I come from a family—that’s to say, a particular gene pool—where no conversation, whether in person or over the phone, rarely makes it beyond the third sentence without touching down and landing squarely upon the holy subject of food. As in: “What did you have for breakfast? Was it good?” “What will you have for lunch?” “What did you eat last night?” “Have you decided on dinner yet?” Honestly. Big people. Wide people. Should-really-watch-what-we-eat people. From about age thirty I was truly and painfully aware of my genetic heritage, and I knew that if I didn’t watch it—and by that, I mean watch it diligently—I would soon balloon. So, I watched it. And diligently. And I have for the last going-on-forty years. Never did balloon. But it took some watching, and still, forty-odd years later, does. Speaking a while ago to a cousin of my mother’s—also of this always hungry strain of humanity, of course—the subject came up. The subject of me being vegan, she not. I think she summed me up nicely when she said that I was just as obsessed about food as the rest of our clan, only that I was obsessed about the right food. She’s an insightful person. Perhaps I am obsessing about food, the right food. But I’m healthy, and I’m happy, so I see nothing wrong with that. And what I have learned over the years is that losing weight, or maintaining weight, is not a mystery. In fact, when you look the beast square in the eye, few things are simpler. This little book is about what has worked for me, and about what has worked for others when I’ve lent a supporting or guiding hand. A few years back, to help a good friend of mine lose sixty pounds in about six months, I researched and wrote a series of short articles about the basics of weight loss, all of which I’ve included here. I have also touched upon my own long-term, somewhat radical (some would say), food regimen—Earth Alone. It may seem too simple, but listen, it has worked for going on forty years and it keeps working, so don’t knock it. Of course, other factors have bearing on a long and healthy life as well. Exercise, nutritional supplements, spiritual outlook. I’ve touched on these as well. I share this with the wish and hope that it will be of some help.