Don't Eat That
It's amazing how much diet and nutrition advice is floating around today. There are thousands of ideas pointing in hundreds of different directions, telling us what our diet should be like.
"I'm a doctor--and I'm telling you to eat a lot of A, and a little B." "I'm another doctor--and I'm telling you to eat a lot of B, and a little C." "I'm another doctor--and I'm telling you to eat A squared plus B squared minus C squared." "Don't listen to those doctors. Listen to me. I lost 150 pounds by eating C squared plus B squared minus A squared, all on top of a stack of D squared--with a cherry on top." "What? No. Listen to me. I'm endorsed by Oprah and Angelina Jolie--and here's what I'm saying. You should not eat A in a house. You should not eat B with a mouse. You can eat the mouse, though--because it's low carb. You can eat his cheese, too--and fry it in lard. Eat 50 grams of carbs per day. If you had a bowl of cereal and a glass of juice for breakfast, you're already over your daily limit. And to make up for it, here's what you'll have to have for lunch: one finger down your throat. And there better not be any bread crumbs on that finger."
"Dr. Atkins, Dr. Shmatkins. Dr. Pritken, Don't Eat Chicken. Low Carb. Low Fat. Eat South Beach, Paris, Okinawa, Milan. They're not just places, they're diets we're on. You should eat 30 bananas a day. Or how 'bout the Mexican Diet, ole!"
Even if you only listen to a little of the advice that's out there, there are still a lot of foods that'll be off limits to you.
For some people, any time they see a food, they can come up with a laundry list of reasons why they shouldn't eat it. "It has too much fat, it has too much salt, it was cooked at a high temperature, it has a low nutrient density, it makes me feel bloated, it makes me bipolar, it elevates my triglycerides, it modulates my rhinocerides, it's not right for my blood type, it's not compatible with my computer, it doesn't get along with my mother, it owes a lot of money to my brother, it's pro life, it's anti-multiculturalism, it was grown next to tobacco, it was grown under a full moon, it's politically incorrect, it's emotionally unstable, it's genetically modified, it's financially irresponsible, it's rated R, it's door is ajar, it smells like teen spirit, it looks like Gene Shalit, it sounds like Vladimir Putin, it contains soy and gluten, it's dating my 19 year old daughter, it it contains food and water it's pasteurized, homogenized, homophobic, isotopic, supersonic, in the closet, out of order, past the border, high in low, low in high, low in low, high in high, low in high in low in low, low in low in high in high. ... and it's not organic." And they usually have two reasons why they should eat it. "It smells good, and I'm freakin' starving!"
A lot of people are less choosy about picking a spouse. They have twenty reasons why they won't eat a slice of pizza--but they hardly even care that their fiancée is racist, impatient, schizophrenic, narcissistic, short tempered, narrow minded, materialistic, imperialistic, addicted to drugs, unwilling to hug, hypercritical, hypochondraic, and 65 pounds overweight. "Yes--I'll marry Bob. But keep that pizza away from me."
We live in a world that's overflowing with ways to lose weight. There are 50 different magazines that put out issue after issue with something like this on the cover: "We finally discovered how you can lose weight quickly and easily. It's all in this issue. Buy it. Read it." One week, a magazine tells you, "You need to eat less at night, more during the day, less fruit, more hay, less bread, more toast, put your right foot in, put your right foot out, use smaller plates, use bigger spoons." A week later, the next issue of that same magazine says, "You need to eat a little meat, a lot of vegetables, but not nightshade vegetables, and not root vegetables, eat six times a day on weekdays, unlimited calling on weekends, eat less hay, more bread, use bigger plates, and smaller spoons." And the next week, that same magazine once again announces, "We finally discovered how you can lose weight quickly and easily," and it tells you to follow yet another diet. One time, I came across a magazine that said, "If you want to know how to lose weight, just read our last issue. This discussion is over. Our magazine is now discontinued."
And there are a lot of people out there who think, "I've been on 753 of 792 diets in existence. I have 39 more to go." They're like baseball card collectors trying to complete a set. Some women's den is a library of diet books--and any time she looks at them, she thinks, "Thanks to these 753 diet books, I've lost four pounds over the last seven years. That's 0.005 pounds per diet, and a .429 pounds per year average."
