tuna, for example, has about 30 calories. I'd guess that a single serving of sushi has at most an ounce, it may be less depending on the server. Plus there's rice--about 20 calories--and seaweed, which has negligible calories. So figure roughly 50 calories a piece for sushi.

How much can you eat on those 1,500 calories per day? Depends on what else you consumed. But given that it was New Year's Eve, you could have easily had 10 or so and been within a healthy range.

As for concerns: sodium should be pretty low unless you dip the sushi in soy sauce. Raw fish always carries a slightly greater risk of bacterial infection than cooked fish. But if you go to a reputable sushi restaurant or caterer, the odds are likely low for getting sick. Hope that helps. And don't forget that the sushi is also a source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. (Women who are pregnant or nursing or plan to become pregnant, should read the FDA and EPA warning and guidance on how much fish to consume that can be higher in mercury and other contaminants. ) We'll try to post a link with more info in a minute.

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Washington, D.C.: Not sure if you can help with me this, but I'd love any suggestions: Do you know of a grocery store where I can get besan/gram/chickpea flour for Indian snacks (onion bhajias etc.) I've tried all sorts of chain stores without success. I'm looking for somewhere Metro accessible. Thanks!

Sally Squires: I just was scouring Whole Foods for this very thing this weekend without success after returning from the Culinary Institute. Bob's Red Mill Flour makes a garbanzo bean flour that you can buy on-line.

MOM's Organic Markets--we'll try to post a link in a minute--carries garbanzo bean flour for $2.69 a bag and has it on the shelf now. I just talked to the College Park Store, but there are locations in Rockville and Frederick and elsewhere.

Another option: Yes! Organic Markets, which may carry it.

If anyone else out there knows another source for this flour, please e-mail me at leanplateclub@washpost.com.

Thanks!

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washingtonpost.com: Bob's Red Mill Chickpea flour

Sally Squires: Here's the link for MOM's Organic Markets, which also happens to be a participant in the Post Points programs. So if you are a Post subscriber, you can earn points for shopping there. (Commercial ends now.) :-)

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washingtonpost.com: My Organic Market

Sally Squires: Here you go...

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washingtonpost.com: Consumer Challenge: Making Head or Tail of Fish and Mercury (Post, Oct. 23, 2007)

Sally Squires: Here's the link to a recent LPC column about seafood.

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BMI for Asians: Interesting article today on the adjustments to BMI cutoffs across racial populations. Since the cutoff point for obesity in east Asians is lower, does that mean all other points are lower as well? What is the BMI range for normal?

Sally Squires: We closed our section early due to the holiday so I learned after we had gone to press that a BMI of 23 is the cutoff for overweight for Asians.

Another clever notion that a scientist e-mailed me today:

Take your height. Divide it in half. If your waist is larger, you know you have a problem.

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Dropping Weight after Pregnancy: Sally, what do you recommend as the best way to lose the weight gained during pregnancy? Do you have any specific diet or exercise recommendations?

Sally Squires: Take a look at the Mypyramid.gov Web site and find the special icon with the stork. This will give you the latest tools available, including an interactive tool to help you gain weight during pregnancy--or lose it afterwards.

If you're still nursing, you need some extra calories to produce breast milk. If you're not nursing, then cutting back in the usual way with fewer calories and more activity will help you gradually reach a healthier weight.

Did you have a boy or a girl?

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Philadelphia: Hi Sally. I've kept off a 60 pound weight loss for about a year but noticed my weight starting to inch up over the last few months. I was puzzled because it's not like anything has changed -- I'm still eating healthily, still exercising. The other day I decided to measure everything I ate for the day and found the answer -- I was eating more than I realized. A serving of peanut butter was really two, a bowl of cereal was two cups instead of one. I just didn't realize. I've decided on a new strategy to deal with this. Every month, on my pay day, I give my dogs their heartworm medicine, do a breast self exam, and pay my bills. I am now going to add one more task to that monthly schedule -- each month on pay day I will measure what I eat. That should help remind me about what an accurate serving size looks like.

