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Ask nutritionist Dr Ramesh Bijlani. 25 years of research makes him the man to go to for answers on how to eat right
While researchers across the world bring you grim new data about how modern-day eaters are doomed to suffer ill How To Exercise Horse In The Heat .com/topic/health”>health, a gentleman in Delhi, who has spent a quarter of a century researching nutrition, says it’s lucky if you are Indian. Eating a healthy diet is simple for us, claims Dr Ramesh Bijlani, because a traditional desi meal meets most nutritional requirements, if current research findings are anything to go by. Moderation, not monasticsm, is key. “Intolerable dos and don’ts about foods are impressive, but not desirable,” says the expert, who is out with his latest book, Eating Wisely and Well
Bijlani takes on four questions most of us are itching to get answered:
Why do you compare carbohydrates with Cinderella?
About 70 per cent of the energy content of an Indian diet comes from carbohydrates. Yet, they are often looked down on, as if they are a necessary evil. Affluent Indians often declare with an air of superiority, ‘I eat no carbs’, little realising that if that’s the case, they are following a poor diet. The science of nutrition can safely assert that if 70 per cent of one’s energy comes from carbohydrates, it is an indicator of a healthy diet. Dietary carbohydrates can either contain starches (complex carbohydrates) or sugars (simple carbohydrates). The principal sources of starch are cereals, pulses, potatoes and bananas.
Cereals and pulses are a package deal. They provide not only carbohydrates but protein, too, a small quantity (but an important type) of fat, some vitamins, minerals and so on. So, eating cereals and pulses automatically ensures a supply of several other nutrients, which the body needs. In contrast, sugar is 100 per cent carbohydrate. For once, such purity is not desirable; it is better to consume carbohydrates ‘contaminated’ with protein, fat, vitamins and minerals.
New studies throw up contradicting data each day. How does one figure how much water to drink?
We need just enough water to balance loss through urine and sweat. The water requirement of an adult may vary from one to five litres a day. There are two indicators to how much water to drink — thirst, and the colour of urine. If we depend only on thirst, we might drink just enough water, but just enough is not good enough; a little more is always better. The colour of urine can guide us towards that. If we drink enough water to ensure that the urine is colourless, not yellow, the water intake is just right.
Dilute urine prevents kidney stones and infection. Stones are born as tiny crystals, and this crystallisation is less likely to occur if the urine is diluted. Germs also need food material to grow on, and therefore, grow more easily in concentrated urine.
Why is re-using heated oil a bad idea?
Heating changes the oil physically and chemically. Physically, the viscosity of the oil is altered. Chemically, it may acquire carcinogenic substances. This is more likely if the oil also contains suspended food particles, which may get burnt during cooking to produce carcinogens. That’s why oil left over after frying should not be used repeatedly. Oil left over after one cycle of frying should be used by adding to a vegetable or dal. Among the commonly used vegetable oils, the one that stands heat best is coconut oil.
What’s the hype over antioxidants?
Drawing energy from food involves a process similar to burning wood. Wood burns with the help of oxygen. The process involved in the release of energy is called oxidation. Oxidation has an unpleasant by-product — highly reactive chemical entities (called free radicals, or reactive oxygen species) that can cause damage to the cells in the body. To prevent this damage, we have two antioxidant mechanisms. One is in-built, and the other is sourced from diet. A few examples of non-traditional nutrients with antioxidant activity are resveratrol and flavonoids in grapes and tea; lycopene in tomatoes and watermelons; lutein in carrots, corn, and yellow fruits; and allyl sulphides in onion and garlic.
Best time to have water
1. Water dilutes the digestive juices. So, drinking water during meals weakens digestion. If you must, make sure it’s no more than one glass. But it also helps rinse the mouth between morsels, letting you enjoy the unmixed taste of each dish.
2. Drinking water before a meal fills up the tummy, making sure you eat less. This might help you lose weight.
3. Consuming water after a meal serves as a partial mouthwash, helping keep the teeth healthy.
An extensive study that included data from some 500,000 children, in 51 countries, resulted in a strong statistical link between eating more fast food and a 39 percent higher prevalence of asthma in teenagers. Children of the ages 6 and 7 who were in the highest fast food intake category of three or more servings per week were found to have a 27 percent increased risk by the vast study published in the medical journal Thorax on January 14.
