Friday, January 30, 2009

Food & Porn: The Naked Truth

Someone once asked me if they should leave their fiance because she found out he watched porn behind her back. It made her feel insecure and ugly knowing this... and all the more likely to eat for comfort.

I said that watching porn does not seem to be a good enough reason to end a relationship... or eat compulsively! Plenty of relationships survive -- and even thrive -- when one or both partners watch porn.

The question is: how’s the rest of your relationship? Does he show you love in other ways? Is he kind and considerate? Do you enjoy each other's company? How’s your sex life? Do you communicate well?

How does HE make you feel insecure and ugly? Does he say you look ugly compared to those women? Does he make any disparaging remarks about your body? If so, this is abusive, and I could understand why you wouldn’t want to be with him.

Love should transcend cellulite, when the relationship is fulfilling in other ways.

If he does not insult you, then you are doing it to yourself. Insecurities about your “imperfect” body are leaking into the relationship, yet you are blaming him, and wanting to control him into not watching.

It might be best not to discuss it, since he has the good sense to do it behind your back and not in front of your face... although it might be fun to have a sexual encounter while watching porn together!

Evaluate your relationship to see if it is healthy, enjoyable and comfortable. If you conclude that it’s fine except for this, I advise you to accept it and be glad that he’s not having sex with porn stars (or others); only watching them on a screen!

Another idea is to find out what turns him on and do a little role-playing yourself. Hey, you might even enjoy it!

Of course if you evaluate your relationship to find that he is abusive or demeaning towards you, get out or get help. Comfort eating only allows the situation to continue, without taking positive action.

Here is the number for a 24-hour hotline -- 1-800-799-7233. It's available in all 50 states and translators are available.

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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Hooray For Healthy Junk Foods!

Are your kids sick of school lunches yet?
How can you encourage them to take the high road when it comes to nutrition at school, when all they want is pizza?

Here’s a news flash: most children prefer taste over nutrition, so we need to beat them at their own game. Then everyone wins! Educating them about nutrition is important, but doesn't always translate into better choices.

Thank goodness for "healthy junk foods." This new generation of health food tastes delicious, and bears no resemblance to their cardboard- and Styrofoam-flavored ancestors.

Try sending along Frito Lay Sun Chips, which are whole grain, and made with natural oil.

Garden of Eatin' sesame blues or multigrain chips are always a hit, perhaps with salsa, as cleverly disguised veggies. Flat Earth chips offer half a serving of real fruits and vegetables, and Smart Food popcorn is universally loved. Portion control can be created with resealable bags.

Tropical Source fruit leather has no high fructose corn syrup; and when paired with a few dark chocolates, it's antioxidant heaven. My book, Your Final Diet, offers a more complete list of brand name choices.

What if you allowed your child to eat pizza, if they only order one piece and have salad and/or fruit with it? Exact change may ensure compliance. Maybe you can work out a system that allows an unhealthy lunch for every two days that a healthy lunch is eaten.

Throw in toy surprises for young children, or a silly joke they can share with their friends. For older kids, toss in a personal story about yourself, if they agree to take lunch. That might improve your relationship too, by making you appear more human!

If all else fails, try bribing them! Better choices earn money or points towards privileges. Hey, whatever it takes!

As originally posted on

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Dr. Abby's Diet Revolution!

For Immediate Release:

"Dr. Abby's Diet Revolution!" is being launched on on January 19th, 2009. American's are starving for change, so Dr. Abby serves up a heapin' helping of her revolutionary "HAES" diet.

Dr. Abby Aronowitz is pleased to announce the launch of "Dr. Abby's Diet Revolution!" on the home page of on January 19th.

"Are you starving for change? Had your fill of dieting, losing weig
ht, and gaining it back? Well, have a heapin’ helping of Dr. Abby's "HAES” diet; a revolutionary way of living that helps you to discover health, without overeating, under-eating or yo-yo dieting."

The focus on "fitness" has very little to do with weight loss. Fitness is measured by physical strength and endurance, and biological markers include blood pressure, cholesterol and insulin resistance.
Weight and BMI are completely invalid measures of fitness, since they do not include any of these components.

We need to inform all Americans that exercise can improve blood pressure
, cholesterol and insulin resistance, regardless of weight. Transfats are unhealthy for everyone, and it’s always a good idea to eat when hungry and stop when full. Good health and nutrition are not limited to thin people. In fact, many genetically fat people must have an eating disorder, in order to maintain their weight below a genetic set point.

Interestingly, we've maximized our genetic potential for height, weight, and IQ during these relative times of abundance; but only heard about the weight gain; which was considered bad. Now that "abundance" has evaporated, we're back to basics.

Let's stop yo-yo dieting, which is potentially harmful, and live a relatively healthy lifestyle that is easy and satisfying. Enjoy a bunch of my "healthy junk foods;" delicious natural versions of the junk we love, but without potentially harmful chemicals. Imagine having an all natural toaster waffle for breakfast with a scoop of all natural (not supreme) ice cream for breakfast! For under 300 calories there's protein, fiber, calcium carbohydrates, some sugar to kill the appetite, and fat to keep it away. Who needs to binge, when meals are so fantastic???

