From the Onion, it's the Nietzsche diet! A "dense, aphoristic nutrition plan", in which you eat what you fear most, along with "generous portions of simple salad."
The Nietzschean diet has its critics. Detractors say the diet's actual nutritional requirements are vague, that it provides no concrete plan for progression toward weight-loss targets, and that the book consists mostly of unclear and unusually harsh sets of inspirational logical lacunae.
They've got him dead to rights with the "inspirational logical lacunae" thing. We could all use the help, though, as the NYT reports that a new size survey undertaken by clothing manufacturers confirms the ugly truth: Americans are getting crazy fat.
Over all, the new measurements shake up what have long been considered the average outlines of the American body. For years, an average woman was thought to be a size 8, although some circles had bumped that up to size 12 in recent years. But even the women who came in on the small side in the SizeUSA survey look more like what the longtime clothing industry standards would consider a size 14 — the size at which "plus size" clothing begins.
Now, it's time to reveal my total ignorance about something. Is there really such a thing as having a fast (or a slow) metabolism? I have seen reputable scientists flatly denying this, linking it to outmoded notions about "vitalism" and so on. If that's right, then all these overweight people must be eating truly astounding amounts of food. I say this because I eat a lot, and I've never been fat (I'm not thin, but not fat). A lot. With butter on it. Then again, I do eat tons of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads, not much red meat, lots of fish, and so on (but with butter on it). Maybe all these people are just eating Doritoes all day? My weight does fluctuate, like everyone's, and sometimes I want to lose a little weight. Then I go on the patented Waring diet (it really works; my mom, sister, and brother agree).
1. Don't eat any candy bars.
2. Don't drink any beer or soda (or Snapple, or any sugary drinks).
3. Don't eat any chip-like snacks of any kind.
4. Try and be vaguely mindful about things, like maybe put a little less butter on your toast, or don't have a second brownie. Go easy on the rice, maybe.
Voila! I admit this wouldn't work if you needed to lose a lot of weight. Such cases call for drastic measures such as major illness, depression, or prescription speed. But for just needing to lose five or ten pounds, my diet does actually work. When I compare this to "real" diets, however, such as those I see touted in chick magazines, it's clear that my diet shouldn't work at all, because it doesn't have few enough calories. I mean, I drink grapefruit juice, and I like to pour olive oil into the hollow of my avocadoes, and I make sauce verte out of mayonnaise, lemon juice, herbs and capers to put on my salmon,and so forth. Cheeses, greek-style yogurt, fried pork chops (in moderation). I eat a very healthy diet, but none of this is consistent with eating 1900 calories a day. Nor am I a physically active person.
At the moment I have blown up like a balloon in my second pregnancy, so maybe I'll be eating my words, but I don't think so (I hope not, anyway). I expressed to my mom my fear of getting fat after having my first baby, and she said not to worry about it at all, just breastfeed and eat healthy foods, the weight would just come off and I'd be back to normal in 9 months. All true. So, what's the deal? Do I eat fewer calories than I think, because even huge servings of steamed asparagus don't have many calories (and truthfully, there's only a teaspoon or two of butter on the whole platter)? Have lots of women permanently screwed with their internal states by excessive dieting (this seems broadly consistent with the "metabolism" hypothesis, however). What are all the fat guys up to, then, a steady diet of Super Big Gulps and chili cheese fries? This is not just me; John is basically a thin person who will gain weight if he drinks too much beer and eats chips and lose weight if he doesn't, no matter what else he eats. He lost weight over Christmas vacation because he didn't drink much beer, despite the surfeit of roast lamb, wine, plum puddings, etc. I alternate between thinking: I must be kind of a mutant, and: damn, those Americans must be eating incredible amounts of junk food. Thoughts?