Researchers at the University of Auckland in New Zealand found that those who ate more than three servings of foods such as burgers, fries and pizza a week had more severe allergic disease symptoms like wheezing (Asthma), runny nose and watery eyes (Rhino-conjunctivitis) and itchy skin (Eczema).
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On the positive side, eating three or more portions of fruit a week, below the advised three servings per day, was found to have a protective effect and reduced the risk of severe eczema and rhino-conjunctivitis by 11 percent to 14 percent.
The teenagers and parents of the six and seven year olds were questioned on the symptoms of asthma, rhino-conjunctivitis and eczema in the preceding 12 months. The researchers also asked participants about their diet and consumption of certain types of foods and the frequency of consumption was put in three categories, measured as never or occasionally, once or twice a week and three or more times a week.
The study included data from 319,000 teens of 13 and 14 years old in 51 countries and 181,000 children between the age of six and seven in 31 countries. This enabled the study to show the results were consistent in rich and poor countries, among boys and girls, and in many different societies across Europe, Africa, the Americas and Asia, and also control for other factors potentially influencing the results.
Researchers cautioned that this kind of study cannot prove a cause-and-effect relationship, but if the latest link is indeed causal then the latest findings would have a “major public health significance owing to the rising consumption of fast foods globally,” the study authors Professor Innes Asher from the University of Auckland in New Zealand, and Professor Hywel Williams, from the University of Nottingham in the UK wrote in the study.
“The positive association observed here between fast food intake and the symptom prevalence of asthma, conjunctivitis and eczema in adolescents and children deserved further exploration, particularly in view of the fact that fast food is increasing in popularity around the world,” the authors wrote.
Malayka Rahman, research analysis and communications officer at Asthma UK, confirms that diet may contribute to a person’s risk of developing asthma and that following a healthy diet may have a beneficial effect, as other research results show.
“This research adds to previous studies that suggest a person’s diet can contribute to their risk of developing asthma, and indicates the benefit of further research to determine the effects that particular food groups can have on the chances of developing asthma or the impact it may have on severity,” Rahman said in a statement.
“Evidence suggests that the vitamins and antioxidants found in fresh fruit and vegetables have a beneficial effect on asthma,” Rahman added. “Therefore, Asthma UK advises people with asthma to eat a healthy, balanced diet including five portions of fruit or vegetables every day, fish more than twice a week, and pulses more than once a week.”
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Despite being clearly aimed at fat kids, a new children’s book Maggie Goes On A Diet is attracting controversy because according to parents and kid experts it encourages children to develop eating disorders.
The book, written by Paul M Kramer and aimed at corpulent kiddywinkies, is written in rhyme and tells the story of Maggie – a young fatty that transforms her life by losing weight and becomes a football hero at her school. Despite its ‘controversial’ message, Amazon is already taking orders for the book which is due for release in October. From the parents of chubbies I imagine.
According to the sypnosis on Amazon’s website the book’s plot involves ‘a 14-year-old girl who goes on a diet and is transformed from being extremely overweight and insecure to a normal-sized girl who becomes the school soccer star. Through time, exercise and hard work, Maggie becomes more and more confident and develops a positive self-image.’ It doesn’t sound so innocuous.
Any diet book could be accused of encouraging eating disorders. So could most recipe books. And whilst some diets involve ridiculous regimes, there are still those that encourage healthy eating and exercise. The problem is that we are now a nation of fatties. Our kids are developing obesity quicker than we can order our next McDonalds Happy Meal. Obesity in children is a growing concern (fat pun intended).
[adsense]Why encouraging an already overweight kid to exercise, and develop a positive self image should be considered controversial is completely unclear but a UK mother whose daughter died of anorexia aged 16 after going on a post-Christmas diet and suffering a heart attack has criticised the book calling it a “timebomb.”
“There is a huge percentage of kids who will read it and not take anything from it, but some will see it as the answer to a lot of things,” she said.
And there are also some genuinely obese children out there and in many cases obesity is already a sign that the kid has an eating disorder, and if the book can help them improve their potential, healthily lose some weight and stop them dying from obesity related illnesses and/or having a life of unhappiness and self loathing, then that’s not so bad is it?
Children’s dietician Paul Sacher concurs with the mother calling the book “shocking”, adding “The suggestion that a young child should aspire to look thin rather than be healthier or have more energy is very concerning. While it’s important that children maintain a healthy weight for their age and height, the idea that a child should go on a diet and lose weight is not helpful and could potentially be damaging.”
