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|
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.