Women's Health: Lose Weight, Be Healthy (cont.)

O'NEIL: That very phrase you used, "small changes," I think is so empowering. Because when someone is looking at a weight loss goal it seems impossible, insurmountable. But those small changes are doable and sustainable.

We have a chart in the book for the 100-calorie club, because nutrition research shows if you cut 100 calories a day, you won't gain weight; it will help you maintain your weight over the long haul. So knowing that, when you get the hamburger, don't get the slice of cheese, and you save 100 calories. Or use light mayonnaise instead of full-fat mayo. Small changes.

I think information is powerful. We have a chapter The Dish on Drinks and there we have a nutrition chart for the calorie comparison of drinks. How many calories in a pina colada, for example, as compared to a glass of dry Riesling or champagne, which are the lowest in calories. Small changes.

ZELMAN: The title of the book is great -- quite whimsical and somehow I suspect one of your ideas. How did the title come about?

O'NEIL: I think people want to know what they're getting when they see a diet or nutrition book. We wanted people to know what the payoff would be for eating healthy: being fabulous! The term "the dish" can mean different things. The dish -- the gossip. The dish -- the truth.

Our web site is dishdivas.com. The readers that go to our web site and email us, they consider themselves dish divas. They have this new knowledge that empowers them to enjoy food and be healthy and be cute.

The cover, I'm sure this is the only diet book with a cosmopolitan on the cover and there's three dishy gals at a very hip and groovy looking restaurant. And the cover of the book is a beautiful array of foods, chocolate dessert, olive oils, avocado. We wanted it to look like a lot of fun. One of our first reviews say it's like Sex and the City meets food and nutrition. Another one was, it reads like a beach novel.

We hit our mark there, because Densie and I decided in the beginning if we had fun writing this book, people would have fun reading it. As a dietitian, Kathleen, you know sometimes nutrition can be a little nerdy, boring, and we wanted to sex it up a little bit.

One more thing about dietitians: you may have a girlfriend who knows all about finances, she's your financial diva; you may have another who's into fashion, always looks great and who got one piece on sale at Sak's and the other piece at Target, she's your fashion diva. Well, dietitians are your nutrition divas, your dish divas; you can turn to your gal-pal dietitian, who knows a lot but also loves to eat and have fun and cook and all that good stuff.

ZELMAN: I have to admit, it was fun, bedside reading and I have given copies to girlfriends as gifts to rave review. The retro-neo pink and green artwork was a perfect complement to the information.

Carolyn, thank you for taking time to share with us your tantalizing tidbits and sensible advice. You and Densie have done an amazing job translating the science into useful tips that empower women to improve their health and of course, we all want to be fabulous.

O'NEIL: I'm very, very pleased when I speak to so many women today, they are getting it -- that food is their friend. Food is fun, it's fabulous, and enjoying what we eat and staying slim and trim can reside together. Taste and health are coming together in a beautiful way more than ever before. We will be keeping track of all the nutrition news on WebMD. Stay informed.

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