Could you starve yourself until you were magazine-model thin? Would you vomit yourself to happiness? Should you abandon the carbohydrates that have sustained human life as we’ve known it for the past 5,000 years?The Atkins diet has to be one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard eat meat and abandon all bread-based products. Yeah, that will solve all of your weight problems. Carbohydrates are the building blocks of a well-balanced meal. They are why humanity has thrived for so many thou-sands of years. This is why the Food and Drug Administration made them the base of the food pyramid with 6-11 servings a day. They are what make a sandwich, for cripes sake.
Not only do we in the United States have the cheapest food source in the world but we gorge ourselves on it. Whether it’s the 64 oz. Big Gulps or the Double Quarter Pounders you actually can hear America getting fatter and at the very least, it’s providing us a legitimate use for our large SUVs.
But it’s not overweight people who upset me. It’s the ridiculous ways people try to lose their excess weight. I can’t even keep track of all the fad diets annually circulating the airwaves, including the health-conscious hot tamales, saltines and Diet Coke diet, the heart attack-causing Atkins diet, the ephedra-filled diet pills and the dumb blonde causing the Trim Spa fad.
When will Americans realize it’s not what we eat but what we do after we’re done eating that matters?
At the beginning of the 20th century you see the advent of recreational activities, the key word being activities: the invention of the great American sports of baseball and football, bicycling becoming fun and people beginning to exercise for entertainment. More importantly, though, society still was living on the labor-intensive farm compared to the relatively inactive urban areas.
Now at the dawn of the 21st century, recreational activities consist of playingthe all-American pastimes of baseball and football on Playstation. We’d rather watch extreme-sports on television than ride a bike. Surfing the Internet is the most entertaining exercise we get. More importantly, though, the labor-intensive agricultural life has all but vanished.
American suburbs have spawned an inactive backlash that will be played out for generations to come. We live too far away to walk anywhere, forcing us to drive everywhere. Our huge yards are too large to even mow, let alone plant gardens. And these huge suburban McMansions have large gourmet kitchens sitting empty because everyone’s “too busy” to cook. We’d all rather have a Big Mac and large fry anyways.
Adding to this, we have an over-reliance on technology that furthers our inactivity and breeds impatience in grandma and grandson alike. The will to wait is gone; patience is no longer God’s virtue, but a death knell to a society that wants everything right now.
It used to be that you ate to sustain the caloric output you spent while working to find/grow food to eat. Now our “advanced” society eats solely for the pure enjoyment of eating, while watching for a caloric input we can’t burn off.
Without the ability to burn calories through hunting and gathering, manual labor or getting up off the couch and prying our eyes away from the technological wonder that sires inactivity, humans, namely Americans, begin to blame whatever or whomever they can.
Even worse, people begin to believe ridiculous claims of instant weight loss and outrageous testimonials for the best diet ever. Never mind that eating meat all day every day probably won’t completely block your arteries until you’re about 45, or that gout probably won’t affect your five little piggies until you’re well into your 50s.
The best way to remain fit or lose weight is to burn calories the old fashioned way with work. This is always better than a diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates or a diet filled with ephedra-packed pills.
I’m just waiting for the diet that wants us to abandon water for fear of the dreaded water weight. I’m sure the advertisements will claim that it doesn’t make a difference if our bodies our made up of 70 percent water, you can suck it down to 65 percent. Water is weight and without it you have a quick fix to being average, and that’s all anyone is really looking for.
In the end it’s the inactivity and overindulgence that keep the children and us from being svelte not the carbohydrates or sugars. The sad thing is the gluttony and America’s sweet tooth have made adult onset diabetes, or type 2 diabetes, the catch phrase of the playground. But it’s the carb-conscious meat-eating Atkins diet that once again will bring back gout into the youthful vernacular of the schoolyard bully.