Sacher doesn’t mention how children can maintain a healthy weight when they are surrounded by junk food, adverts for nutrition-less food, severely underweight role models and images of models and celebrities ‘augmented’ by computer software.
It’s difficult to know whether the book is going to be a detrimental publication that causes eating disorders in youngsters or whether it will be used as a helpful fun manual for kids already on their way to obesity, when it’s not yet been released, but It’s not like the book is encouraging children to starve themselves to death – god knows there are enough websites and images in the media that will happily encourage them to do that without an iota of compunction.
A nutritionist at the University of California, Joanna Ikeda, said that “role models such as Maggie could perpetuate the idea that ‘if you don’t look like Cinderella, you’re a failure.” Oh, a bit like Cinderella then.
She added that a child who read the book “might, in fact, try to do this [lose weight] and fail. What is that going to do to their self-esteem?”
What is being obese going to do to their self esteem? What if they try to be like Hannah Montanna or Justin Bieber or David Beckham and fail – what is that going to do to their self esteem? There are enough detrimental images on the television and internet to guarantee that every child develops an eating disorder, already, why attack a book aimed at assisting with the growing problem of rotund youngsters.
But us sheeple do love to get together a lynch mob and run through the village with our torches blazing amplifying things out of proportion.
Eating disorders are a horrible animal and once gripped by one, it feels almost impossible to shake that unremitting grip. If a book that gently helps a chubby kid to lose a bit of weight and exercise written in rhyme promotes eating disorders, then there is a high chance that they already had that propensity. There is a big difference between a healthy diet and lifestyle and an eating disorder. Like with alcoholism, some people are affected and some others, not.
With all the ridiculous media images and adverts, the idea of a simple book aimed at gently encouraging overweight youngsters to exercise more and develop a healthy body image causing so much outrage, seems ludicrous.
Kramer is a father, has also previously published other books including Do Not Dread Wetting the Bed. Imagine if a child tries to stop wetting the bed and fails – what is that going to do its self-esteem?
Silly people. It’s the likes of McDonalds and the media you should be attacking. Fat kids exist. Obesity is already a massive problem (fat pun intended). If you really want to protect your child from eating disorders, chuck out the TV, and never let them leave the house.
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In an ideal world we would all have paid attention to health guru Gillian McKeith and other proponents of a healthy lifestyle and realised that the only acceptable and non-dangerous way of achieving our optimal weight is to eat natural wholefoods and introduce an enjoyable and achievable routine of exercise into our lives. What I’m talking about is a sustainable method of eating such as the plant-based diet and yoga and/or swimming and/or walking. We’d have realised that the planet provides what food we need in the format we need it, exactly as it does for every other species on the planet. We’d remember that when it comes to eating, as a species we are not nearly as ‘special’ as we like to think and that the processed, treated, ravaged ‘food’ that we put into our poor bodies is wrong for us and doesn’t provide the nutrients that we need to properly sustain our minds and bodies to their fullest.
That’s awful news because what most of us want to hear is that there is a new ‘diet’ book/pill/technique/magical secret that will allow us to eat what we want, when we want and still lose weight. We want secret pills that let us eat three Snickers bars dipped in cheese when we’ve argued with our boyfriends, enough Dunkin’ Donuts to feed a small family when we’ve been shouted at at work, and a pizza big enough for two, garlic bread and chicken wings followed by a dessert and coffee and half a bottle of champagne, oh and some petit fours when we are celebrating. And a packet of Twinkies.
So what we are really after is a method that will allow us to eat ‘foods’ that are toxic to our bodies without putting on weight. The focus always on weight and never on health.
One diet that fits such a remit and that has gained interest in recent years is the Alternate-day Diet. A diet also known a ‘part-time anorexia’ which should be enough to put almost everyone except the completely self loathing off from the word ‘no’.
The diet recommends a pattern of eating that includes one crazy day of bingeing followed by a day of almost starving yourself to near death. A bit like an eating disorder then. That sounds fun. And dangerous.
Dr James B Johnson is the genius we have to thank for this new form of self torture. The diet has already received criticism by health professionals who declared it physically and mentally damaging. A bit like an eating disorder then.
