You Do Not Need a Special Diet

Myth: You Need a Special Diet Because You are Overweight Due to Your Gender, Genes, Parents, Hormones, Metabolism, Insulin Levels, Age, Blood Type, Carbohydrate Addiction, etc.

We all have the need to feel special. Even when it comes to the issue of weight, we want to feel that our situation is unique; that we are overweight for some special, obscure reason. That way, we don’t have to feel like a failure for our past attempts to get in shape. After all, how could you possibly have been expected to know that your problem wasn’t eating too much, it was your cursed blood type?

Forget all these diet crazes. Most of them are just nonsense, and even the ones that have some validity don’t bring much to the table. For instance, what good does it do to blame your weight problem on your genes? Does it make you feel better to know that you are predisposed to being overweight? That may be relevant to keeping the weight off (and I will show you how easy that is to do), but to lose the weight in the first place you must do what everyone else must do – burn more calories than you consume.

Let me give you a slightly crass hypothetical to illustrate the point. We are going to take a group of 50 overweight volunteers, all needing to lose about 30 pounds.  We lock them all up with nothing but water for two months (the outer limit of how long you can survive without food). So that our volunteers will burn a few calories during the two months and not just lay around moaning, we install treadmill-powered televisions. The only way for the volunteers to escape the boredom is to walk on the treadmills.

After the two months we throw open the doors and our volunteers stumble out. What do think they would look like? Do you really believe that some would emerge, plump as ever, due to their gender, genes, parents, hormones, metabolism, insulin levels, age, or blood type? I have this comical image of one rotund woman, standing among 49 thin people, saying, “I told you no diet would work with me; I am predisposed to being overweight because of my metabolism.”  The only way that could happen is if she ate one of the other volunteers.

Every time I think a fad diet has run its course, it reappears.  I would have thought for certain that with all the information available, no one would ever again be foolish enough to fall for the “blood type” diet.  Now I hear that it is back.  The reason that these diets never die is because just about any diet will work if it consists of lowering your caloric intake.  Let me give you an example.

The Vowel Diet

I’ve just discovered the secret to weight loss. It’s called The Vowel Diet. Studies show that your body cannot properly process and absorb any foods that contain the vowels “E” and “I” in their name. This is a secret that was known by our ancestors – that’s why they put these letters in all the bad foods when they named them. But this secret was lost over the ages, and that’s why we are now fatter than at any other time in history. The medical world knows about the vowel diet – that is why most doctors are slimmer than the public at large – but they have kept the information secret so they can make a fortune treating diseases caused by excess weight.

Under The Vowel Diet, you cannot eat any dairy (certain dairy products are doubly bad as evidenced by their vowels, such as ice cream). Do not use the broad category of “meat” to exclude that entire group, rather look to the individual names of the meat. For example, beef is not permitted, but pork is okay. Note the wisdom of our ancestors. Even if you go to the subgroups, the rule still applies. Hamburger, a form of beef, is out because of the “E”, while ham, a form of pork, is still acceptable. Similarly, for fish, you should use the specific name of the fish. In other words, salmon, trout and tuna are permissible, but halibut is not. The same rule applies to fowl; chicken and turkey are out, but you can eat all the squab you want.

As silly as this fictional Vowel Diet may sound, it is no more nonsensical than most of the garbage that is being foisted on the dieting public. In fact, it would be far more effective than much of what is being offered. It would eliminate a lot of fatty, caloric foods from your diet (beef, ice cream, milk, etc.), and almost certainly people who followed The Vowel Diet would lose weight as a result. Joy Behar would mention on The View how she had lost weight on The Vowel Diet, and zealots would take to the streets to proclaim how the ancient food code had finally been broken.

Don’t fall for all this nonsense.  If someone loses weight on the Blood Type diet, it’s not because the idiot author proclaimed that people with A positive blood should not eat Snickers bars; it’s because they consumed fewer calories.  The next time you hear the latest rationalization for excess weight, keep in mind the image of the 50 people emerging from lock-up.

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August 17, 2008Permalink Leave a comment

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