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Dave's Weight-Loss Tips

Dave Price's battle with obesity hit a chord with many viewers. In three days, thousands of viewers wrote him with comments and questions.

On Thursday, Price, who earlier this week documented his 80-pound weight loss eight years ago, sat down with co-anchor Harry Smith and The Early Show medical correspondent Dr. Emily Senay to answer some of the questions.

Price emphasizes that his weight loss was due to lifestyle changes that he made. "No high protein, no high carb, no Atkins, no grapefruit. Balanced eating," he says. "I'm as happy as I can be, I feel good every day."

The first letter was from a viewer named Aurelia:

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I am 24 years old, have three kids, and my husband is currently overseas in Iraq. When he left, I told him that I would be working on losing 40 to 50 pounds by the time he comes home. I have only lost about eight pounds.

I know that I am overweight and need to lose, but I just struggle with getting that motivation each day.

Price advises her, "It is a struggle. Recognize it. Set reasonable goals. Celebrate eight and recognize you're in a tough fight. You're going to get there. You'll plateau. You'll slide back. But keep the car engaged in drive and then move forward just a little bit."

Senay says Price's story Wednesday shows the science to making a lifestyle change.

"People start from not recognizing a problem to slightly recognizing it, to preparing to change, to making the change," Senay says. "You have to focus on realistic goals. He's exactly right. The problem with this letter is 40 to 60 pounds. She needs to focus on the 8.

"Her next goal should be five or maybe two pounds. Little steps are more realistic than these really large leaps. You'll get to those large leaps but start small."

The next letter is from a Texas viewer named Ritchie:

"My problem is similar to the one that you have... I like to eat. Portions are my problem. When I have pizza, I will eat at least half of a large pizza and wash it down with soft drinks. I need to cut my portion sizes in half!!!

What do you typically eat during the day?

Price offered what he calls "some real tricks.

"Number one, when I go out to eat, I go out with as many people as possible. We order small, because we always think we can always order more. Fast food where I can, oddly enough, I order a kid's meal," Price says.

"Why? Because your average kid's portion is what we should be eating. I grew up thinking that these mammoth portions are what normal people ate."

Senay, who shows a tray with average size portions of several foods, says, "The portions in this country are so out of control. I'm sure you heard, Harry and Dave, about McDonald's now taking away the supersize. These portions are outrageous. Nobody can eat these portions and not gain weight. It's absurd."

Deborah in Denver wrote:

I work out five times a week at the gym. Ii am so energetic and earnest in my approach toward working out that a few employees at the gym jokingly call me "Rocky." Yet, I can't seem to lose weight! The scale won't budge!

Any advice? What am I doing wrong?

"This is where people slip," Price says, "because they get in three days, five days, a week and say, 'This isn't enough. I'm famished' and revert. You have to plow through this and plow through a headache or bad mood. Everybody cycles through these stages of change. That's part of the process. You need to expect that."

Senay points out that some people have a genetic predisposition to a certain type of weight gain and obesity and may sometimes need medical intervention.

"We don't know everything about obesity at this point," she says. "There are clearly pathways to gaining weight that prevent some people from being able to lose it." She suggested this writer might need to check with a specialist in weight management.

Price says he cycled through several plateaus. "After you see that first bunch of water weight go off and you think it's the easiest thing in the world," he says. "Then it stops. What do I do? You panic; you're anxious. What do you do when you are anxious? You eat. Take control, have a support system. Have people say, 'Hey, you look great, don't let it go now.' That's what eventually juices you to victory."

The last letter, from Larry, is addressed "From one half the man I used to be, to another half the man you used to be."

On March 18, 2001, I weighed 603 pounds, in a wheelchair, with a death wish. Because a couple of people interfered in my life, when I did not want them to, I now weigh 300 and have a burning mission to help others. I am so pleased to see another person say " it can be done with no surgeries, or fad diets.

I now understand my mind is what helped me gain the weight, and in my mind was where I found the keys to unlock my body from a prison of fat.

"Bless you. Bless you, " says Price. "Because, you know what? Here's the deal. I am not here to profess what is a good diet or what is not, whether it's liquids, whether it's medicine or whether it's exercise. I'm here to tell you that if you do not have a medical problem, you can do it. And that's the key. Small steps. That guy is -- he is the living example."

Senay says that for some people, there will be no other options but medications and surgery. "You need to check in with somebody who specializes in this," she says. "Make sure the doctor you're seeing knows what you're doing and is trained."

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