Sunday, March 1, 2009

Not just another diet book

How many times have you seen an ad for a new book that stated, "Not just another diet book". As though what was written on the pages was new and different. Earth shattering, secret information that might change your life. All diets and all diet books are the same: Cut out, cut down, move more. The cut out and cut down might be couched in language that makes you think you are going to be allowed to eat as much as you want of whatever you want. But read the small print. Read between the lines. You are going to be avoiding lots of foods and eating way less--or none at all--of the stuff you really love.
Losing the belly fat seems to be the mantra of the moment among the diet gurus. Even if it were possible to spot reduce (which we dietitians are taught in school, it is not possible), the diets are nothing more than healthy food plans recommending lots of high fiber foods like whole grains, fruits and veggies, lean meats and dairy. Duh. Oh, and don't forget to exercise.
Some of the books talk about cortisol and it's effect on abdominal fat deposition. Perhaps there's something to it. So let's just cut stress out of our lives so we can all have flat bellies. Why, even thinking about dieting causes my cortisol levels to rise. Yes, let's all cut out stress. It's as simple as that. So perhaps as the economy improves, all Americans will awaken one morning with flat stomachs?
A recent study reveals that it doesn't matter what "diet" you go on, if you cut back on calories, you'll lose weight. Really? Gosh, I thought I had to mix and match certain foods, swing a dead rat over my head four times and jump in place while rubbing my belly.
Dieting makes me hungry. Dieting makes me want to eat. Dieting makes me forget how much I would like to be slimmer because my mind becomes fixated on my next meal. When I am not dieting, I actually have a very active mind. I think about lots of things that have nothing to do with finding food, cooking food, eating food. When I diet, I can only think about FOOD. My next meal. While I am eating, I am thinking of how long it will be until my next meal and what I will have.
If only I had not gotten fat! But I did. I am. I am thankful that I am getting old. Too old to ever again have a flat belly. Too old to wear a bikini. Too old to be worried about some flab. Because I notice that my old friends, slender though they may be, have got some flab and a tiny bulge in the abdomen. There is justice!

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