The People's Perspective on Medicine

924 Smart Ways to Watch Your Weight

Tune in to our radio show on your local public radio station, or sign up for the podcast and listen at your leisure. Here’s what it’s about:

The period of time between Halloween candy corn and Valentine’s Day chocolates can be treacherous for those of us trying to watch our weight. There is certainly no shortage of diet books to guide us, embracing a wide range of perspectives on how people should eat to shed pounds. But do you get tired of following the diet every day? Maybe dieting just two days a week (and following a heart-healthy Mediterranean diet plan the other five) could be the answer. We talk with the researcher who came up with this idea.

Most people keep their cell phone close at hand, but some of us keep them a little too close. Dr. Devra Davis tells us why keeping a cell phone in the bra could raise the risk of breast cancer. Men who keep this tiny two-way transmitter in their pants pockets might be lowering their sperm count.

We’d like to hear from you about your weight control successes. How do you lose weight and keep it off? What tips do you have to help someone else maintain a good BMI and healthy habits? Call in your suggestions at 888-472-3366 or email between 7 and 8 am EDT.

Guests: Michelle Harvie, PhD, is a research dietitian at the Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention Centre, University Hospital South Manchester Trust.  She received the British Dietetic Association Rose Simmond’s Award in 2005 for her paper on weight gain amongst breast cancer patients receiving adjuvant chemotherapy. She is the co-author, with Tony Howell, of The 2-Day Diet.

Devra Davis, PhD, MPH, is an epidemiologist and toxicologist. Dr. Davis is president of the Envirotnmental Health Trust and author of numerous books, including When Smoke Ran Like Water, The Secret History of the War on Cancer, and her most recent, Disconnect: The Truth about Cell Phone Radiation, What the Industry Is Doing to Hide It, and How to Protect Your Family. Disconnect received the Nautilus silver medal award for investigative reporting. The website is

The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free for four weeks after the date of broadcast. After that time has passed, digital downloads are available for $2.99. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.

Rate this article
0- 0 ratings
About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
Tired of the ads on our website?

Now you can browse our website completely ad-free for just $5 / month. Stay up to date on breaking health news and support our work without the distraction of advertisements.

Browse our website ad-free
Join over 150,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

We're empowering you to make wise decisions about your own health, by providing you with essential health information about both medical and alternative treatment options.

Showing 6 comments
Add your comment

The 5/2 works! My husband and I have been on it for awhile. He has lost about 20 lbs and I have lost 7 or so. I am within 4 lbs of where I would like t be.
We limit ourselves to 500 calories on Mondays and Thursdays, and eat pretty much what we want the rest of the time. We track calories on a free app, “My Fitness Pal,” which helps us to be aware of the calories we consume. I am sure tracking calories helps, but the diet is very easy to follow. Everyone, who wants to lose weight, should be encouraged to try it.

Hey, I listen to your show whenever I wake up in time and today, with the time change, I was there for your two-day diet show.
Just to tell you that I lost 21 pounds since June (4 months, 5 pounds a month) on the 5/2 diet. You got a call from a woman who lost weight this way and I agree with her completely—it’s so doable: I limit calories to 500 on Tuesdays and Fridays and eat normally the other days. You only need that one sentence to do this diet. If I crave something, I can have it tomorrow and most of us can wait that long. I went from a size 16 to a 10/12 (I can fit in some 10s). I am thrilled with this. This diet is good for my health as well, so I plan to continue with one diet day a week once I reach my goal (4 pounds to go).
Love your show!

I wonder why salt consumption is seldom mentioned in weight control. Heavily salted foods cause us to eat more, and body fluids increase adding to weight. In the Old West, after a long cattle drive, cattlemen would increase the weight of their herds by feeding them salt. How many of the popular processed foods at the grocery store may be seen as just appealing to our taste for sugar and salt…

I lost 25 ugly pounds without trying when I switched to an anti-inflammatory diet to deal with a lot of general complaints such as digestive problems of all sorts, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating. My blood work showed cardiac C-reactive protein (a marker for inflammation “somewhere in the body”) to be 16.8. It is supposed to be below 3. I discovered I am gluten intolerant and have followed a gluten free, high fat, low carbohydrate diet (with adequate protein). I avoid processed foods and vegetable oils such as canola, soybean and corn oils. I am a new person, with Cardiac CRP below 1. The weight loss occurred over 9 months and I’ve kept it off for 3 more months now.
The point made on the show about making a record of everything you eat is hugely important. You cannot help yourself if you don’t know what is making you feel bad or keep weight on. If you are unable to lose weight it can often be because you have a habit that needs changing forever. Putting the pencil to it makes you think more carefully about your habits. For me it was the gluten, and the processed vegetable oils. We thought we were doing a good thing to make our own salad dressing with canola. Big mistake. Very inflammatory. Very stealthy, too, as all restaurants and food manufacturers use these cheap oils. We eat coconut oil, butter from grass fed cows, raw milk, unrefined olive oil, grass fed meats and the fat we can get from them, fish, and eggs, and i take fermented cod liver oil. I have no cholesterol or blood pressure problems. At age 55 I am a lean, mean, fighting machine!

I have heard a lot of great advice about both weight loss and healthy living, but I rarely hear the simple but profound advice of not eating between meals. It is so very important to follow this guideline, not only to lose weight or keep it normal, but also to keep the liver healthy and prevent leptin and/or insulin resistance. The “Five Rules of the Leptin Diet” proposed by Byron Richards are based on scientific research and will help anyone improve or maintain their health, if they’re not already eating that way.

A good friend of mine has gout. He especially has trouble in his legs. Is there any topical remedy for it, and also, is there any food that could relieve his symptoms?
Thank you,

* Be nice, and don't over share. View comment policy^