SKINNY HABITS: The 6 Secrets of Thin People, by Bob Harper, with Greg Critser. Ballantine Books, 165 pp., $25.


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Bob Harper, who's been on "The Biggest Loser" more than any other trainer (16 seasons) -- and who's the author of bestsellers such as "The Skinny Rules" (20 of them, reprinted at the end of this book) -- explains that he wrote this new book because "unfortunately, too many people revert to their old ways completely and over time gain back even more than they'd lost."

But he writes that six key habits differentiate those who are successful at keeping the weight off and those that aren't. (And, frankly, six rules are easier to follow than 20.)

He writes that "you are not at the mercy of your current bad habits." The rules, which he covers in detail, are: They plan. They push back (using "the mental muscle" to overcome setbacks). They re-engineer their environment. They challenge themselves. (A hobby or a mission "keeps the mind engaged and excited about something other than the monotony of daily responsibilities.") They rest. (Sleep is vital.) They dress for thinness. (Keep those yoga pants for yoga.)

THE SCOOP Harper presents his rules in the context of psychological studies. In planning, for example, it's important to develop "If/then" contingency plans: "If I am stressed and thinking about eating, I will close my eyes and take one slow, deep breath."

THE BOTTOM LINE Harper even suggests simple yoga positions to help you get that sleep.