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A line that has been oft-quoted here on MNB over the past few years comes courtesy of Charles McCord, who once said that the reason there are so many diet books on the best-seller list is that the ones that were there last week didn’t work.

True words.

The fact is that there are a lot of people out there who write books and produce videos about this diet and that, saying that we need to eat this food and avoid that one. And somehow, even if the diets themselves never quite go this far, the marketing always seems to suggest that there is a magic bullet that will create quick weight loss with a minimum of sweat. This is smart marketing, because who among us can resist the siren call of instant gratification as we endeavor to look and feel better, to live longer?

It is, of course, utter nonsense.

I think that there are probably just six words needed to sum up the best way to lose weight. Six little words that have nothing to do with instant gratification, that do not suggest a painless solution, but that are, in the end, utterly accurate.

Here they are:

"Eat less. Eat smart. Move more."

That's it.

Now, this may sound simplistic, but I think I know what I'm talking about here. While I spend a lot of time talking about obesity and nutrition issues here on MorningNewsBeat, I looked at myself late last year and realized that I was a hypocrite. I was fat. I was 223 pounds, which is a lot more than a guy 5'9" should be. It hurt to run, I got breathless going up stairs, and it seemed as if a lifetime of fighting my weight problem had ended up in a loss.

However, I had some motivation. First of all, I'm 53, and I'd like to think that I'm only half done. And, it started to look as if our new project might take off, in which case I’d be spending some considerable time on camera, which would only make me look heavier.

So I changed my life.

I consulted a nutritionist, who really only confirmed things I already knew but gave me a framework within which to work. I started eating smarter by cutting down on portions. I decided to skip most desserts, though on special occasions I indulged. I started drinking a ton of water, but I still have wine four or five nights a week, and even the occasional beer when I'm in the mood. I started eating a lot more fish, and cut back on the red meat, though there was virtually no product that was off limits – it was all a matter of paying attention and staying focused on my goals. And, I got lucky…Stew Leonard's started making fresh rice cakes in-store, 17 calories apiece, so when I got hungry I would just have a couple of those with some fresh hummus, and that would get me through.

And here's what else I did. I got serious about exercising. I always was a jogger, and even have run two marathons in my life, but I got lazy about it, in part because MNB has a crazy schedule. But late last year, I decided to indulge in a longtime fantasy and joined a boxing club near my house. Since January 1, whenever I am in town, I've been in the gym at least four or five days a week, jumping rope, doing situps (I'm up to 400 in sets of 100), working out on the heavy bag and taking a twice-weekly class for at least an hour each time. The guy who owns the place, a Golden Gloves and former Junior Olympics boxer named Ahmad Mickens, has been terrific – pushing me and challenging me, never letting me get discouraged. It has changed my life. When I'm not in the gym, I run four or six miles a day.

It almost doesn’t matter what else is going on. When I get done with MorningNewsBeat each morning, I either head for the gym or get in my road work. It is like making a deposit in the bank of good habits, so that I'm prepared when it is time to make a withdrawal.

Mrs. Content Guy says that I am in a better mood (most of the time) and less prone to crankiness. I have more energy. And I just feel better.

Here's the kicker. When I weighed myself yesterday, I was down to 189 pounds. That's 34 pounds lower than on January 1, 2008. I went from tight 36 waist jeans to a comfortable 34 waist. And it is a lot easier to jog and jump rope now, because I'm carrying less girth around.

Not done yet. I have another 10-15 pounds to lose. I'm not obsessive though…I just know I have to keep eating less, eating smart, and moving more. The weight will take care of itself.

I tell you this not to brag (though I am, to be honest, pretty proud of myself), but because it might help somebody realize that this is possible. Never too late. Just eat less, eat smart, move more.

By the way, I may be taking better care of myself, but that doesn’t mean I'll stop recommending wines and beers.

This week, I urge you to try the 2004 Antica Terra Pinot Noir…a little pricey but wonderful for a special occasion.

And less expensive, but still very good, is the 2004 Ten Mile Petite Sirah…

And, I'm a big fan of the 2003 Trimbach Pinot Gris Reserve.

And, finally, there is the 2005 Chateau Beauchene Premier Terroir Cotes du Rhone, which is delicious.


There is something that I would like to brag about this morning. Yesterday was my 25th wedding anniversary. That's right. Mrs. Content Guy has put up with me for a whopping quarter-century, and I've been lucky enough to have her enriching my life for all that time.

I just hope that, to paraphrase a line from an old song, I may have been a headache but I've never been a bore.

That's it for this week. I hope you have a great weekend.

Next Monday, MNB will be reporting from the annual Food Marketing Institute Show, taking place this year in Las Vegas.


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