Thanks for all your great ideas and inspiration (that's how I lost the 60 pounds in the first place)!

Sally Squires: That is such a great idea, Philly! And thanks for the example of how easy it is to experience calorie creep. Congratulations. You're really an inspiration! Thanks!

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Connecticut: My husband and I were discussing oatmeal vs. healthy cereal (e.g. lower carb, low sugar, whole grain)and had a couple of questions.

1. To get the benefits from it, do you need to eat it every day?

2. Do cereal and oatmeal provide equal benefits for lowering cholesterol and being good for the heart or is oatmeal better?

Thanks for any help in clarifying this!

Sally Squires: Eating oatmeal daily will give you more of its wonderful fiber, which is what helps reduce the bad type of cholesterol. But there are some whole grain wheat cereals that also carry the same heart claim from the FDA. So you could eat other cereals too, just be sure that they really are whole grain and filled with fiber.

You might also take a look at the Portfolio Plan, a regimen developed by David Jenkins at the University of Toronto and backed in part by some food groups, including as I recall, the Almond Board. But this approach which entails using a variety of foods, each known to reduce cholesterol a little, turns out to lower blood cholesterol about the same as some statin drugs. So it's worth a look.

We'll try to post a link in a minute, but are about out of time. If we don't get that URL up, do a Google search for the Portfolio Plan.

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Accokeek, Md: Hi Sally,

What about those catabolic foods? Do they really cancel calories?

Sally Squires: The body burns more calories in digesting protein than in digesting either fat or carbohydrates. But...if you're referring to the claim that some foods contain "negative" calories, because they take more to digest them than they contain, that does not appear to have scientific evidence to back it up. Sorry. It sounds good, though, doesn't it?

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How much exercise is enough and at what intensity?: I've been reading that it is necessary for some people to work out about 90 minutes a day to achieve and maintain their weight loss. I believe that came from the national weight control registry. My question is how intense do those 90 minutes need to be in order to see those king of payoffs. Do you need to be working out to the point where talking is difficult or is a 90 minute stroll in the park enough to achieve the same results? Thank you!

Sally Squires: It seems that a brisk pace--about 4 miles per hour--or about 15 minutes/mile (or its equivalent) is considered about the right level of intensity. Hope that helps.

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Doctors and weight: Someone needs to tell doctors that obsessing about their patient's weight in front of the patient (multiple comments about it in one visit) is counter productive. Most of us know we need to deal with it, and having our doctors fuss at us about it shuts down the dialogue and cancels any possible benefits -- including going back to that doctor.

Sally Squires: Well said. This item from the newsletter has certainly generated a lot of comments, as you'll also see from the next post too.

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Newport News, Va.: I responded to an entire lifetime of verbal abuse by doctors, beginning in childhood, by avoiding them except in emergencies for over 40 years. I had my first pleasant encounter with a doctor only a couple of years ago, after having lost 130 pounds on my own.

Sally Squires: Congratulations, Newport News! 130 pounds. That's fantastic. No wonder that doctor was pleased. Were you in shock to get a good reaction from a physician?

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Vegan/Vegetarian Diet for Health and Weight Loss: Hello Sally. Is there any risk in raising children on a vegan or vegetarian diet? This is something that I would like to do for my family for the new year, but I don't want to take any risks if this diet isn't advised for young children as well as adults.

Sally Squires: A vegetarian diet will likely be easier to do and give you a wider range of foods than strictly vegan. (And I'm sure that I'll get letters and e-mails about this.) Meeting calcium, iron and omega-3 fatty acids are the biggest concerns for kids.

So you will want to choose very carefully if you go this route, although it certainly can be done. Strict Seventh Day Adventists are vegetarian, so you might look on their Web site for more information as well as in the grocery for some of their products. Deborah Madison has an excellent vegetarian cookbook. Dean Ornish also has several, although they will be quite low in fat for kids since they are meant to help reverse heart disease. But reading them may give you some ideas.

