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To Diet or Not to Diet?


Woman’s Day exhorts us to “Drop those pounds”. O magazine promises “weight loss that sticks”. Family Circle suggests it’s the key to happiness in its “Lose weight. Feel great” and Woman’s World is advertising a breakthrough belly fat cure!

Everywhere we look someone or something is pressuring me to lose those extra pounds. Do they think I don’t have a mirror? Don’t they know I’m conscious of it every second of the day? Do they have to rub it in?!!

And don’t they know that most of us have tried every new weight loss plan (diet is a bad word these days, we can only say ‘weight loss’) under the sun. The problem with most diets (oops!) however, is that they’re not realistic. They’re not suited to eating out or entertaining. They’re frequently not geared to those of us who have to feed a large hungry horde at dinner every night of who are tempted to eat that whole loaf of challah every Friday!

But I believe there are a few secrets to successful dieting – or healthier living, which is my euphemism.

One, based on the wisdom of the famous physician and philosopher, Maimonides, is “everything in moderation”. If we feel too restricted, we’ll rebel. (And it won’t be pretty!)

Two, in accordance with this philosophy, an important tip, especially for Americans, is to reduce portion size. When I was expecting my first child, my husband said that “I ate like a truck driver!” That may have worked under those particular circumstances but it’s not a wise lifestyle choice. Take smaller portions – and avoid seconds.

Three; all smart dieters and chefs know that we’ll be satisfied with less if the flavor stands out, if each bite has real vibrancy and zing. If we focus on making creative, flavorful meals, we’ll be able to savor each bite – slowly – and not gobble our way to the finish.

Maybe we should get rid of that word “diet”. It smacks of a very limited regimen of very bland foods. If you open yourself up to new tastes and menus – try our latest offerings – the sky is the limit. You’ll be too busy cooking to eat…