Once, on a night shift, I was trying to hurry through the ambulatory patients, which means the people who can walk. That means the sore ears, runny noses, that sort of thing. At the time, we'd see four patients in one small room, and I'd move from one stretcher to another, shuffling through the charts in my hands and ripping the cubicle curtains back and forth for an illusion of privacy. A tanned, 40-something man thanked me for helping him with his sore back, but paused on his way out of the examining room to ask. "How would you recommend you lose weight?"

I paused. No one had ever asked me that as an emergency room doctor. The few times I've worked a walk-in clinic, I guess I was so busy rushing sore throats in and out of the room that no one inquired about weight loss tips.

I blurted out, "Eat right and get a dog."

In six words, that summed up my weight loss wisdom.

1. Eat right.

You know what to eat.

No one ever got obese eating only lettuce for 50 years. But they might've keeled over early from boredom and an unbalanced diet. So use your common sense.

in general, eat vegetables and fruit. I like beans for protein. Some studies show that dairy helps you lose weight. You can have soy or other kinds of milk if you prefer. Just about everyone likes carbs like bread or pasta, so try and make it whole grain. That's about it.

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