So the premise of the diet is that the lucky fatso gets to eat whatever they want on a binge day – absolutely no food is off limits. I can see dieters enjoying this day. Whatever you want! It’s a dream come true. This is what all us fatties have been trying to manifest for years. Bring it on baby. When can I start? Where do I sign?
And then the following day, the poor SOAB gets to eat, well… she doesn’t get to eat much at all. A pathetic 300 to 500 calories a day. Which sounds gruelling at best. For the first few weeks this massive amount of calories must be consumed in the form of protein shakes. Hmm…slightly less appealing, no? I think I’m already depressed. Spend half of your life wishing half of it away and the other half eating. Overcompensating on one day knowing that the next day will be awful. That’s an eating disorder. On the binge days you need no self control whatsoever and the following day you need the willpower of a very determined hunger striker who’d happily die than abandon their cause. That’s yo-yo dieting. And has been proven to be what makes people fat in the first place.
One day you can eat chips, gateau, ice cream, cookies, beer and hot dogs, deep fried cheese and clotted cream sandwiches, pepperoni pizza dipped in chocolate double-deep-fried and rolled in sugar. Twice. And the next day you compensate by pretty much fasting. I tried this diet for many years. Although, back then it was called bulimia. The name may have changed but the premise is identical. Sadly, the diet failed to work for me. My body was ravaged, I was depressed, completely obsessed with food and had the kind of negative body image that would bring on suicide attempts in the most robust of character. Oh and I was fat.
Dieters have basically doing this for years. That’s why they are fat. The Alternate Day Diet is not only counterproductive, but dangerous too. Bulimia is a killer and this is bulimia. It may not include the psychological issues that bulimics suffer with, but it’s only a matter of time. Food deprivation leads to obsessive behaviour. People who deprive themselves of food tend to get so hungry that they will binge eat on unhealthy foods and then feel guilty and/or disgusted with themselves and enter another period of extreme deprivation. And that’s where the binge/purge cycle begins. This is a very unnatural eating method that places great pressure on the human body, not only from stress but also from overloading the digestive system which can raise blood pressure and lead to a host of other issues.
Founder of the diet, New Orleans-based Dr Johnson defends his diet saying that the diet regulates the appetite – that eating large quantities one day will lead to a decreased appetite the following day. Perhaps, this might be true of a few but I think many eating disorder experts and sufferers might beg to differ. His book claims that the diet increases the metabolism and tricks the body into spending more calories than it usually would.
Johnson discovered the Alternate Day Diet after finding scientific research that reported mice losing substantial weight on a similar plan, along with other purported health benefits. He performed clinical trials and found that dieters lost an average of 8% of their overall body weight over a two-month period.
Other scientists are strangely sceptical of his claims that the diet will in fact assist in lowering blood pressure and has other positive effects on the body such as improvements in asthma and arthritis.
[adsense]Like most other diets, this diet will lead to food obsessions, maybe some short-term weight loss but overlooks the fact that we should all be eating a healthy diet. We need to look to nature if we want to see what we should be eating.
No other species needs to diet or follow outlandish eating systems that involve equations, portion weighing, calorie counting, low fat, low carb, high interest or any of the other preposterous gimmicks we’ve gobbled up over the years. Stop waiting for miracles. Eat healthy and you will reap the benefits. Not just weight loss but clear skin, improvements in your mood, digestion, cellulite, libido and joie de vivre. You can reach your optimal weight and feel happy but stop listening to snake oil salesmen.
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Angelina Jolie and Sarah Jessica Parker were the highest paid actresses for 2011 according to a new list compiled by Forbes, with both actresses being paid a vast $30million of kerching for their acty efforts.
But that’s not all they have in common. Despite their appearance on the list, neither woman is an exceptional actress.
Sarah Jessica Parker, or Sarah Jurassica Parker as one of my Facebook friends calls her rakes in a tremendous salary based on her appearance in girly TV stalwart Sex in the City and its interminable reruns, along with many endorsements, no doubt for products she’s never tried and possibly never heard of, along with a sickly perfume.
Jolie is enjoying a massive salary based on last year’s thriller Salt where she plays a very credible highly-respected CIA agent with lips like a discombobulated squid who goes on the run, a movie that manages a massive 6.5 stars (out of a possible 10) on imdb.com. Time Out New York awarded it 2 stars out of 5. The Tourist, in which she co-starred with Johnny Depp received a whopping 5.9 stars on imdb.com and 56% on rottentomatoes.com. Although one critic bizarrely (and possibly drunkenly) gave it 4 out of 4. Never underestimate the power of squid lips.
