Woman riding an alligator
Photo: Guy Billout
I bet you struggle with your weight. Call me psychic, or just call the National Center for Health Statistics, which will tell you that more than 66 percent of adult Americans are overweight or obese. Most of the remaining third are perpetually trying to lose those last five or ten pounds. True, Americans obsessively diet off pounds, but most eventually regain them—plus a few more—as comic Roseanne puts it, "just to punch out the dents."

I spent decades struggling with my own weight. It was one of the worst experiences of my life, which, in all modesty, is saying something. But I also now know the blessed feeling of discovering how to stay lean without noticeable effort. I want you to have that experience. So right now, I need you to stop what you're doing. Imagine that I'm gently holding your face—your adorable, tortured, chubby, chocolate-smeared face—and staring into your eyes with the expression of a beagle who urgently wants a walk, and saying: "Listen! You can do this! You can be effortlessly thin! Just please, for the love of God, pay attention to the rest of this column!"

If I sound desperate, it's because I can't get most people to try what works. Why? Because it has little to do with food. Dieters are food addicts. "Lite" recipes, carb counting, fat gram logbooks—all of these strategies indulge an addict's obsessive focus on the drug. If the techniques worked, you'd be cheetah thin. If you aren't, they don't. Getting to a healthy weight requires something initially less gratifying: thinking in a way that changes your body by starting with your brain. Here's how to do it...

Step 1: Drop Those Nachos! Focus!

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