Some people think that even if a diet is good for one person, it might not be good for someone else--because different people often have much different nutritional needs.
There's even a popular book that tells you how to eat foods that match your blood type. I can only imagine how that was developed. Some guy put on a blindfold and threw 100 darts at pictures of foods--and then he said, "OK. The red darts are the type A diet, the blue darts are the type B diet," etc. Then he left his laboratory / apartment and told everyone, "Eat right for your blood type. It's all scientifically proven." Guess what? He's full of shit. Check his apartment, and I guarantee you'll find darts and a blindfold.
If you went on his diet and didn't lose weight, you should sue him. For everything he's got. The money from his book sales. The blindfold. The darts. And his blood. All twelve ounces. Just make sure you use a lawyer that's right for his blood type. Call up a law firm and say, "I need a type A lawyer to file a type A lawsuit against a son of A bitch."
Or instead of going to the trouble of figuring out what foods you can eat on a diet, you can just eat a $3 bar that's specially formulated to make you lose weight. There are hundreds of them out there. And most of them contain mostly sugar, milk, peanuts, oil, and flavoring. It's the mathematical approach. Any time you pay $3 for $0.03 worth of ingredients, you lose $2.97 worth of fat off of your belly. You don't even need to use your bathroom scale. Just check your bank balance. "I'm down $200."
I think the best thing about eating those bars is that you won't have to read a diet book. I'd rather pay $3 a bar than hear some asshole diet guru say, "Diets simply don't work. Except for my diet. All other diets are bullshit. So here's what you need to do. Start off by taking your height, and dividing it by the square root of your left wrist's circumference. The number you're left with is completely meaningless. Forget about it. OK. Here's the diet. If you think Elvis is dead, eat two servings of goat cheese a day for seven days; and if you think he's alive, eat four servings of cow cheese every three days for seven weeks. Then eat grapes for a week, mixed fruit for two weeks, and grapefruit for three weeks. And then eat coconuts and watch Gilligan's Island for five weeks, or until you're ready to murder Gilligan, vomit up your esophagus, and/or slit your wrists. The End."
Is that the end? Not quite. The diet is actually some sort of insane marriage. It's you and the diet's creator. You go on the diet, and he spends his money from the book sale. And then if you regain the weight you lost, there's a divorce. He gets to keep his money, and all you're left with is a fat ass.
People have lost weight--at least temporarily--on a lot of different and bizarre diets. Pick a diet, any diet, and there's a pretty good chance you'll lose weight on it. If you were to put a 300 pound man on a diet of rice cakes and Frosted Flakes for a month, he'd probably lose fifteen pounds.
Let's take a look at what happens when a diet takes off. It could be any diet. Let's say it's the Rice Cake Frosted Flake Diet. It starts off by getting a little hype. Then people try it--and some of them lose weight and recommend it to others. And some of those new people lose weight, and recommend the diet to more people. That cycle continues. A few years later, millions of us have the diet book on our shelves. But if you really look around, you'll find that almost nobody has actually lost weight and then kept it off for long eating rice cakes and Frosted Flakes. It's a Ponzi Scheme. Whoever created that diet should be in a jail cell next to Bernie Madoff.
Even scientists might not be worth listening to when they're talking about nutrition. Any time they say something, they end up reversing their position five to ten years later. "Eat three eggs a year. That's it. No more." "You know what? You can have three eggs a week." "Don't drink alcohol." "Have two drinks per day." "Stay away from coffee." "No--coffee's fine. It'll protect you from cancer. Drink it." "We changed our mind again. Coffee's no good. Drink something else." "Actually, coffee's exactly what you need." "For goodness sake--don't drink coffee!" "Go ahead and drink coffee. It's fine." "Put the coffee mug down, and step away from the kitchen with your hands up!" "No. Drink coffee. Drink it all day. Nonstop. Spit out that water and drink coffee. Trade your iPad for a coffee machine. Your entire life depends on you drinking coffee right now." "Actually, we changed our mind again. Coffee. It's bad. Don't drink it." Nutritionists are like the boy who cried wolf. At some point, we're not going to care what they say. Some guy from Harvard will tell us, "According to new research, coffee..." And that's when 100 people will come rushing in, and use their coffee mugs to beat him over the head. "We're going to kill you. ... Actually--no we're not. ... Yes we are. ... No we're not. ... We changed our mind again. You're a dead man."
