Monday, October 04, 2004

Diets

Anyone who has ever met me knows that I am no sylph - I'm 6', and while I have no intention of posting my weight, I am not skinny. That said, however, I have no intention whatsoever of going onto the Atkins diet. Why not, you ask?

Well, besides the fact that I find it totally grotesque to imagine that those of us who are so rich that we are obese should respond to our obesity by consuming *more* resources. We get fat because we consume a ridiculous amount of everything, and we're going to lose weight by eating a whole lot of high-on-the-food-chain butter, meat and oil. Don't get me wrong - I'm all for weight loss, and I certainly could stand to do some, but given that I got fat on the backs of the poor, I'm certainly not going to diet in such a way as to raise their kids' infant mortality a little higher.

The other observation I've made is that everyone who loses weight on Atkins gains it back the minute they stop. What's the point? Are you really going to eat a bowl of bacon grease every morning for breakfast until you're 90? Yoyo dieting is not notably good for you - maybe worse than keeping the weight, unless you are radically overweight. Realistically, unless you want to eat a bunless whopper for lunch every day for the rest of your life, you are going to gain the weight back - there is *0* chance you will stay thin.

Understand me, I am not mocking the fat. I am one of them. But I can't think of anything more stupid and less moral than the current Atkins craze. And the whole "carbohydrates make you fat" idea is errant nonsense - not burning as many calories as you take in makes you fat. Have you ever seen a really fat Amish guy? Do eight hours of hard physical labor all day, and I promise, you can eat all the noodles, crumb cakes and mashed potatoes you want, and not worry about your blood sugar in the slightest.

Now that stated, there is a useful distinction between the denatured crap that passes for starch around us and actual whole grains. Wanna lose some weight? Eat all whole grains. Seriously, there is a limit to how much brown rice anyone can consume. Eat a small amount of everything else and a whole lot of whole grains. Wanna lose even more? Grind your own grains in a manual grinder. It burns calories. Want to lose just tons of weight? Raise all your own grains by hand - till, plant, cut, bind, thresh and winnow them by hand. You will be full all the time and you will weigh 20lbs less.

I was never a dessert person until I met my husband, who believes that meals require a sweet. Marriage has not been good for my weight - and I wasn't skinny to begin with. But at least I used to eat a bowl of cheerios with skim milk for dinner a couple of times a night. My perennially skinny husband does not consider that adequate to his metabolism, to my detriment. But one way that we did keep the dessert consumption (and the consumption of any other kind of junk) to a minimum was this - we made the rule that if we want something, we actually have to make it. That is, I can eat all the brownies I want, but I have to get up, and melt the chocolate and bake the brownies. It worked well when we had a bit more time.

I would like to propose a new diet - the "you have to make it" diet. It is time consuming, but less so than recovery from stomach stapling. It is far healthier than Atkins, and quite cheap. Instead of blowing a lot of money to lose weight, you will save a ton, and can donate it to the Heifer fund or some other good cause so that some poor folks in other nations can get up to a minimally healthy weight.

So here it is - you can eat anything you want, but you have to produce it. Otherwise, you get a few bags of whole grains, some dried milk powder, fresh fruits and vegetables, a few eggs, spices, and herbal tea. Want honey in your tea? All you have to do is order a package of bees, build a hive, install them and work them for year and half, and you are totally set. Want cookies? Butter is yours for the asking, as long as you are willing to pitch hay to the cows, get up at 5 am to milk them, churn the butter (manually) and shovel the manure. Want roast chicken? No problem, just grow their feed, deliver the food, and butcher your chicken. Otherwise, its brown rice and squash for you.

I promise, you'll lose a lot of weight, no matter what you choose to eat. You are never deprived of anything, no one will ever tell you know, and you will be healthy and thin. You can donate the cost of your gym membership to the poor, plus your food budget will shrink, and you can donate that too.

Sharon

6 comments:

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