Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It's Toasted!

I've heard a lot about Taco Bell's new commercial about how you can lose weight on the "Drive-Thru Diet". That sound you hear in the distance is my brain exploding. Not having seen them I decided to check out them out on the ol' Internet. (What did we do as a species before YouTube?)

In the spirit of full disclosure I feel I should mention that I worked at Taco Bell for about three years right out of high school. I don't have any animosity about my time there. I learned a lot and enjoyed many aspects of the job. Really. Even before I started my weight loss I rarely ate at fast food places, but that is the subject of another post.

If you don't get the reference of the "It's Toasted" title, it is from the first episode of Mad Men. (What aren't you watching Mad Men!?!). In it the ad team is stymied on how they can market cigarettes with the new medical findings about the health impact of cigarettes. Their clients cigarettes are just as unhealthy as their competitors - and legally can't claim otherwise. Don has one of his flashes of brilliance and realizes that although they can't make any unique claims - they can capitalize on saying something all of the their competitors say. Hence they claim their tobacco is toasted, which it is, but so is the tobacco in all cigarettes.

This brings me back to the commercial. I'll spare you the need to pause it, here is the fine print that scrolls as the commercial airs:

  • Her exceptional experience based on average 1250 cal/day
  • 150-340 calories, Not a low calorie food
  • Her exceptional experience based on average 1250 cal/day. Average reduction of 500 cal/day over two years with sensible food choices.
  • Taco Bell Drive-Thru Diet is not a weight loss program. Pay attention to total calorie and fat intake and regular exercise.

I have three words for that No. Shit. Sherlock.

I can actually reduce that to two words. It's toasted.

Following those strictures anyone would lose weight! A body could have a hot fudge/french fry sundae diet and as long as they ate about 1250 calories a day and reduced their calories by 500 a day they would lose weight. Speaking of that since there are a 3500 calories in a pound, a reduction of 500 calories a day would mean it would take 7 days to lose a pound. (That's well within the healthy range. I can't complain about that). But that's about 50 pounds a year. So why did it take her two years? Maybe because she was eating fucking at Taco Bell! Jesus Christ!

I hate to judge (that's not true, I love to judge) and I hate to brag (also not true, I love to brag) but I've lost 54 less than two years.

I'm going to recommend an alternative to the "Drive-Thru Diet" it's called the "Walk Past Diet" and I won't need any small print.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The End of Overeating

I just read The End of Overeating by David Kessler, MD. In it he attempts to explain why so many people have problem with overeating. While I enjoyed the first 2/3 of the book, I didn't feel it was very cohesive. He seemed to jump around and I never really felt he was focused. However, I loved the last 1/3. Although it is not a diet book, I think he gives the best advice on how to approach weight loss (probably since I've been using many of the tools he suggests).

He addresses overeating as a conditioned response to various stimuli, which is of course different for everyone. To treat overeating he says that one has to recondition themselves. I have found that to be absolutely true. He writes:

"Planned eating calls upon you to replace chaos with structure... It tells you what is permissible and what is not, taking away the need to for you to make decisions about food at vulnerable moments... The rules that support that structure must be simple enough to fit with your busy life, but specific enough to remove uncertainly from the food equation."

That really resonated with me. I also like his quotes from Richard Rawson of UCLA who says;

"You're not helpless about this; you can make a decision, but you have to make a decision quickly." Kessler adds, "The more seconds you spend thinking about what to do in the face of an urge, the greater the chance that you'll ultimately give in to it. Once you begin the debate "Should I or shouldn't I?" you've lost the battle".

In my experience, that is 100% true. It's refreshing to read something like that. Therefore, I would have to recommend it.