Greeks are known for their delicious food and the gusto to enjoy it. But eating your mother's Greek cooking can leave more than a few extra pounds around your midsection, as Dr. Nick Yphantides discovered the hard way. He presents his story, and his Seven Pillars of Weight Loss and Man-agement, in My Big Fat Greek Diet. After Yphantides battled cancer, he decided to drop the excess weight (257 pounds, to be exact) he had carried nearly all his adult life. Eight months later, his nationwide odyssey, or Distraction from Deprivation, taught him that counting calories is only the start to breaking the habits of a lifetime. Sound action points pepper the upbeat, best buddy advice, with especially useful tips on overeating traps and de-emphasizing food (he follows a modified Atkins diet that minimizes high glycemic foods); learning the signs of true hunger and satiety; and burning calories by joining a gym or walking. The book truly excels in presenting the psychological and spiritual preparation needed for a huge lifestyle change, with suggestions for taking a sabbatical from unhealthy habits, courting a travel companion for the journey, and doing exercises that strengthen both the physical and emotional heart. And to that we say, Opah!

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