"Dr. Abby's Diet Revolution" is backed by important research, from the Univ. of California. Dr. Linda Bacon's work is reviewed in the blog. Essentially, she found that when the focus was on a healthy lifestyle, and accepting your resultant size... instead of weight loss per se, subjects showed dramatic improvements in health.

After 2 years, the Health At Every Size (HAES) subjects quadrupled their moderate physical activity,
showed a significant decrease in LDL (“bad” cholesterol), lowered their systolic blood pressure, and improved self-esteem and depression. The dieters' effects were disastrous.

Details about this study can be found in a new book entitled “Health At Avery Size; The Surprising Truth About Your Weight”, by Linda Bacon, Ph.D. Watch for my forthcoming books, entitled Dr. Abby’s Diet Revolution! and Dr. Abby’s Diet Revolution For Girls!

Abby Aronowitz is a, coach, author, speaker and psychologist at the Long Island Center for Cognitive
Therapy. Her book, "Your Final Diet", was endorsed by Senator Hillary Clinton, because it is very empowering to women. Dr. Abby's expertise has been tapped for,, and, and she has spoken for the National Organization for Women (NOW), Weight Watchers International Inc., and Mensa. Her "healthy junk food meals" were featured on New York's CW 11 morning news.

Her expert blog for is entitled, "Where Science Meets Sin;" a daring new approach to weight control. ( is the #1 diet site on the Internet, out of nearly 200 million sites.) She has two M.A.'s and a Ph.D., and completed graduate work at Columbia University.

For a free promotional PDF of "Your Final Diet," CLICK HERE

For more information, call 1866-AskDrAbby (1-866-927-5372) or visit
Abby Aronowitz, Ph.D., P.O. Box 649, Huntington, NY 11743, 631-455-8243

Press Release: Dr. Abby's Diet Revolution!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Dr. Abby Prescribes: Ideal Binge Food

How would you describe compulsive eating? Shoveling in mouthfuls of whatever you can find, without regard to hunger, satiation, nutrition, or even taste, after the first few minutes? Does the act of eating become the event, rather than what you are eating? Does this happen during times of stress, boredom, or depression?

Abusive eating - eating just for the sake of eating, rather than for nutritional fuel - can feel comforting for the moment, 'til you torture yourself later.

Serotonin is a brain chemical which influences calmness and reduces depression. Carbohydrates are broken down into serotonin, which is probably why nobody ever binges on pork chops or cucumbers! Furthermore, research confirms that sugar and fat turn off chronic stress biologically.

For abusive eating, try sticking to one satisfying food; a sweet or salty low calorie carbohydrate. Make sure it’s crunchy too, which helps take out aggressions. All natural caramel covered popcorn cakes work well, as do other flavors.

Pirate’s Booty, an all natural popcorn-like food, has some protein and fat from cheese, that kills the appetite and keeps it away. None of these choices are highly caloric, so even if you polish off a whole bag, you’ve only consumed a few hundred calories, instead of a few thousand. This could be the difference between gaining 5 pounds or gaining 50 over time.

Eating one specific food when you're feeling crazed, will allow you to become a healthy eater with all other foods. If you find that you're eating something else too quickly and without regard, stop and switch to the binge food. After the neurotic eating is out of your system, return to the other food, and eat it slowly and respectfully.

This will also allow you to take care of compulsive needs, without hating yourself afterwards, since you have not inhaled a ridiculous amount of calories. Sometimes calling a friend, writing in a journal, watching TV, or exercising simply won’t do. Here’s a way to lose the battle, but win the war!

As originally posted on

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Keeping That Diet Resolution

Tara Parker Pope’s blog on the NY Times Jan 2, ’09

(My response to Ms. Pope's blog is directly underneath her post.) :

One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight or at least eat more healthfully. Several Web sites offer tips and tools for getting there. Healthy Holidays - 30 Days of Holiday Eating A series of daily tips, tidbits and insights about holiday food. The Joy of Cooking (Videos), Healthy Foods for Under $1

A Better Food Pyramid: Harvard nutritionists say their revamped food pyramid is based on the latest science and is “unaffected by businesses and organizations with a stake in its messages.” It starts with exercise and encourages adding more plant-based foods and cutting back on “American staples” l
ike red meat, refined grains, potatoes and sugary drinks.

Dr. Gourmet: New Orleans physician Timothy S. Harlan, also known as Dr. Gourmet, has created free diet software that helps you plan more healthful meals. He calls it the Quality Calorie Diet Plan to reflect his belief that it’s the quality of the calories we eat that counts the most. The site creates meal plans and even offers ways to use leftovers later in the week. It includes food and exercise diaries as well as goal-tracking features, and a place for users to analyze their own recipes. This Web site began as a personal source of diet support for sisters Suzanne, Jennifer and Amy and has now grown into a community of over 70,000 registered members. It has the typical diet-site resources and tools, but the main appeal is the forum for dieters to share stories and find support.

