We have become a country of out-of-control binge and compulsive eaters. Everywhere you see admonitions to eat better, eat healthy foods, eat for weight control not for pleasure. A healthy diet will prolong your life in years and in health. The attack on diets has extended to the school cafeterias, to fast food chains, to even the most prestigious restaurants. No question that the direction is correct but is all this flurry of excitation producing the desired results. The jury is still out from polls, evaluations and parental watchfulness, but continuing to be aware of the rapid growth in the number of overweight children and adults indicating the anticipated changes are slow to arrive.

It is valuable that the government has produced new criteria for establishing healthier diets. But it will have little impact until individuals change their attitude about eating. We must primarily eat for health and only secondarily for pleasure. Most healthy diets can be both delicious and highly satisfying, however.

Whatever you call the needed changes overcoming negative mindsets, overcoming negative attitudes and behavior relating to food, developing a self-regulated behavioral program for adults and children or just using plain will-power, the essential need is to transform attitudes.

It is not as difficult as you might surmise. Here is a brief rundown on what you need to do.

1. Use whatever diet you prefer that cuts your calorie input by 500 calories a day. That will give you a weight loss per month of 4 to 5 pounds from diet alone. You can lose more through exercise and fluid loss.

2. Use water to fill your stomach with each meal and with each snack. Drink one glass of water before starting to eat and at least one glass during the meal. Drink gl glass with each snack.

3. Learn to enjoy and respect the readings on your scale. Weight yourself each morning and when the scale indicates you have gained weight from the previous day do not despair. Rather realize that most weight gain on a daily basis is water retention from excess salt. Eating an additional 800 to 1000 calories of food in a single day can cause an elevation of weight up to three pounds due to salt and water retention. It takes an extra 3500 calories to produce one pound of actual flesh. By drinking an additional 1 gl glasses of water per pound earned you will lose your extra weight in 1 or 2 days. Kidneys will excrete the excess water and take the salt with it.

4. Establish a stabilization period by only dieting one month at a time and in the alternate months learn to control your food intake so you either gain or lose weight. You become adept at weight control by doing it on the alternate months. When you reach your ideal weight you will be much more capable of maintaining your weight loss.