The ancient Greeks warned that excessive consumption of food would disrupt the four humors in the human body. The ancient Buddhist and Confucian traditions, as well as Christianity and Islam, encourage moderation and disparage gluttony, as well. The Jewish Talmud teaches that people should eat enough to fill a third of their stomachs, drink enough to fill another third, and leave the rest empty.

Maybe instead of diet books, we should be consulting religious tomes instead?

For those who believe in reincarnation: New research sheds light on one of the most frustrating mysteries of weight loss: why the weight almost always comes back. Scientists studying mice designed to be obese noted that the longer they stayed that way, the more "irreversible" obesity became.

Over time, their obese state reset the "normal" body weight set point to become permanently elevated, despite dieting that initially worked to shed pounds. Researcher Malcolm J. Low says, "Our model demonstrates that obesity is in part a self-perpetuating disorder and the results further emphasize the importance of early intervention in childhood to try to prevent the condition whose effects can last a lifetime.

"Somewhere along the way, if obesity is allowed to continue, the body appears to flip a switch that re-programs to a heavier set weight. The exact mechanisms that cause this shift are still unknown and require much further study that will help us better understand why the regaining of weight seems almost unavoidable."

Obesity affects more than 500 million adults and 43 million children younger than age 5, while related illnesses are the leading preventable cause of death. In the March 27th edition of the New York Times, Jonathan K. Crane writes: "We should stop asking ourselves, ‘Am I full?’ and start asking, ‘Am I satisfied?’"

Regaining weight (sometimes even more than you lost) is called the "bounce back" effect, and Anne Strieber gives tips on how to prevent this in her famous diet book, "What I Learned From the Fat Years." Using scientific principles, she devised a diet that helped her to lose 100 pounds and KEEP IT OFF and YOU CAN TOO.