The one-and-only good plan--eat less, exercise more--presented by a funny, practical lady. Mary Ellen, of the household hints (she includes a relevant sampling), explains at length how she finally decided she had to lose 70-plus lbs. (when she put her son on a bottle, ""it was the first time the child realized you could see and eat at the same time"") and how she went about it: after multiple false starts with diet gums, she cut down her calorie intake and increased her output through strenuous walking. Here, she provides thorough advice on how to do both--with, in addition, an explanation of how to get past the stalling point that foils most dieters (as described by Bennet and Gurin in The Dieter's Dilemma): the body's ability to adjust to a lower weight loss means that weight loss will eventually plateau. (Manipulating eating times and continually changing one's intake are among the strategies that seem able to confuse the body's physiologic processes.) If Mary Ellen has no particular expertise, she does accurately translate her physician-experts' recommendations--and the entertainment is all hers. From novel explanations of why Americans are getting fatter (""today, with smaller households, there are three people sharing cakes that used to be divided by six"") to tests to determine your degree of food obsession (Ronald Reagan: a) Washington, b) Jelly beans; Virility: a) Warren Beatty, b) Oysters), this is a sound guide that's also easy going.