You might also take a look at Diet for Small Planet, a classic that has been reissued in recent years. And then there are the Vegetarian Resource Group in Baltimore, as well as Vegetarian Times and other publications. Plus, you might check out the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine which takes a vegetarian--and sometimes vegan--approach to food.

Also, discuss this possibility with your children's pediatrician. You might ask for a referral to a registered dietitian who can help you make sure that you cover all the right nutritional bases for your kids.

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Silver Spring, Md.: My internist keeps a list posted of bad and good fats in her examining rooms and her office. She gives you the list every time you come in. She also has examples of "bad" fat food boxes/containers. She also sometimes gives me ideas about what to eat -- I am a vegetarian and I think her daughter is too. I think it is a doctor's job to talk about weight because what we eat can affect so much of our health. My doctor is not someone who yells and I am not overweight (although I should be about 8 pounds lighter to be in the center of the BMI range) -- so maybe it is easier for me to listen.

Sally Squires: Sounds like you've got a very special doctor. Thanks.

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Washington, D.C.: I'm interested in starting the F-Factor diet (high fiber), but I'm concerned that it is very meat heavy, and while I'm not strictly vegetarian, I eat fish or meat only once a week. The majority of my protein comes from beans, legumes and chickpeas. However, in the F-Factor diet, these are considered carbohydrates. So how does one alter the F-Factor diet to include vegetarians?

Sally Squires: At the Culinary Institute meeting this weekend, which was co-sponsored by the Harvard School of Public Health, we had a long discussion about putting dried beans, legumes, etc. in a group of their own. The current pyramid includes them in the protein group. But they can also be counted as vegetables.

I'd have to read the F

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Sally Squires: Sorry. My fingers hit the wrong button and I posted that last answer before I was finished. The F-Factor diet is high in fiber. I just took a look at it on line. It is a reduced calorie diet with between 990 to about 1,200 calories per day.

So instead of eating the 3 ounces of chicken recommended at lunch, you could substitute a 3 ounce veggie burger. Or tofu. Or tempeh. You get the idea. Ditto for dinner, where the entree is generally about 5 ounces of protein. You could also use beans.

Here's the deal: No diet works for everyone. Every diet works for someone. So try it. See if you like it and if it works for you. If it's something you can live with, then you're onto something good. From a quick look, I don't see anything that gives me pause about it. But I took a quick look. Let us know how it goes. Fiber is a very good thing. Most of us don't eat nearly enough.

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Pennsylvania: Thanks for all the online support through the articles, newsletter, and chats. My question: what are your thoughts on "The Beck Diet Solution"? I like the idea of a psychological approach to breaking the hand to mouth habit, but I wanted to get some feedback before investing in yet another (sigh) weight loss book. Any thoughts? Thanks much.

Sally Squires: Addressing the psychological reasons for eating is a very smart idea particularly if you find that you are likely to be an emotional eater who gets carried away when you're stressed, tired, sad, happy, you get the idea.

As with the previous posting, no diet works for everyone. Every diet works for someone. You may also want to take a look at Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink or at the Perfect Fit Diet by Lisa Sanders and Changing for Good by James Prochaska and others. All address the psychological issues that can underlie eating too much.

Hope that helps. Let us know how it goes. Thanks.

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Sally Squires: Thanks to all for a great chat. Join me throughout the week at the new Lean Plate Club Discussion Group, at www.leanplateclub.com/discussiongroup.

Winners today are:

Philly, Newport News, Whole Foods Couscous and A Must Try.

Please send your name and address to leanplateclub@washpost.com and please include winner in the subject line for faster handling.

Until next week, eat smart and move more with the Lean Plate Club! Thanks to all.

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Editor's Note: washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions. washingtonpost.com is not responsible for any content posted by third parties.


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