Diets stink, and losing weight is hard work. End of story.
Or maybe it's just the beginning. Your new healthy eating habits can start here. Today.
To aid all of us who struggle with weight, I'm fanatically on the hunt for not-too-painful tips from those who have lost pounds and, most important, keep them off.
Which is why I asked Judy Weitzman for her good ideas. She lost 50 pounds and has not gained it back over the past 30 years.
She knows it's not easy. That's why she wrote the book, "How to Eat When Life Gets in the Way."
She shares healthy eating strategies for various ethnic restaurants, parties, buffets, salad bars, at work, fast food, picnics and other eating (and drinking) obstacles reality throws at us.
Foremost, says Weitzman, "You can't look at it like it's a diet. You have to look at changing behaviors. … If you change your behaviors you're going to lose weight."
Salads: This weight-loss staple can actually be death to healthy eating. Dressing is a calorie hand grenade. Don't slather; instead dip your fork in and then spear your salad. Add these with great caution: nuts, cheese, dried fruit, creamy anything, bacon, croutons.
Giant restaurant portions: Ask immediately for a container and save lots for later.
Buffets: Danger zone. Choose only four things, two of them vegetables. Visit only once.
Three o'clock slump: Protein snacks instead of chips or candy. Bring a "deviled egg" with 1 tablespoon of hummus instead of the egg yolk (52 calories).
Your must-haves: Take a small portion (potato chips, peanut butter) then put the rest far away for later.
Desserts: Two bites only. OK, maybe three.
Any time: Think you're hungry? Try drinking water, brushing your teeth, turning out the kitchen light and declaring it "closed."
Got a bite-size tip on diet, exercise, well-being? Email email@example.com.