Weight Loss Parades
In the old days, people didn't want to be thin. In fact, most people wanted to put on a few extra pounds. Women actually got mad at their husbands for not saying, "It looks like you've gained a few pounds, honey. Now you have a fat gut to go with your pretty face--you freakin' cow. I'm a very lucky man." Back then, calling your wife thin could lead to a divorce. Or she'd say, "Maybe if you made some money and you could afford some food, I wouldn't be so thin. If I were married to a doctor, I'd weight 300 pounds right now."
But nowadays, thinness is very glamorous. This is the first era in human history where women want to hear "Have you lost weight?" more than they want to hear "I love you."
I think Justin Bieber should put out a song telling the listener how thin she is. "Baby you're so thin / I can see your ribs / Sticking out your dress / All women want your skinniness / I can hear your stomach growl / Love all hundred seven pounds / Of you baby, head to toe / When you eat--nobody knows."
Some women want to hear more than just "Have you lost weight?" They'd prefer to hear, "Seriously--you're starving to death! What the hell is wrong with you? I'm going to force feed you a meal and make sure you digest it. You're dangerously underweight."
That sounds like a good plot for a chick flick. It'll start off where the last one ended. Matthew McConaughey will tell Kate Hudson, "I love you." Then she'll lose ten pounds in ten days. And he'll tie her to a chair on Valentine's Day, and force her to eat nothing but carbs for an hour. And she'll think, "I look like I'm starving. Mission accomplished." The End.
By the way, I think I have a good treatment for anorexia. This might work. We should force anorexic women to have 300 pound roommates. I don't think a 100 pound girl will have what it takes to say to her 300 pound roommate, "You know what? I'm feeling kind of fat. Do you think I look fat in these size negative four jeans? And look at my waist. It's almost as wide as your thigh. I really need to lose some weight." That'll lead to a 300 pound punch in the face.
Nowadays, when women are talking and they mention how they're hungry, they congratulate each other. "You're hungry? Congratulations! High five. Good. You're getting there. You're on your way." Some mothers are like that with their five year old daughters. "Good, honey. I'm glad you're hungry. Here's a gold star for dieting. Now go do some yoga."
And sometimes the daughters are more into dieting than the mothers. The other day, I saw a pregnant woman eating a piece of bread. And then the yet-to-be-born daughter in her belly said, "Mom--are you crazy? Do you know how many carbs are in that? I want to look thin for my birth. And you could lose some weight too, mom. Look at your belly. You're making both of us fat. Me and your belly. You better vomit out that bread. Just make sure there are no bread crumbs on your finger."
A lot of women are walking around hungry, thinking, "I'm going to skip lunch. After all--nothing tastes as good as being thin feels." And even when they pass out and regain consciousness later, they think, "I'm going to stay on this 600 calorie a day diet. After all--being thin feels better than being conscious." Then she tells her friend about the diet. And the friend says, "Oh--you passed out on your diet? It must be a really good one. I should go on it, too."
Things have really changed. Women used to eat when they were hungry--but nowadays, they celebrate. And in the 1930s, when someone lost weight, people acted like she was on the way to dying. But nowadays, when a woman makes it down to a skinny weight, people throw a parade for her. "She's skinny! She's skinny!" But most women are envious of thin women. So they also have a second event for a woman who's lost weight. A secret event she's not invited to. And what do they do there? They call her a bitch. "That skinny bitch! I hate her!"
Men aren't always allowed to discuss dieting tips the way women do. Imagine two guys talking about dieting at their college fraternity. Then some other frat guy comes in the room and says, "Are you guys sharing dieting tips?" And one of them replies, "No--we were just talking about... hookers. And beer. Beer and hookers." "I thought I heard you say something about dieting." "No. Just hookers and beer. As usual