Angelina Jolie is of course absurdly beautiful and even though in the real world beauty does not a fantastic actress make, it still appears to be a requirement, and often the single requirement for a career in the glorious phony world of Hollywood. Jolie appears on a daily basis in men’s, women’s and celebrity rags and we cannot seem to get enough of her. We still continue to queue up like thirsty zombies at a blood fountain to see her high-budget/low-quality movies.
Sarah Jessica Parker – women love her because she’s so natural and girly and because she is a little bit ugly (face like a slightly pensive anteater), just like us. And on Sex in the City her character talked about sex and dildos and everything, which is really cool. Angelina Jolie – well, men want to have sex with her mouth.
So one sitcom actress and an action movie star who starred in some sub-average movies are creaming hideous quantities of the spendable stuff, which is just another indictment of the painfully contradictory state our society is in. The message once again is attractive appearance and average appeal are of greater importance than talent.
Another sitcom actress, Jennifer Aniston, came third on Forbes’ list. An inoffensive character famous for playing an identical character in almost identical romantic comedies aimed at bunches of girlies who might cry if they accidentally watched something with a gun in it and that didn’t end with a closing shot of a white wedding.
Girl next door Sandra Bullock topped last year’s list. Another middle of the road actress with middle of the road looks who takes on ‘beige’ roles in formulaic Hollywood pulp and gets inordinate sums of cash for doing so. If there was an award for being average, Bullock could come second.
It’s a quirky old world where people win awards for doing things they aren’t particularly good at and where gargantuan salaries are dished out based on appearance and popularity, rather than on merit. Acting roles are awarded to the beautiful ones or the most likeable rather than to those that can act.
That doesn’t happen in the real world. An average cardiologist wouldn’t win acclaim based on his or her icy blue eyes or cheekbones you could cut sausages with.
But it’s these faces that command the great salaries and get folk to the box office. We shouldn’t call them actors and actresses and we shouldn’t call them talent. We should call them adverts. Because that’s all they are. A lure to get us in a cinema and to part with our money. Their faces are logos. That’s what we pay for. That’s why they command great fees and having a good face isn’t a talent. A gift, yes. A talent, no.
Call me an idealist, but I’d like the top 3 actresses on the best paid actresses list to at least be three exceptional individuals. Who can act. In good roles.
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Those beneficent souls at HGC are giving away free samples of their product: HGC Diet Drops, in a forthcoming campaign to promote their very effective sounding product. Such largesse, I personally find very touching.
HGC Diet Drops claim you can drop more kilos than you actually weigh in the first place by simply taking these magic drops… oh and adhering to the kind of dietary plan that would make a broken-hearted earthworm’s tummy rumble. Can anyone else smell a scam? Everyone check their shoes – did someone tread in scam? Diet companies wouldn’t scam us would they? Would they really pray on the insecurities of the overweight and unhappy to line their pockets and make their customers miserable whilst selling them an ineffectual product that’s more than likely dangerous?
The scientists (also known as the marketing department) at HCG (which stands for human chorionic gonadotropin [not sure what that stands for but it contains the word ‘gonad’, that’s all I’m saying.]), say that the HCG diet provides a simpler and more convenient way of addressing obesity and weight problems. When combined with a diet that’s low in calorie (oh here we go, it’s the 1970s again. Dig out your bell bottoms Starsky) sufferers of the diet can lose so much weight, so quickly, that they couldn’t pick themselves out in an identity parade. And apparently you don’t even have to exercise. Admittedly, on 500 calories a day, fluttering your eyelashes would be the equivalent of doing a 90-minute Bikram yoga class whilst wearing armour.
So all this time, all you needed to do to lose bucket loads of weight was to imbibe the piss of pregnant women (I looked it up, I couldn’t help myself), and eat a miserable quantity of calories per day and apparently the weight would fall off. As an ex-anorexic I used to consume less than 500 calories a day and I was absolutely miserable. I was so obsessed with food that it was all I ever thought about. I woke up thinking about food; I could hear a packet of potato chips being opened at 40 meters (I held the record amongst anorexics between 1998-2001); if someone ordered a salad, I left the room; if someone opened a box of candy, I left the country; if someone ordered a pizza, I chewed my own wrists off without swallowing my calorie dense flesh of course.
