"There are many more ways to be attractive than to be beautiful. "
-- William Landay, Mission Flats

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Lose Weight the Natural Way

     Have you gained a few pounds over the holidays? Or put on the so-called Covid 15? Need to go on a diet? You've come to the right place, because I am an expert. I have been on no less than 21 diets in my life. Every single one was an unqualified success. On my diets I have lost anywhere from 10 to 25 pounds.

     I've written about dieting before (see How to Get Fat). The only thing I can't explain is why I now weigh 20 pounds more than I did when I went on my first diet in the mid-1970s, when I gained a few pounds after I got married.

     While I am an expert on dieting, I want to assure everyone that I do not condone fat shaming. Why? Because it's not your fault! It's your spouse's fault (see above). It's your parents' fault. There may be too many fast-food places in your neighborhood, or you have poor impulse control due to an overactive pituitary.

    I've been around long enough to see the Atkins Diet, the Gluten Free diet, the South Beach diet, the Mediterranean diet, the Paleo diet, and a hundred others. Most don't work. But mine does. Why? Because with my diet you can have as much food as you want, and do whatever you want with it -- except eat it. Just follow these simple strategies:

     Honest Spillage. I got the idea for this diet one evening during dinner when I dropped some spaghetti sauce off my fork. I looked down. Oops, there it was on my sleeve. Then I looked more closely at my shirt and noticed a bit of egg from breakfast that had somehow found its way onto my collar. There was another stain on my pants . . . maybe from the French fries last night. The dietary lesson? If you spill, drop or otherwise lose 5 to 10 percent of your meal, you have cut your calorie intake by that same 5 to 10 percent!

     The leftover corollary: Be more discriminating with leftovers. I swear, B (who is thinner than I am, but how she does it I'll never know) will eat a plate of food that's been moldering in the refrigerator for a full week. And she eats leftover pizza. Leftover pizza! Yuck!  Just . . . don't . . .  go . . . there.

     Serious competition. I grew up as the youngest in a family of four kids. I had some serious competition for the mashed potatoes, not so much for the cauliflower. So I developed a taste for the vegetables that nobody else wanted.

     Later on, I would watch families eating in a restaurant. The kids would order a meal, eat about half of it, and leave the rest scattered around the table. Then the dad would go to work scooping up the leftover mashed potatoes and hunks of meat. This seemed like a good deal . . . for the dad. So after I got married I talked to my wife, and we agreed to have kids. The result? Sure, I gained a little weight. But my kids never got fat.

     The dessert corollary: B and I go out to dinner. Do you want any dessert? asks the waiter. Yeah, I'll have a piece of chocolate cake, says I. Oh, nothing for me, B demurs, just an extra fork. Well, you can see where this is going. I order dessert, B eats the lion's share of it. And I retain my thin, youthful appearance.

     Inedible meals. I recall several incidents when B and I have gone to a fancy restaurant. She would goad me into trying something new and exotic from the menu -- usually something I couldn't pronounce -- and I would feel very sophisticated, until the meal actually arrived and I would discover that the meat came from some unmentionable part of an animal's body ... and smelled like it too. I'd go home with an empty wallet -- and no bloated feeling since I'd consumed less than a hundred calories.

Doesn't hurt you if you don't eat it
     Similarly, B has a couple of favorite dishes she likes to cook. The other night she fried up some sausage (okay so far), but then in another pan she made broccoli rabe, which is like spinach, only worse. Then she throws it all together with little curly pasta that's impossible to fork up from the plate. So the stuff tastes awful, but even if you did want to eat it, you can't possibly transport it from the plate to your mouth. Sure, I go to bed hungry, but who cares if you're hungry when you're asleep?

     The European corollary: Go to France (as I once did). You won't believe what they try to get you to eat over there! No wonder French women are so thin!

     Play with your food. I got this technique from my daughter. Back when she was a teenager and experimenting with veganism, she would lift her chicken breast off the plate, let it hang there dripping over the table, and then start waving it around, complaining in a pained and exasperated voice: How can you ask me to eat dead animals? That's so gross!

     Of course, this kind of behavior, expected from a teenager, is not really acceptable for a grown man. So I use another technique, also inspired by my kids. When they were young, they could never sit still through an entire meal. It was up to me to entertain them -- push away from the table, walk them around, find something else for them to do for a little while.

     So now, many years later, I find that I, myself, can no longer sit through an entire meal either. To this day, halfway through a meal, I find myself getting up from the table and taking a little walk around the house. I come back. The table is cleared. Hey, I wasn't finished with my supper! It's too late. The dishes are cleared. Oh well, I realize, I wasn't hungry anymore, anyway.

