Since I began this web site, it’s obvious to me that there are thousands or millions of articles telling people how to be healthy and fit: just eat “right” and exercise. So easy as to almost be boring. How many times do people need to hear or read these almost identical words of well-meant guidance? But humans aren’t logical. We are emotional and often take actions that are against our better interests. As one friend said to me over 20 years ago, “I knew what I was doing, and I didn’t want to do it. I just couldn’t stop myself.”

Maybe it takes the 10th or the 99th article to stimulate a reader to make a meaningful change in her behavior. I will keep trying. So here is another good one by author and wellness expert Kathy Freston, who interviewed Dr. Dean Ornish about diet and losing weight. You can read the whole article here after glancing at some of the excerpts below.

Everyone knows that diet and exercise play a role in how much we weigh, but many are surprised to learn what a powerful role emotional stress has in causing us to gain weight and how stress management techniques can help us to lose it and keep it off…

Good carbs are whole foods. These include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and soy products in their natural, unrefined, unprocessed forms. Because these good carbs are unrefined, they are naturally high in fiber as well. The fiber fills you up before you eat too much…

Diets that are high in animal protein are usually high in saturated fat, which promotes both heart disease and cancer…Fat (from any source) has nine calories per gram, whereas protein and carbohydrates have only four calories per gram. Thus, when you eat less fat, you consume fewer calories even if you eat the same amount of food—because the food is less dense in calories…

As you begin to eat more healthfully, your taste preferences change. You begin to prefer foods that are more healthful. And you connect the dots between what you eat and how you feel…

KF: What is a reasonable rate of weight loss?

DO: In most cases, no more than three pounds/week.

KF: What if we want to lose weight faster; is there a healthy way to do it?

DO: Do more exercise and meditation and eat smaller amounts of healthy foods and less salt. Regular exercise not only burns calories, it also raises your basal metabolic rate, the number of calories you burn while at rest. Thus, exercise helps you lose weight even when you’re not exercising. Do some strength training as well as aerobic exercise. Walking a mile burns even more calories than running a mile. Exercise in ways that you enjoy, then you’re more likely to do it. If it’s fun, it’s sustainable.

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