Admittedly I wasn’t drinking from the pregnant hairy fountain, but unless these magic drops contain large quantities of amphetamines it is unlikely that they will curb the appetite sufficiently long-term. So, what happens when you stop taking the drops that apparently curb your appetite? What happens when your exponentially voracious appetite returns and you find yourself buttering the dog and imagining your husband naked between sheets of lasagne? Are you sure that’s béchamel sauce?
HCG is not a new diet scam. It was kindly developed by a white man fifty years ago and was a very popular diet for a while, favored by corrupt doctors who were guaranteed a stable income from fat patients requiring weekly injections of child-bearing woman’s piddle. When I was a little cynic, I thought doctors were altruists, dedicating their lives to heal the sick and pat small children on their heads. Dr Simeons, the charlatan responsible for these miraculous drops claimed that the diet would mobilize fat and somehow, quite magically I thought, redistribute fat from the waist, hips and thighs, to… somewhere else presumably. Preferably someone else.
The HGC cycle lasts 40 days, after which time, you can, should you be sectionable, repeat the cycle ad infinitum. I’m looking forward to that second cycle already.
[adsense]This diet and other quackery may work short-term and in a rare few it may even work long-term (that’s a disclaimer.). Any diet that promotes such severe weight loss should be steered well clear of. Any diet that advocates a daily calorific intake of less than 500 calories (unless it’s a controlled fast for a very short period of time eg one week or less) should be avoided like the plague. The Black Death – now there was a simple weight loss solution, albeit short-term so long as you don’t mind accessorizing with painful buboes.
Clinical trials have, again surprisingly, shown the magic beans to be sadly ineffectual, but despite this and lots of negative publicity in the last few years, they are still trying to get their filthy hooks into an easily exploitable demographic with this give away scam.
This diet will work. If you starve your body on 500 calories a day, you will lose weight. Quickly. And lots of it. Then you will regain that weight, plus some extra because your body will have gone into starvation mode and will be holding onto every scrap of fat it can, in case it suddenly runs out of food again; and you will be back to being fat and unhappy. But fatter and unhappier than you were before you attempted the stupid diet. And more food obsessed than you thought possible.
Don’t be fooled. Look in the mirror, try to like yourself and say three times ‘there is no quick fix.’ Once you accept that, you will either learn to live with yourself at the weight you are; or you will go about weight loss in a more sensible way and reclaim your life back from weight obsessions.
Tell HGC to stick their splendiferous free gift up their fat arses. Selling these products to the fat and unhappy is akin to selling ineffectual anti-carcinogenic miracle pills to oncology patients. It’s sick and it’s wrong.
Please share your thoughts on faddy diets and snake oil weight loss pills by leaving a comment.
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I don’t trust any diet that favors protein over green vegetables. To me that’s just ludicrous. Any diet that encourages such a system is controversial, and more than likely hazardous to the health – and the Dukan Diet is just that.
After the fervour and hype that surrounded the Atkins diet a decade or so ago, a new money spinning system for helping people lose weight, money and the will to live has come along that sounds strangely familiar.
The Dukan Diet, which has been sent over by the crazy French, advocates large quantities of lean animal protein, oatmeal and few vegetables.
The plan consists of four phases, the first of which generously allows the dieter to eat as much as they want, when they want, as long as it is low fat animal protein. Oh, so chicken and fish you mean? And they can stick their diet in any orifice they want, so long as it’s their arse.
The second phase permits small quantities of vegetables – every other day.
In a later phase you’re actually permitted fruit! Ye gads! Albeit one piece per day. In this phase you are allowed 2 slices of bread per day and a portion of cheese, but only one piece of fruit. Hmmm.
Apparently you can lose 1-2 pounds of your disgusting unwanted flesh per day during phase 1 you repugnant overweight monster and by the third day hunger disappears. Along with your sense of humour I imagine. Now call me old fashioned, but isn’t hunger a natural process? Isn’t hunger the body’s way of communicating with the brain to tell it that it needs food for energy and vital functions such as breathing, thinking, moving, farting etc. The only time we don’t feel hunger is generally when we are too hot and trying to keep ourselves cool; or when we are ill or dying.
