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Dr. Andrew Weil

What It Is

No hocus-pocus here, no quick weight-loss promises from wellness guru Andrew Weil, MD. Weil sums up his philosophy in four words: "Eat less, exercise more." Weil urges readers of his several best-sellers, including the latest, Eating Well for Optimum Health, and his popular Web site (www.drweil.com) to look upon eating with a sensibility that is more Eastern than Western.

Naturally he points out that what we eat does influence our health in a big way. But he adds this caveat: Diet is only one aspect of our lifestyle, and lifestyle is only one variable in the mix of factors that determines whether we are blessed with well-being or whether we feel out of sorts.

That said, Weil claims that diet can positively impact numerous health concerns, from allergies to body odor, from ear infections to irritable bowel syndrome, from arthritis to sinusitis, as well as make it easy to control our weight. He urges readers not to seek solutions promising quick weight loss (since it will almost certainly come back) but to set realistic goals: say, losing one to two pounds a week, max -- the amount that nutritionists and most medically sponsored weight-loss programs counsel as safe, sane, and reasonable.

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