mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

I should write "the diet"

I'm probably not the person who should write a diet book, seeing as I'm fat and all. But I have been taking a little better care of myself the last couple months, and I've lost a few pounds, although I have quite a bit more to lose.

But even when I was making no effort to watch what I eat or exersize, I wasn't unaware that my steady diet of pudding and Chik-fil-a wasn't good for me. It's just that I really like pudding anc Chik-fil-a. That's why diet books puzzle me, in that most people know how to lose weight. They just choose not to. But people write diet books, following a predictable formula, and they make tons of money. So maybe I should write one and get paid too.

How did this post come about? I was talking to one of my coworkers today who was reading this WebMD article and thinking of buying the book it discusses, The 3-hour Diet. By skimming the article, I've realized how to write a diet book. You mix a little bit of common sense with some total bullshit and some stuff that's just what people want to hear.

The first part - the common sense. Everyone knows what you have to do to lose weight - eat less and exersize more. This means you take in fewer calories and burn more, so the fat in that gut gets burned off. The author of this book tells you part of this - the eat less stuff. But he comes up with a nifty way of presenting what you are supposed to eat so it sounds like you are eating specific stuff that's going to help you lose weight and not just eating less of stuff that's bad for you:

isualize a nine-inch plate. On this plate there are four main items:

* A Rubik's cube which represents how much carbohydrate you should have at each breakfast, lunch and dinner -- very simple.
* A deck of playing cards which represents the portion of protein you should have with each meal. Approximately three ounces of some sort of protein; whether it's dairy (cheese to eggs), meat, fish, chicken -- whatever you want.
* A water bottle cap represents the amount of fat. It's just slightly over a teaspoon of fat. It could be butter, olive oil, flaxseed oil or dressing -- whatever you want.
* Three DVD cases as one unit. These cases represent how much fruits or vegetables you should have at each meal.

That is the 3-Hour Plateā„¢. By looking on page 87 of my book, people can look at it and they instantly get it.

MMM, DVD cases, a rubix cube, a cap, and a deck of cards. Sounds tasty. Actually, if I looked at my plate and started picturing that it was filled with toys and dvd cases, I'd probably lose my appetite. Which is the point.

The other catch is that instead of eating 3 meals, you eat every 3 hours, but less at each meal. This probably isn't a bad idea - people tend to snack. If you accept that people will snack, and plan for those snacks and reduce the amount you eat at meals to accomodate that, that's not a bad idea. But you don't need to say it's because of some chemical reaction that occurs from eating every 3 hours. When you boil it down, you are losing weight because you are eating less. The rest is just trickery to distract you from that fact.

And then there is the other part - the BS and the "what people want to hear"

Due to a bad back I am very limited on exercise. Will this diet work on it's own?

Yes, this diet stands alone 100%....

This plan requires no exercise at all, it's completely optional. Chapter 11 of the book does give you some basic, simple eight-minute exercises you can do.

Yes, if you have a physical condition where you really can't exersize, then you shouldn't. And you can lose weight without exersizing - in the same way that you can drive with a blindfold on. In other words, you can, but it's harder and less likely to have good results.

I started going to the gym a few months ago. For a while I was able to go 6 days a week most days, but now I'm down to 4 thanks to my night class starting up again. I usually do 45 minutes at a fairly low pace and incline on the treadmill, and a little bit walking and stationary bike. If the calorie counter on the treadmill can be trusted, that alone burns around 350 calories. That means I've basically eliminated a meal's worth of calories that I wouldn't have otherwise.

But most people don't like exersizing. I don't. I'd rather be watching TV, posting here, or shopping the clearance section of Target. I go to the gym because I know it's good for me, not because I like going to the gym.

In his defense, Jorge (the author of this piece of crap) does point out later on that exersize is good and has positive benefits beyond weight loss. But the dude also wrote a couple "8 minute workout" books. How many calories can you really lose in 8 minutes?

So if I can find a way to present "eat less and exersize more" to sound painless, I could write a book and get paid. Then once I get paid, I can get Liposuction and forget this whole diet thing.


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