Friday, September 18, 2009

Dieting 101

I started dieting around the 7th grade, so in my lifetime I've probably tried every weight loss scheme known to man. Two decades ago, I was able to recite every calorie for every food within a +/- 5 percent error rate. It was a point of senseless pride. Having not counted calories for years, when I casually glanced at the Jewel "Chef's Kitchen" American cheese slices nutritional chart after nonchalantly gulping down two slices after my children refused to eat them, I was shocked. 110 calories for some tiny slice of cheese. No wonder everyone is fat! When I go to a wine bar I always order the cheese plate and basically eat the whole thing myself. Given what I know now, that's probably enough calories for a small country to survive for a decade. That said, here are my thoughts on various scams diets:
  • The Zone: Trying to decipher the coveted 40/40/20 ratio of carbs, protein and fat leave you no time to actually eat. That is the true secret to this diet. Plus, you live in fear that the potato chip morsels you smell from your co-workers lunch can waft through the air, enter your bloodstream and render all your hard work null and void. Unless you are Jennifer Aniston and someone delivers that perfect ratio to your doorstep each day, forget it. The average person just isn't smart enough for this diet. At least I wasn't.
  • Atkins: The sinister cousin to The Zone allows even fewer precious carbs. One little teeny tiny carb can send the fat cells multiplying like bunnies because you've already eaten 3 steaks, a dozen eggs and a pound of bacon. One time when I was doing Atkins a waiter brought me a regular Coke instead of a diet as I happily devoured a cobb salad with extra avocado and gobs of blue cheese dressing. I realized the mistake half way through and went ape-shit on him. I manically started calculating all the calories I had consumed in my head that day and it totaled like 13,500 -- and it was only noon. Plus you have to pee on sticks to see if you are in ketosis, which I'm pretty sure is some medically undesirable condition that could result in death. I remember the stick turning a funky color purple and wondering if I'm in protein overload or pregnant. It's very confusing. I don't advise.
  • NutriSystem: This is a delightful meal plan for those with no taste buds or appetite. All the food comes in these cardboard containers that don't have to be refrigerated. EVEN HAMBURGERS. How this is possible without sustaining food poisoning is a biological mystery. But what pissed me off most were the directions on the box: "Take food out of the container before cooking..." We're fat -- we're not stupid! What it should say is "Take food out of the container before cooking... Take bite out of container. Cook food. Take bite out of food. If they taste the same, you've cooked correctly."
  • Conscious Eating: This is a concept perpetuated by Kathy Freston, the well-to-do wife of former MTV exec Tom Freston. The idea here is you have to be present while eating. You consciously decide what to eat and then you sit and eat it. DOES KATHY FRESTON HAVE CHILDREN? I haven't sat down for a meal in two years. When I stuff half-eaten frozen pancakes covered in drool in my mouth as we run out the door, I am conscious but barely. Kathy is also into "cruelty-free" eating which means you can only consume plants and such. Oh sure, if I had a household chef that I could shove two portibello mushrooms, some red peppers and a carrot at and scream "Cook me something delicious or you're fired!" maybe I'd be a conscious, cruelty-free eater too. Bitch.
  • Weight Watchers: Umm, I'm going to pay you so I can count points? I DON'T THINK SO. That said, many moons ago I went back to a friend's place after a night on the town and the only thing she had to chow down on was some Weight Watchers ice cream shit. It was good but I don't think you're supposed to eat 10 of them in one sitting. That's probably a lot of points. Not that I was counting.
  • The Caveman Diet: The idea here is that raw and non-processed foods are the only things allowed. If a caveman couldn't eat it, neither can you. I don't know about you, but my husband doesn't go out after work and club our dinner to death. This makes it a little difficult to do as the caveman did. Plus, the caveman didn't have things like Twinkies and Ho Hos around to tempt him. And if the caveman was so goddamn healthy, why was their life expectancy like 25 years old?
  • The Fat-Free Diet: Ahhh, good ole' SnackWells. Remember those? Supermarkets couldn't keep them in stock -- it was like a stampede at a Beatles concert. I, like many others, was under the impression one could eat box and after box after box because they were, well, FAT FREE and everyone knows you can't gain weight from food with no fat in it. Duh. Two hundreds boxes and 20 pounds later I was very confused. My body hadn't seen a fat gram in months and here I was back in my fat jeans. (I particularly liked the marshmallow-like ones covered in chocolate. May they RIP in Chapter 11. Or are those f@#$ers still around?)
  • Jenny Craig: Kirstie Alley. Enough said.
I hear eating moderately and exercising works well... HOW BORING. Anyone know how I can get a prescription for Adderall? Those bone-thin bitches on Gossip Girls are all on it.


  1. Amen, sista'! (That's my white, Canadian ass trying to sound not only hip and cool but mildly religious... it was believable, right?)

    And... we're like post twinsies! It's like you're in my head! You must be very lonely and frightened. The good news is... there's laundry facilities on site! ;)

  2. what? no post about Daniel Craig on oprah...with a mustach:(

  3. Holy crap! I am behind on my TIVO requirements. Will watch asap and report back. If anyone can pull off a mustache I'm betting it's Danny.

  4. Hilarious! And not very promising ... I'm facing dieting for the first time (I know, pity me) after the baby weight has failed to magically disappear while I sit on my butt and eat muffins, and I have absolutely no idea how to do it. But good to have these popular options "pre-screened" before I get sucked into one!

  5. Jenny Craig food is actually pretty good, relatively speaking. Maybe that's what did Kirstie in.

  6. I'm on weight watchers and honestly I was just thinking I might deactivate my account. Seriously? I can keep track of points on a sheet of good as I'm doing at it anyhow. *sigh*

  7. I hate the word "diet!" I feel it sets me up for faliure. Instead I prefer using terms like "portion control" and "exercise" because I feel loosing weight is a mind game as much as it is a number game.

    I agree with your analysis of those diets. Hillarious!

    ps - i don't think daniel craig pulled off that mustache at all! i thought it looked creepy!!

  8. Ugh! I've been trying to lose the 'last 10 pounds' for a year! It's been horrible. My mother-in-law gave me some advice to loose it though: don't eat. Seriously, she said don't eat for 3 days and I'll lose 10 pounds. Ummmm... yeah, I can't do that.