The diet encourages you to take multivitamins, probably to replace the vitamins you should get from fruit, vegetables and healthy fat sources, and to resign yourself to a lifetime of abject misery. Worryingly it also permits sugar-free chewing gum and artificial sweeteners. It’s true, I know many cancer sufferers who have lost loads of weight.
The only downside to the diet, according to its proponents, other than the fact that the dieter is unlikely to be able to glean any joy from living whatsoever, is constipation, fatigue and halitosis. So you’ll be slim but knackered, fetid and full of old shit.
Experts say that by prohibiting whole food groups the diet doesn’t include all the vitamins that the human body needs to thrive, even with the paltry supplementary multivitamin, and say that prolonged use of such a diet could affect the kidneys, lead to muscle mass and gallstones. You’ll be slim though, hey.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re calorie counting or omitting entire food groups, any diet that makes you miserable – and the Dukan Diet inevitably will, is going to fail long-term. Losing weight and then putting it back on again, is even worse than not losing it in the first place.
Our approach to our health and weight needs to change. We need to start adopting the same approach to unhealthy food as we do to smoking. There are not many smokers who, once over the initial withdrawal period, salivate over the sight of someone else smoking. They don’t look at the loser puffing away and think how lucky they are, because they can enjoy a cigarette.
Incidentally, in his 20-year study and subsequent book, The China Study, Dr T Campbell found massive links between diets that included animal protein and cancer.
“People who ate the most animal-based foods got the most chronic disease … People who ate the most plant-based foods were the healthiest and tended to avoid chronic disease. These results could not be ignored,” said Dr. Campbell.
When you see someone forcing a Big Mac down their gullet, don’t envy them, pity them. Really, why would you want to do that to your precious flesh vehicle? Are you in that much of a hurry to die? Recognise that manufacturers of junk food want your money and want you to remain addicted to their carcinogenic products; and adopt a healthy sense of hatred towards them. How dare they! Why would you want to give your money to a corporation that is willing to kill you in order to improve their profits?
I’m a health food junkie. I’d snort spirulina if I thought it was more easily absorbed. But I also go off the rails sometimes. Sometimes I go off the rails a lot. You eat a piece of cake and you get a taste for it, and then before you know it, you are naked and marinating yourself in a bath tub of dark chocolate, inhaling cheese and scoffing deep fried pizza off a Colombian woman’s disproportionately large breasts, cheered on by Charlie Sheen.
I used to be a junk-food eating, alcoholic, speed junkie who smoked a spliff and washed it down with vodka and diet coke… on the way to work. Now, I blanch if I can’t get organic mangoes for my mango and spirulina smoothie. It’s a slow process, but the high from eating good healthy food and doing yoga far outweighs the high from drugs, booze and poor food choices.
Our aim should be to look healthy and feel good, not just appear thin. Don’t envy the size zero girl who can eat whatever she wants and never so much as go up a sock size. Envy the size 8 girl with the yoga mat.
I’m also ex-bulimic and anorexic and as soon as I stopped officially ‘dieting’ and started making healthy choices, I reached my optimal weight and have remained around that mark ever since. That never happened with any of the miracle diets I tried. In fact, the more miracle diets I tried, the fatter and unhealthier I became. It’s a miracle I’m still alive.
[adsense]The diet industry exists for one reason only: to keep us fat. Without us, it would founder and die. It doesn’t want us to be thin. It can’t afford for us to be thin. A new diet book comes out with a new breakthrough pseudo-scientific theory that could be written on the back of a Snickers wrapper, and the rest of the book is filler which we happily pay 15 bucks for, because maybe, just maybe, this will be the one. The diets don’t work or their success is ephemeral because they involve too little choice and too much deprivation. Let’s face it, for those of us that are overweight, if we could moderate our food intake, we wouldn’t be carrying extra flesh in the first place. so, why do we think that the new extreme diet will lead to anything permanent, other than chronic depression.
My advice is eat healthily. And that is dispensed free of charge. You might need to re-educate your taste buds, but it will be worth the trouble.
I don’t want to look back on a life wasted obsessing over my weight. I already did enough of that. I want to look back on a long and healthy life with a filthy smile. Albeit toothless.
