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Weighing in on “Weighing In”

April 10th, 2014

 Here is a recent Thin From Within entry from Psychology Today:


It’s a common question, with an answer that has shifted over time:  “How often should I weigh myself?” asks the person hoping to lose.  That person may well know the excitement of seeing the lower number….as well as the distress that an unchanged—or worse, higher!—number can bring.  More than once, this same person may have experienced the “weighing in” as the “giving up”  point of an effort to eat differently. Read the rest of this entry »


Addictive Foods: Eat More, Want More….Eat Less, Enjoy More?

March 4th, 2014

Read this recent post on my “Thin From Within” blog at Psychology Today!



How Can a Diet Book Help You Lose Weight?

January 17th, 2014

Read here my recent Psychology Today “Thin From Within” blog:  http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/thin-within/201401/how-diet-books-can-help-you-lose-weight

At this time of year, we’re bombarded by new advice.  Here’s how to make sense of it.


TOOLS, IDEAS, AND INSPIRATION: Eat More Sanely in 2014

January 3rd, 2014


Just as surely as December brings candy and and egg nog, January brings weight loss plans.  If you’ve followed my previous years’ resolution blogs (see the Holidays archive), you know that I lean toward the one or two small changes that stick.  The overhaul-everything-January-1st approach doesn’t boast a good success rate, after all.  This year, I’ve noticed more of a trend in the popular press toward that favored idea:  focus on eating more vegetables, for instance, or improving your breakfast.  Here I round up some of the most helpful articles I’ve seen recently:

On eating more vegetables  Here’s a change that allows you add, rather than cut down.  Eating more vegetables can improve your health, whatever happens weight-wise, and tends to help a lot in the weight department, too.  These articles may ease your way to those additional servings daily:
Eat Two Pounds of Vegetables (Rule #1)
   *Healthy Habit #1:  Eat 3 More Veggie Servings Each Day
   *Sustainable Resolutions
     *Vegetables:  More and More and More!

And/or nuts!  Research backs what many nutritionists and diet coaches have long promoted—nuts may be high in calories, but a little goes a long way in terms of keeping you full and ultimately eating less.
*Are Nuts a Weight Loss Aid?

On learning portion control  We Americans tend toward very large food portions.  It takes effort, and time to get used to and satisfied with, more moderate ones.  These articles offer helpful strategies for getting that process going:
The Power of Portion Control
    *What’s Your Portion Personality (10/13 issue, Cooking Light, Nutrition Made Easy, by Phillip Rhodes) Read the rest of this entry »


Holiday Damage Control: It’s That Time Again

November 21st, 2013

 Maybe you’ve worked really hard to lose weight this year.  Maybe you’ve started eating better, no matter what your weight.  Maybe it’s been on-again/off-again, but you’re pushing for more “on-again”.  No matter what, this is the “perfect storm” season for backtracking:  lots of tempting food, everywhere.  Stress, family pressures, too much to do.   More alcohol, less sleep.  Routines out of whack.   It’s hard to avoid setback, yet so rewarding when setback’s at least minimized.  January 1st comes soon and hard enough without 10 pounds to lose.

To help you through, check out these links, to the Eat Sanely holiday archives  (note especially “The Joys of Just Maintaining“), and to our favorite help-you-through-the-holidays articles from.   Some of this support hones specifically on the holiday overloads; some can serve you well all year long. Read the rest of this entry »


Counting More Than Calories: Factoring in months and years

October 30th, 2013

As we near our most weight-challenging season, I think about those who manage to navigate without gaining a “holiday seven”…..especially, those who now move through the feasts and parties and candies and dips without regaining.  There’s useful advice to be found in the media, on planning ahead, lightening traditional foods, taming stress.   A factor often neglected in weight discussions, though, is time.  Those who make lasting habit changes usually have come to appreciate the role of time.  And this sticks with them throughout even the challenging periods.

In contrast to lose-it-quick dieters, people who grasp the time factor might note something like, “It’s taken me 27 years to put the pounds on…..I guess it might take two to get if off.”   Whether they know it or not, they’re confirming the idea that “change is a process”.  And that time-limited dieting will never lead to the kind of day-in, day-out, year-in, year-out, habits and attitudes that maintain thinner physiques. Read the rest of this entry »


Sugar News, Sugar Blues

October 3rd, 2013

I reprint here my latest Thin From Within blog from Psychology Today:

Those of us concerned with diet, health, weight, eating disorders, and addiction follow what I call “Sugar News” with great interest.   Starting, perhaps, in 2011, with the New York Times story “Is Sugar Toxic?”, followed by a 60-Minutes segment with the same name, the public has had  increasing exposure to what Overeaters Anonymous has known for years:  some people just can’t stop.   We’ve learned that sugar lights up addicts’ brains as clearly as drugs do.  Further, we’ve learned that it may be sugar, and not fat, fueling diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and other diseases on the rise.

