Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Sunday, April 21

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Vit / July 15, 2004 2:25 PM

they scare me. besides, any diet that won't allow me to drink beer is not worth considering.

MC High Life / July 15, 2004 2:26 PM

Nah, I don't go in for any of thoase 'fad' diets. For me, nothing beats some sweet 87 octane to help shed the pounds. I was drinking 93 before thinking that it would be a bit healthier but just wasn't.


Ian / July 15, 2004 2:34 PM

Do they work? If followed to the letter. Yes, probably. Should you follow these diets? No.

Eat sensibly and be happy. Happyness is underated and vanity over valued.

Adam Verner / July 15, 2004 3:00 PM

They're called "fad" diets for a reason. Remember the tight-rolling fad? 'Nuff said.

Sweat and exercise.

paul / July 15, 2004 3:05 PM

Life with out beer and donuts? I will never understand how these diets became popular.

Steve / July 15, 2004 3:19 PM

Subway works -- props to Jared, the most charismatic spokesperson since Robert Mitchum was pushing smokes!

Benjy / July 15, 2004 3:40 PM

Jared scares me.

Carly / July 15, 2004 4:02 PM

My friend once pointed out, "what happened to the eating sensibly and exercising diet?".

He's got a point.

I've tried to go low-carb, but this simply doesn't work.

I find that restricting yourself only makes you want things more.

Besides, I've heard Atkins makes you smell bad.

Archie / July 15, 2004 4:25 PM

Im tired of all the marketing related to "low carb" this and that. Last I heard, the body needs carbs to function or else you will spend the entire day as a walking zombie. I think you can eat anything as long as the portion size isnt excessive. Most people i know that go on those sort of diets end up caving anways. That or they spend all day farting.

Rocko / July 15, 2004 4:57 PM

The low-carb diet is way too puritan and crazy for me. It's like those people who want to take capsuls that imitate the beneficial properties of wine, without actually having to drink anything. Why would you do that!? You're denying fun to yourself.
Diets are the same reasoning: "Oh, I'll eat food I hate so I can still stay indoors and watch TV."
Go outside and enjoy the world the just skip the two chardogs with fries every day. If you don't lose any weight, at least you'll smile.

miss ellen / July 15, 2004 5:00 PM

i must say, i shed a tear last night when i saw that even ben & jerry's has stooped to the low:

chocolate carb friendly ice cream

and to top it off, they have the nerve to name it carb karma

Craig / July 15, 2004 5:55 PM

The formula is simple:

More Physical Activity + Less Caloric Intake

That's how you lose weight and/or stay healthy. That's how the human body is wired to work. There are no sensible shortcuts.

Naz / July 15, 2004 6:06 PM

It's so simple isn't it? I don't understand these diets. Like many above, eating normally (this is an odd one because portions here are double what portions would be in most other countries) and regular exercise, which doesn't mean duking it out for three hours in a gym, is what you need to do. Burn more than you intake.

I'm continually astounded at the perserverance of the red A (I have come to loathe their little display stands in groceries), just like Britney Spear's career.

A friend of mine bought a pint of Low-carb B&J, tasted like arse.

Low-carb products = eat some tasteless turd.

Thanks A(sshole)-tkins.

Trance / July 15, 2004 7:40 PM

Six years ago, after I had my son, I went on the Atkins diet hardcore and lost a huge amount of weight, even tossing vegetarianism by the wayside to live on giant hunks of meat and cheese, which was no picnic. It worked. I loathed it, the food was gross and I felt like I did nothing but inhale grease and flesh, but it worked.

That said, I promptly gained the shit right back because I was a lazy slob and did not get into a healthy pattern of exercising, and when I went right back to my vegetarian and beer-swilling ways, my fat cells were more than happy to expand again.

So I guess if you're willing to eat low-carb for life and be very strict about it, it can work, but I am not a meathead and absolutely hated it. And I'm sick to death of seeing low-carb crap, too. I agree that cutting one's intake and exercising is still the best way to go. Low-carb is simply tempting for a quick fix.

emily / July 16, 2004 8:55 AM

Fad diets are idiotic. You lose weight with exercise and limiting your calric intake, not by eating bacon wrapped pork chops and bun-less burgers or nasty soggy sandwiches three times a day.

It's so simple to live a healthy life, I don't understand why so many people just don't get it. It makes me absolutely crazy that so many people compromise their overall health in the name of a fad diet, only to gain back what little weight they may have lost.

Needless to say, "Atkins" and "low-carb" are some of my least favorite words.

Shylo / July 16, 2004 9:19 AM

The best piece I've seen on the low-carb craze appeared in Salon. They got Mark Bittman, a former Saveur editor, and a few others together to review low-carb foods. Bittman nearly loses his shit.

Anyhoo, they're all dumb. Because anyone who's anyone knows that the only way to lose weight is through coffee colonics.

brian / July 16, 2004 9:25 AM

Regular or decaf?

Paul / July 16, 2004 10:02 AM

Food industry honchos are predicting that low-carb is dead and buried within two years. Then, it's back to low-cal.

