Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Only eat cold food. A rational diet plan is based on calories. Take in fewer calories than your body needs, and your metabolism will instead use up the extra candy bars your paunch has socked away. And what are calories? Energy, pure and simple. And when you eat hot food, how did that food get hot? By adding energy of course -- calories. So it's pretty much a no-brainer: eat cold food. I like ice cream.
Alternatively, only eat hot food. Diet gurus always stress the importance of exercise because it helps your body burn off those extra calories. Why take a chance that your body won't be able to burn off that cold, raw carrot? In fact, why take a chance on fruits and vegetables at all? They don't burn well, not like a potato chip. Instead, feed your body only scorched food, with all the calories pre-burned out of it. A nice thick steak, but well-done. French fries, extra crispy. Or even refried beans -- there's no way those pesky calories are going to survive refrying.
Try to forget to eat. I can't tell you how many times I've tried to lose weight and failed, just because I kept remembering to eat. It's really hard to not eat once you've remembered you have to. On the other hand if you just forget to eat, then not eating is a piece of cake.
Ask your spouse several times a day if you look thinner. Their vague, nodded agreement will do wonders for your self-image and give a boost to your motivation.
Another subtle point many beginning dieters forget is weigh-in management. Counter-intuitively, the foundation of your diet, the initial weigh in, should be in heavy boots, overcoat and wet hair, and ideally occur immediately after your Thanksgorging dinner. This gives you a baseline weight you can work with. Now don't give in to the temptation to run empty-bellied and naked to the scales right after that, looking to pocket the easiest bowling ball you'll ever lose, all in the very first week. No, string it out. Remove a shoe one week, the overcoat the next, and only then weigh in with dry hair. If you really take advantage of this advice, it should be at least 6 to 8 weeks until you have to start trimming your nails and shaving your body hair before stepping on the scales. You want to treat that extra initial ballast like it's your diet's insurance policy. If you use it right, you can drop a good 15 pounds without even breaking a sweat, and no annoying setback weeks or plateaus.
Let's talk menu plan for a minute. You need to make every bite count. Every food you eat should have some innate advantage. I don't care if it's reduced calorie, low in sodium, or cholesteral free -- whatever, doesn't matter. Your dieting body needs all of them. Pile up enough of these from the various foods you eat throughout the day, and you're well on your way. The trick is variety, so don't forget some oft-overlooked dieting staples:
- A satisfying sugared cereal, high in fiber and fortified with vitamins and iron.
- A chocolate chip granola bar or two, all-natural goodness and nutritious too.
- Sugar-free potato chips
- Hamburgers, for protein
- Low cholesteral Cola
- Beer, low in sodium
- A great big fat-free baked potato with all-natural sour cream on top.