National Geographic now steps forward as the latest major magazine headlining Sugar News.   “Sugar Love:  A Not So Sweet Story”, by Rich Cohen, recounts our species’ historical love affair, and its significant struggles, with the substance that was once used sparingly, as a rare spice.  (We now consume, on average, 78 lbs. per person, per year—some spice!)    Cohen not only reviews sugar’s health tolls but provides deep perspective on why and how it spurs such rampant problems.

Other recent news, however, jars in contrast.   For the latest review of our nation’s eating trends, well summarized by the New York TimesJane Brody last week, shows little change in our sweet consumption.  That 78 lbs. per person remains stable, even if it is down somewhat from its all-time high.  It’s still way too high, about 22 teaspoons per day.    “….Cut back, many of the ill effects disappear…..”, one prominent medical researcher admonishes.  But it seems the increasingly frequent headlines—calling sugar a toxin, a poison, a drug—haven’t nudged our behavior all that much, at least not yet.

Realistically speaking, however, mass changes can take a long time.  It might take decades for these relatively recent findings to affect individual habits.  It might in fact require changes in public health policy (think here of tobacco research).   In the shorter run, though, Sugar News most certainly bolsters a group that sometimes does, and sometimes does not, overlap with the obesity stats:  the binge eaters, or self-identified food addicts.   Many in these groups benefit immediately from Sugar News.   Indeed, new and affirming paths for healing open as a result. Read the rest of this entry »


One New Fall Habit: BYO Lunch

September 12th, 2013

Throughout the fall, I’ll be picking up on the dozen “fall change” targets listed in the recent Eat Sanely newsletter (see just below).  The first idea?  Bringing your own lunch to work.  If you’re not in the habit of doing so, prepare for calorie reduction, better nutrition, and possibly even less grazing later on.  All from this one habit shift.

People who successfully make this change report things like:  “I don’t go to the food court every day anymore”, “I end up with more energy and don’t get as hungry in the afternoon”, “It’s easier to eat more vegetables”, “It keeps me out of the conference room, where the big spread always tempts me”.

What to bring?  Coincidentally, the New York Times “Flexitarian” columnist, Mark Bittman, recently published “Thinking Inside the Bag” on this very topic.  His ideas emphasize the delicious and satisfying.  They include nice, fresh ingredients.  You can do even less, though, in the way of prep.   Consider these routine alterations: Read the rest of this entry »



September 12th, 2013

Eat Sanely’s September 2013 Newsletter is reprinted here….also, we’re again offering a dozen free Kindle downloads of our self-help workbook:  Eat Sanely:  Get Off the Diet Roller Coaster for Good.   Just send your email address to drkatz@eatsanely.com

As we say farewell to summer and return to fall routines, know that this is a potent time for planting the seeds of new eating habits.  For a variety of reasons, fall resolutions can work better than those made on January 1.  This means better chances of weight loss success and improved fitness.  What’s more, planting now means habits can take root by the holiday season, maybe saving you from inevitable weight gain then.

Regular followers know that Eat Sanely promotes lasting habit change as the key to weight loss and maintenance.  Any of the dozen ideas below can become a significant step forward toward your healthy weight goals.  Pick one or two to focus on, stick with them as best you can, pick yourself up and refocus if you get off track.  Later in the season, you’ll see that change for the better.  And success with that first one or two can breed more success with other targets.  So use this time of readjustment to get real change underway!

Read the rest of this entry »


“Food is a Wonderful Place to Hide”

September 5th, 2013

I reprint here the most recent post from my Psychology TodayThin From Within” blog:

In a true sign of our times, binge eaters have shown up significantly in the pages of several  novels I’ve read this year.  In one fine example, The Middlesteins, by Jami Attenberg, the powerful, overeating protagonist affects the lives of family and friends in far-reaching ways.    In the end, one character comprehends how “….food is a wonderful place to hide.”

For many, starting in childhood or beyond, food becomes a source of solace and a companion–not only in hard times, but at the end of even normally stressful days.   It’s something to look forward to, something that’s reliably there.  This powerful emotional bond may be fully conscious, or not.  When it exists, as it does for many who overeat, it’s no wonder that the diet of the moment won’t work, or that new regimes don’t last.  In the lists of which foods to eat and avoid, dealing with the loss of this sanctuary gets missed, and the cycle of dieting and overeating resumes. Read the rest of this entry »