Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:
Okay the new year is here. Diet time. Health and exercise time. No
more platters of treats at the office. No more parties and potlucks with
everyone’s favorite ways of packing sugar, fat, salt and everything else
that tastes good and has landed on my butt and thighs. But I am out
of the habit of saying No to myself. I have been eating freely since
before Thanksgiving and I simply don’t think I have an off switch any
longer. Do I go cold turkey, try to slow down and ease my way into
rational eating, or just bite the bullet and join a gym and go every day
after work?

Dear Helllppp:
There’s many platitudes about dieting that all turn out to be true,
some from mothers of many generations, and some from places like
Weight Watchers. Here’s a few: The best diet is any one that you will
stick with. Eat less and move more. Nothing tastes as good as being
thin feels.

All of which said, here’s some simple tips: Focus your life around real
food, live food, whole food like vegetables and fruit. Eat a salad for
lunch and for dinner. Make dessert equal fruit. Focus on whole grains
instead of simple carbohydrates. Avoid anything processed. If there’s
more than three ingredients or if you cannot pronounce any of them,
don’t buy it or put it in your mouth. Allow yourself an occasional treat,
but agree ahead of time what and how big it is. Limit daily intake to a
reasonable number of calories. Speaking of which, count them, by
hand or with a phone or computer app. move more. Walk every day at
least 30 minutes, and make sure that you go faster/further each day.
Going gluten free may net faster results. No matter what, make sure
you commit to a solid month of withdrawing permission about what
you put in your mouth. Remember how to say No. Last and most
important, if you screw up a particular meal, don’t write off the rest of
the day; eat healthier the next meal.

Yes you’ve fallen, but you are redeemable. When you start to feel
better you’ll be even more enthused about staying on program.