You risk losing many of the benefits of calorie restriction once you stop dieting. But I'm convinced you can incorporate many of the discoveries of calorie-restricted diets into your life in a more moderate and sustainable way so that your health benefits can last:

* Exercise. It naturally clears glucose from your bloodstream and that keeps insulin levels low. It creates a condition physiologically similar to calorie restriction. People who are more active have less disease and live longer. Reducing refined sugar and flour may also help reduce blood sugar and insulin.

* Eat more foods high in antioxidants such as green tea and deeply colored vegetables and fruits: Berries, spinach, kale, cabbage and broccoli, pumpkin and carrots are some examples.

* To reduce inflammation, eat more foods high in omega-3 fatty acids -- fatty fish such as salmon, herring and sardines, or vegetarian sources such as walnuts and flax seeds.

* Lose weight. It will reduce metabolism, hormones, growth factors and cell proliferation. Also, reduce saturated fats, found mostly in animal fats.

* To keep calories at low but healthy levels while still feeling full, increase consumption of high- fiber, high-water- containing, nutrient- dense, low-calorie foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. Reduce consumption of nutrient-poor, calorie- dense processed and refined foods such as chips, crackers and sweets.

-- Katherine Tallmadge