What the Weight Experts Eat
Professor of psychology and director of the Yale Center for Eating and Weight Disorders, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
"For me weight is a real issue. It bounces up and down by 30 to 40 pounds. I have to be very vigilant because I'm one of those who eat more when stressed. I try to manage the pressures in my life by making time to relax and being physically active—I play tennis, walk, run, or bike—and I try to make healthy food choices (lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains). I like to think of food as something that nurtures me and makes me healthy rather than seeing my diet as restrictive."
Professor of nutritional sciences, Pennsylvania State University, University Park; author of The Volumetrics Eating Plan
"I'm a woman, so my weight must be an issue! My mother was obese and died of complications from it. I grew up seeing what obesity does, and yet I got quite plump when I first left home and went off to university. Now I have to follow my own advice, or I'm in trouble. I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables to keep me full and satisfied. Starting a meal with a low-cal portion of soup or salad also helps fill me up. It's about strategies. Chocolate is a symbol that I've finished the meal. I like to have one piece of good chocolate from a box. And I swim every morning and run in the pool with weights."
Clinical professor of medicine, founder and director of the Program in Integrative Medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson
"I have at various times tried diets to lose weight, and I'm absolutely convinced that they're not the way to go. Instead I think that you have to have a solid lifestyle and a formula that works for you. I generally follow a Mediterranean diet. I like sweets but limit my intake to the occasional piece of dark chocolate or scoop of sorbet and use them as rewards—if I've had a good exercise session or done a good bit of writing, for example. The biggest challenge is that I'm on the road a lot, and I tend to eat things I wouldn't if I were at home. So I've learned not to finish everything on my plate and to spend more time in the company of people who have the same kind of eating and exercise habits as I do. And when I'm home, I work with a personal trainer two or three days a week, do a little yoga, some cardio on an elliptical machine, and weight training."
Professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health, New York University, New York City
"I fuss constantly with two pounds. It's hardly worth mentioning, but I monitor those pounds very closely, because my blood cholesterol goes up if I gain even a small amount of weight. I do a lot of professional dining: going to restaurants and talking to chefs. If I know I'm going to eat a large dinner, I'll have a smaller lunch. I try not to eat beyond being full and when I'm not hungry, and when I go out I normally just order an appetizer, since they're plenty big."
Associate professor of epidemiology and nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston
"I am a conscious eater. I eat a Mediterranean diet—I probably have red meat three times a year—and exercise is an important part of my life. I'm label-conscious about calories. I can't remember the last time I had a can of regular soda (that's about 150 calories). And I watch for trans fats. Even my 5-year-old knows what trans fats are. I'm also a fan of moderate alcohol consumption—I like wine."