Images: malsfoodporn.blogspot.com, celebritiesnewtotrend.wordpress.com, rawgames.com, thedailyinquirer.net, informedmeateater.com
A new controversial and really quite ridiculous diet solution has been launched that could have us fatties dropping one or even two pounds of lard per day, it is claimed. Sounds like a dream for anyone who still thinks that somewhere out there they can find a quick fix; who still hasn’t cottoned onto the fact that there is no really effective and safe system of losing weight other than healthy eating combined with regular exercise. Bad news, I know.
The HGC (Human Gonadotrophin Hormone) is the latest, probably not entirely effective but more than likely dangerous anyway weight loss system that consists of injections or oral doses of HGC every day, and apparently, coupled with a diet of 500 calories a day – or less (!) you’ll be dropping more weight than a jogging leper. Who knew?!
The lucky HGC dieters are allowed to gorge themselves frenziedly on a few ounces of food each day, and an entire serving of bread and the magic little hormone will do the rest: keeping that voracious hunger at bay, and resisting your bodies natural reaction to being starved to death by going into starvation mode, which is where most calorie restrictive diets fail. You starve yourself, your silly old body gets itself into a right panic because it’s cleverly programmed to try and stay alive and then as soon as you finally decide to commence living again, your body says ‘fuck this’ and starts eating houses, hoarding as much fat as it can in your ass and thighs or beneath your chin, so it has a good back up supply of lard for the next time famine hits, in the form of the next great breakthrough diet, created by some charlatan doctor, who is preying on your weakness for wanting to be slim like all the celebrities and models you see on TV and in magazines.
The HGC ‘drug’ itself consists of a hormone produced by pregnant women – which is just a bit fucking creepy.
Medical professionals, other than those paid to endorse it, are not convinced of either its effectiveness or more importantly, its safety. And it doesn’t really take seven years at Harvard to share that opinion.
Of course, anyone eating less than 500 calories a day will lose vast quantities of weight, but what else will they risk whilst consuming so few nutrients? Whether or not their lives will be worth living whilst on the diet, or afterwards, remains to be seen.
I used to be anorexic and weeks and months would go by when I consumed 350-500 calories a day – about a fifth of what I should have been consuming for my height, and yes, I was damn thin. I looked in the mirror and I liked my outline. I had a concave stomach. But internally I was in a state of abject misery. An absolute prisoner of weightloss. If I ate – even a very small amount, I would put on weight and get fat. If I didn’t eat, I would die. It has taken ten years so far, to quell the obsession with weight, and the fight is not yet won. But I have stopped looking for the ‘magic pill’ – the HGC diet certainly isn’t it. We are living creatures. We have to eat. Like any other creature on the planet. What’s the point of having a 25” waist when you have sallow skin, depression and brain damage?
The best way to lose weight is to start by re-educating your taste buds. If you’re a burger and chips and ½ litre of soda kid, then you need to wake up and start taking responsibility for that pink fleshy vehicle that carries you around. It’s not just a fat, you-shaped cushion to rest your head on – you need it to live. Look after it.
Forget these fads like the HGC diet and the leeches whose pockets they line with our hard earned cash. If you want to carry on eating too much pizza and apple pie, washed down with milkshake, then that is entirely up to you. But don’t sit waiting for a magic diet to come along and fix your waistline and the debilitating illnesses that being overweight attract.
I know it’s hard. And I don’t want to sound like I’m oversimplifying something that can be so difficult. I’ve been there. I’ve felt the pain. I know what it feels like to look in the mirror and despise the bloated sack of self-hating shit that returned my gaze.
If when you passed your driving test you were given a car and told, look after that as that’s the only one you will ever get. You cannot upgrade it, you cannot part-ex it, you cannot buy a new one – That’s it – then you’d damn well look after it. Think of your body in the same way. Start looking after it and don’t be inveigled into the dark world of diet pills. The only thing you are guaranteed to lose is your money.
Forget the HGC diet, the pills, the calories counting, the low-fat, low carb, the weighing scales and the spinning classes. Just eat healthily and incorporate an exercise that you enjoy into your life.
500 calories a day and a tasty injection? – Fuck that!
Share a thought or two on the HGC diet by leaving a comment.
Read about SENSA weight loss nonsense; how cereals are NOT good for you; a healthier alternative for sustained weight loss; throw in some yoga and follow Jake Gyllenhaal’s fine example by growing your own vegetables to keep trim.
images: mydietsolutions.com; hcgdietxp.com; strategerie.wordpress.com