absurd diet talk
December 3, 2003 03:46 PM

So, awhile ago I subscribed one of my lesser email addresses to the South Beach diet list. The idea being that, while I have no interest in dieting per se, that particular diet book appeared to have some practical advice on eating well and interesting healthy recipes in it, and I figured the list would occasionally send me something of value.

It does. Um, occasionally.

Today it sent me what sure seems to be horrible misinformation.

The average American eats between 2,000 and 8,000 calories - just for Thanksgiving dinner. And it's filled with bad fats, bad carbs, and bad sugars.

Can someone who isn't starving or accustomed to training to bulk up actually eat 8000 calories in a sitting? Even at a major feast? That's like three heaping plates of everything one might traditionally eat at Thanksgiving, each of them drowned in fatty gravy.

That just seems absurd.

But not as absurd as the diet's other claim to fame: the promise of losing nearly 15 lbs in 1-2 weeks.

If, as the email claims...

Most American's [sic] will gain 5-10 lbs by New Year's Day

Then the assumption is that you can lose 1-3 times as much as other people will gain in one fifth the time. That just seems shaky to me.

Of course, if (as so many people do) you go on this diet and fail to meet its inflated claims of instant, permanent weight loss, you'll be buoyed up by the regular emails you'll receive explaining how the failure to lose weight is, in fact, your fault. You didn't really cut out the bad foods. You didn't exercise enough. You have some other sort of health problem and should see your doctor (perhaps for weight loss surgery?).


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your wicked thoughts

hey april,
i can't find it in the online version to link to, but the december issue of Wired magazine (p.62) had an article on the government food pyramid and about how a replacement is being worked on. it also has relative food pyramids for many fad diets, including the south beach one. and while it says according to a sample, people only had 13ish pounds lost over 12 weeks, it did say that phase one was a dangerously fast level of weight loss, so their claim of 15lbs in 2 weeks might not be off.

not that i think Wired is "the source" regarding diets and nutrition, but it's a brief synopsis of diets and their tenets and might be worth a read. i found it informational.

these are the thoughts of ryan on December 3, 2003 04:50 PM

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