Ben and Jerry's Carb Karma saddens me too, but then, they *are* owned by Unilever - they're just capitalizing on a trend, like Pepsi Edge or Doritos Edge or low-carb water. No, really.

Eat what your body truly wants. Move your body. Stop worrying about numbers. And, of course, read GB.

rob / July 16, 2004 10:15 AM

I loathe the Atkins as much as the next guy, but I have to support it as a way for Americans to look at their relationships to food. You can't Atkins (or south beach, or any diet-verb) without analyzing your own eating habits. You can't succeed without knowing the "value" of what you shovel into your food hole, without instituting portion control, without the discipline to eat things that might not be what you want. For a such a chronically obese population as the US's, ANY food consciousness is good consciousness.

I wish any number of things could change about the Atkins diet, but even if it's distasteful it's a start.

Steve / July 16, 2004 10:32 AM

Atkins is, of course, the most American of diets. Especially if you limit yourself to meat and cheese from carnivores, purchased from Sam's Club and driven home 50 miles in your 5-ton SUV.

How else can we assert our right to consume a super-disproportionate share of the world's resources? I believe Dick Cheney referred to it as a blessed way of life, and if anyone would know a blessing when he sees it, it's fucking heart-attack Dick Fucking Cheney.

Viva le fucking foodchain!

Naz / July 16, 2004 10:39 AM

Steve - hahaha.

Rob - true, but only to an extent. The problem is that you're looking at your relationship to food in the wrong context. Granted, I have seen it work -- I know people who do it, and have lost weight but as a recent friend of mine confessed, he plateaued and now he's gaining weight back and feels like shite.

I read a review of the Cheesecake Factory a while ago where it said something along the lines of, "bring doggy bags, portions are huge."

An old co-worker of mine told me that the portions were on the small side. I don't know about you, but I've been there once and only once (frankly, the foos sucks) and the portions were huge! I split it with my friend after we had walked in and saw huge plates of food being carried around by waiters and waitresses who weighed less than what they were carrying.

It can be as simple as doggy bagging half your food and saving it for tomorrow.

rob / July 16, 2004 11:09 AM

Naz -- true enough. As it happens I work at a steakhouse just around the corner from the Cheesecake Factory . . . and we get Atkins acolytes in by the truckload. While the substance of the diet is obviously crackpot, especially for long termers (you lose weight, yes, but it comes back, you stink, you force your body into ketosis which ain't healthy, etc), I guess I'm willing to feel better about it if it forces people to confront their horrific eating habits.

As far as portions go, yeah, undoubtedly. We're so used to getting what my wife calls the "food barn" treatment from Cheesecake Factory, Bennigan's, Chili's, et al, that anything less seems as if we're getting stiffed.

As a kid, my Dad's favorite place to take us for dinner was Bonanza, which doled out ungodly portions for cheap, and every entree came with unlimited trips to the "salad bar" (which also included baked potato fixin's, pizza by the slice, deserts for miles). In retrospect, it was obvious that not only did he feel generous for providing his family such a bounty as a treat, but somewhere back in his head there was a Boomer's reaction to his parents' Greatest Generation frugality. He's a generation removed from the Great Depression, but living like you were gonna lose the farm any day had an appeal to him. Long way of saying, there're issues of feeling rich versus issues of feeling poor in our eating habits, and sometimes our luxuries strangle us.

And boy that last sentence is a little heavy, isn't it?

Craig / July 16, 2004 1:31 PM

A good book to check out on the sociology and history of the American obesity epidemic is "Fat Land" by Greg Critser. A recommended read.

Kevin / July 16, 2004 2:59 PM

Regular or decaf?

Room for cream?
ewww..... The comedic implications are staggering..

Whatever people feel the need to do to stay healthy, whatever, it's cool. But... SOME people feel a need to point out that they're on a low carb diet as if I give a fuck. They could be on a seaweed and urine diet for all I care. Low carb is more of a fashion statement than anything and [NEWS FLASH!] it's been exploited to sickening heights by any business that can. Try my diet. It's called the Coffee/Smoking/Depression Diet (CSD). I lost 50 pounds in two weeks (not including the shotgun in my mouth).

Krissy / July 16, 2004 4:20 PM

"Low-Carb" has merely replaced "Extreme" as the new packaging It Word. It'll go away, too, but it'll be a while.

Trance / July 16, 2004 4:39 PM

In the eighties it was all about being fat-free. Low-Fat!! Fear Fat!! Fat will creep under your sheets and adhere itself to your unsuspecting, sleeping ass!!

Now it's the carb. In the 2010's people will probably eschew protein.

I think it's primarily about marketing, making people afraid of foods so that corporations can create and market new shit for us weight-conscious idiots to buy, read, consume.

Chris / July 16, 2004 6:37 PM

I think the only real way to lose weight, is to limit yourself to one meal a day. No meat, no bread, no pasta, no sugar, no fat...lots of water.

Shylo / July 18, 2004 10:44 AM

Also known as the internment camp diet.

Naz / July 18, 2004 11:11 PM

A quick test. Will it remember me?

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