There was the grapefruit diet. The cabbage diet. There’s the Atkins diet, which is the one where I think you can eat all the bacon you want, you just can’t eat bread. There’s the South Beach diet, which I think is some modified version of Atkins, but I get them all confused. There’s Weight Watchers (which I consider to be the perennially most successful) and Jenny Craig. There is the all-protein diet, the all-carb diet, and the none of the above diet.
Dieting is not something I do on a regular basis, but I do it on occasion. The impetus is that when I last went to the doctor, I weighed 126 pounds. This isn’t bad in itself, although it’s dangerously close to 130, which I consider the Rubicon. The problem is that it’s six pounds more than I weighed six months ago, so I’m going in the wrong direction. Time to put on the brakes.
So here is my personal diet plan: pay attention. That’s it, pretty much in a nutshell. I don’t deny myself anything I really love. Say, ice cream, or butter. If I do, I’ll fail. But I won’t eat it very often, and I won’t eat much of it.
Mostly I pay attention to calories. Of course, the experts say there is some danger in relying solely on calorie counting. You can’t count a 1oo plus can of Coke as the same as 100 calories of fruit. But I’m not in any danger of that. Partly because I don’t drink soft drinks. But I love fruits and vegetables. I hardly ever eat any non-fruit sugar. So to an extent, I’m already halfway there.
I have to laugh at myself. I once went on a diet many years ago and here’s what I would eat every weekday for lunch: a small number of saltine crackers, a boiled egg, a small can of green beans, and a small can of mushrooms. Let’s not talk about the amount of sodium in canned food. But green beans have like two calories and mushrooms have zero. Then of course, on weekends, I would consume an entire cow. Okay, I’m just kidding. But I was miserable. Plus I had to gag to get the green beans down–they are my least favorite vegetable.
This week was challenging. I went out to eat twice. First my boss came into town and we went to lunch at a Japanese restaurant. (Note: no one will ever get fat eating Japanese food.) I had the vegetable tempura. Yes, it’s fried, but remember what I said about not denying yourself certain things.
The next day I went to the Go Pink! luncheon (honoring local survivors of breast cancer). It was at a Country Club, where clearly, people don’t go for the food. As a bonus, I almost got run over by an eighty-ish guy on a golf cart. I expected rubber chicken. What I got was fried chicken and some sort of dried-out over-cooked pork (which might have been turkey). Run of the mill salad. I don’t eat lettuce, although I did put some on my plate to avoid looking weird while I ate cucumbers and red onion in ranch dressing. My favorite was the broccoli casserole, which had these tiny little cubelets of a yellow cheese-like product in it, which resisted melting. It was very good if you closed your eyes. Also, I ate a roll. And a pink cupcake, artfully displayed as a centerpiece on the tables. But I don’t mean to sound ungrateful. It was otherwise very sweet and humbling.
The rest of the week, I ate things like hummus and pita chips. Brie and pita chips. White grapes and saltines spread with butter. (My favorite snack since childhood.) And oatmeal. And milk, always milk, just less of it.
But I have to tell you, it’s working. Proving that Fakename’s diet plan works: pay attention. If you do, you will order a smaller steak and eat more of the broccoli casserole, mystery cheese-like ingredient included.
Oh to weigh 126 again!
I understand, Vinny! I almost feel guilty complaining about it. But I’m 5’2″ and small boned, and if I weigh much above 120 it’s very obvious. I know people who are much heavier but carry it well, as they say, and look fabulous. I don’t.
I’m 5’3″ and a smidge, if we get to count smidges, and weigh a whole lot more than you do. And it shows. Drat. But I’ve lost nearly 15 pounds by paying attention and not buying any temptations for the house. Weekends excepted.
Although we’ve no temptations so far this weekend but I had two pieces of garlic and parmesan toast with dinner.
That’s what I mean. Who could live (or want to) without garlic and Parmesan toast?
Also, Vinny, I love your name and love your blog too! I especially like the recipe using yak meat 🙂
Then, there’s the most popular diet in America… the “seafood” diet – “see food, eat it.”
Do you eat breakfast? That keeps your hunger low.
As for the “Coke vs. fruit” issue…there’s weight and there’s nutrition. For weight, a calorie is a calorie no matter whether it’s fruit or Coke.
But for nutrition, the fruit is better.
Here’s an interesting article on running vs. walking and slow walking vs. fast walking….
I don’t eat breakfast. I can’t even think of eating until about 10:00 A.M. But then I have maybe a muffin or some oatmeal. And I don’t eat as much for lunch when I do that. Yes it’s true that a calorie is a calorie. I was just trying to highlight the pitfalls of calorie counting by itself. Because as you say, it excludes nutrition.
One of my employees drinks about 6 diet Pepsis a day (by her account).. What is that? Like zero or one calorie each? But almost everything she eats makes her sick to her stomach.
When I used to work at McDonald’s we would laugh, because people would come through and order a diet Coke and a chocolate sundae, extra chocolate syrup, extra peanuts.
Your employee should be tested for Crohn’s. Food should not make you ill and all those Pepsis are bad for her bones.
I’ve recently lost 37 lbs. on the South Beach Diet -or at least, my version of it. I had gotten WAY out of control & basiclly didn’t denie myself anything -foodwise. This works wonderfully, for me. It makes me aware of everything I put into my body. I still have lots to go, but it’s so encouraging to me to be moving in the right direction!
Cousin that is great news! And I don’t really consider the South Beach diet crazy. One of my neighbors was on it for a while, One night for dinner at her house, we had, instead of potatoes, mashed cauliflower and it was delicious.
Fakesister…Crohn’s or an ulcer or acid reflux. But she is worse than me…she won’t go to the doctor unless she is deathly ill and I guess she doesn’t think she is deathly ill enough yet. But she does not have insurance. If she had to have some advanced test, I don’t know how she could do it. I did scare her and my cashier last week. One of my fellow BOMA Board members is married to a guy who had acid reflux for years. When he had to go to his doctor for a routine visit to get his prescription refilled, they made him go have more tests. He had esophogeal cancer (turns out acid reflux is a precursor). That was right before Christmas last year, and last week, he died.