Cooking Light: A great site for finding healthy and delicious foods that won’t make you feel like you’re on a diet. You’ll find recipes, nutrition information and advice on cooking techniques.

Food Blog Search: It’s not a diet site, but if you’ve resolved to cook at home more, this is a great resource for finding new recipes. This custom-built search
engine uses Google technology to search for recipes in more than 2,600 food blogs.

National Body Challenge: Discovery Health’s National Body Challenge is a free fitness and weight loss program. After registering online, participants set their personal goals and create a customized eating and exercise plan. Registration gives users access to customized meal and fitness plans, a community of other Challenge participants, weight and fitness trackers and video and interactive tools as well as a 30-day free health club membership.

Weight Watchers — Although the site is offering a one-week free trial to it’s online plan, you’ll have to pay $65 for a three month subscription if you stick with it. While it’s true that most people who diet end up gaining back their weight, much of what Weight Watchers claims is backed by science. An April 2008 article in the British Journal of Nutrition looked at success rates of lifetime Weight Watchers members. They found that a year after reaching goal weight, 80 percent of participants had maintained at least 5 percent of the weight loss a year later and 27 percent of the dieters had stayed below their goal weight. While that means a lot of people regained their weight, it’s still more evidence for success than offered by most commercial diet plans.

South Beach Diet: This diet gained popularity as an alternative to the strict low-carb regimen of Atkins, with an emphasis on “good carbs” like high-fiber vegetables and whole grains. It also offers a free week trial, followed by a $5 a week membership fee.

So what have I missed? Are there other websites you’d recommend to help people lose weight and live healthier in 2009?

And for more on resolutions, read New Year, New You? Nice Try.


Dr Abby's Response to this article:

The common concern with most diet sites is the incredible high relapse rate, and yo-yo dieting has been found to be potentially harmful. Even the Weight Watchers study cited leaves out the fact that it is a miniscule percent of clients who ever get to be lifetime members, and many people who maintain their losses develop eating disorders, or regain it within 5 years.

A better goal than weight loss is “fitness.” They are not the same! Fitness is accomplished with physical strength and endurance, and often improves blood pressure, cholesterol and insulin sensitivity, regardless if weight is lost. Exercise has also been found to improve those measures in many people, regardless of size.

A recent book, entitled entitled “Health At Avery Size; The Surprising Truth About Your Weight”, by Linda Bacon, Ph.D. offers an in depth view of a startling study at the University of California, which divided 82 obese women into two groups. One group received traditional diet advice, and the other received suggestions about how to improve health and well-being. Dieters moderately restricted food consumption, maintained food diaries and monitored weight. They measured calories and fat content, read food labels and shopped for appropriate foods, while learning about benefits of exercise.

The “Health At Every Size” (HAES) group paid close attention to hunger and fullness, and how the food made them feel. Nutritional information helped them to choose healthful foods. A support group focused on accepting their larger bodies, understanding cultural influences, and dealing with barriers preventing enjoyment of physical activity, such as negative self-image.

Results at the end of two years concluded:

• HAES subjects almost quadrupled their moderate physical activity. The dieting group significantly increased their physical activity at first, but slipped back to initial levels by the end of the study.

• HAES subjects showed a significant decrease in LDL (“bad” cholesterol) by the end of the study, whereas the dieters did not.

• Both groups significantly lowered their systolic blood pressure during the first 52 weeks of the study, but only HAES people sustained improvements by the end of the 2nd year.

• Self-esteem and depression improved significantly for HAES, while self-esteem dropped among the dieters.

• Dieters lost 5.2 percent of their initial weight in the first 24 weeks but regained almost all of it by the end of the study. HAES members maintained their initial weight.

• Ninety-two percent of HAES people completed treatment, while 42 percent of dieters dropped out prematurely.

Another useful site is called, which critically evaluates related research, and cuts through bias and corporate interests. Consider visiting, which offers information about “health at every size.”

I believe the two-part system of dieting to lose weight, and then trying to maintain that loss is what fails. Focusing on fitness offers one way of living forever, which allows people to enjoy the foods they love, while listening to hunger and satiety, incorporating nutritious foods, coping effectively, and exercising. Many thin people think it’s OK to eat junk food and not exercise because they are thin, but a thin unfit person is worse off than a fit overweight person. Remember, the CDC found approximately 86,000 FEWER deaths in the overweight range when compared with the normal weight range, and 33,000 MORE deaths in the thin range.

People come in all shapes and sizes, so the goal is to become your personal best; not conform to a thin ideal, which may be unrealistic and discouraging. My work helps people to do this, and incorporates “healthy junk foods,” to prevent binges on their unhealthy counterparts.

Dr. Abby Aronowitz


Betsy says: Thank you Dr. Abby Aronowitz! Why Oh why is TPP pushing diets again?"

TPP says: It’s not about pushing diets. It’s about giving people resources

Betsy says: So, TPP you’re giving people resources to begin the diet binge cycle anew for ‘09?!?

Dr Abby Says: You were giving people resources about DIETS... that doesn't work!

Original Posts:

And originally posted on


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