     The chopstick corollary: Order Chinese food ... with chopsticks. You can never get fat as long as you're fumbling with these little sticks that are completely unsuitable for the task at hand.

     The seafood addendum:  Order lobster, mussels or clams for dinner. You actually use up more calories fighting for the food than you take in by eating it. This addendum also applies to a few fruits and vegetables, such as grapefruits, artichokes, or pretty much anything in a salad.

22 comments:

Susan Zarzycki said...

I enjoyed reading this. Thanks for the chuckles!

Bethany @ Happily Loco said...

LOL, I love it! I am an expert on dieting too! My husband discovered a trick out our wedding. He pushed really hard to get Moose Tracks ice cream, and they delivered it to the tables while he was greeting guests. It melted, got taken away, and saved him probably 200 calories!

ApacheDug said...

Haha! Gee Tom, I was just sitting here wondering if I wanted an omelet or maybe some pancakes for my Sunday 'brunchy breakfast' and now I've lost my appetite! Maybe that's another one to add to your list, "Read a blogger's goofball diet tips before eating"! :^)

PS. Darn it, now you have me craving some cold pizza....

Olga said...

Ahh, practical advice from an expert. I love it! Thanks so much for sharing. I was a tad suspicious when I saw the preview with a picture of cake but I see that these are are all very doable suggestions.

Wisewebwoman said...

I'm on a strict life regimen for the past several weeks and I too am a diet expert down to horse urine shots and starvation techniques which didn't involved dying.

I had to chuckle at your methodologies.

XO
WWW

DJan said...

I don't even have to try dieting to get food all over my shirt and pants. Sigh, this is not going to help me lose this extra weight! Maybe I'll try calorie counting, which helps occupy my mind as I think about that cake! :-)

Meryl Baer said...

Loved this! I never order lobster because it's not worth the effort. And I agree with you about the pizza, only hot fresh from the oven for me.

DUTA said...

Only the good, old calorie counting together with the 7 hour sleep works well for me. In fact, I don't have to count calories any more; I more or less know the calorie value of my food items.

Sports is of no value in my trying to lose weight; perhaps it prevents gaining weight, they say that about running. I don't know. At my age I wouldn't even try to know.

Carol Cassara said...

I hear you, my friend. Oh, how I hear you!

Linda Myers said...

So funny! Especially like the part about fighting with the lobster!

Kay said...

Too hilarious! Thank you for this wonderful post that just brightened my whole day. I can’t gain too much weight since I have a spouse who is very conscious of what goes into every meal. I tell him he’s too skinny. So there! And chopsticks? I could shovel a whole roast onto my mouth with chopsticks. LOL

Kay said...

Oh, and I could eat that chocolate cake with chopsticks too. Sigh...

Tom said...

The truth about that chocolate cake: It was for my birthday last summer and, sure enough, about a third of it ended up dropped on the floor.

Jennifer (UnfoldAndBegin) said...

If I need to stop eating, all I have to do is have someone put cooked broccoli on it. That crap is so disgusting, I refuse to eat food it touches because that awful taste infiltrates the good food.

Laurie Stone said...

For me, it all comes down to portion control. My mouth can say yes, but if my stomach says no, then that's it. No more.

Mona McGinnis said...

Great post. Any weight I've ever lost has always been found again.

Rebecca Olkowski said...

Love it Tom. I've been making homemade vegetable soup and eating mostly vegetables with a little protein. My roommates and I are working out every day in front of the TV for 30 minutes. I got on the scale, thinking I lost a bunch of weight and what do you know? I gained a bunch. I think I should stick to your diet. Or maybe give up wine.

Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com said...

Hi Tom! My favorite is the one where you find someone, or something to blame. I didn't have much of a problem until last May when I turned 65 and hit Medicare. One part of me was VERY happy that date arrived but since then I've gained weight--I'm calling it the Medicare-10. could there be a conspiracy to add weight once we turn 65 so they can get us to take drugs? The worst part is I don't eat dessert or even bread or pasta much. Didn't matter. So my diet advice is don't turn 65! ~Kathy

Arkansas Patti said...

This was fun all the way through. So far I have maintained weight through Covid. Once a few years ago though I did think chopsticks. Somewhere I have a pair I bought but could never get the hang of. I keep them just in case.

tahoegirl.blog said...

Too funny!!!

Friko said...

Hi Tom,
you forgot to mention the exhaustion diet. With all these activities I’d never get to eat anything at all.

It’s the only diet that works, all other diets make you fat.

gigi-hawaii said...

I don't use chopsticks. Maybe, that's why I am so fat.