I was talking the other day to a coworker about her weight-loss plan, which is making her considerably thinner. Sadly, it’s one of those high-protein / low-carbohydrate diets which always backfire.



See, your body has several different metabolic settings. When it’s getting mostly protein (as with the Atkins Diet and its many imitators), it swings into a metabolic cycle that burns up your body fat very quickly. Then, unfortunately, if unchecked, it begins to digest your muscle mass, including your heart muscle. You must be very careful on these diets.



Fortunately, most people stay on these diets for limited periods of time, because they’re expensive, and because the range of foods is so limited and monotonous.



I have known about these diets since the 1980s, when a coworker (nice-looking, but with a pot belly) confided his weight-loss secret to me: now and then – once a year or so – he’d live on bologna and eggs for a couple of weeks, and his pot belly would disappear.



(Other dangers of this kind of diet: the waste products are highly toxic. You need to drink a lot of water, all the time, in order to detoxify yourself. Also, you need to consume a certain amount of carbohydrates, just to reassure your body that it doesn’t need to start consuming itself.)



Better, in some ways, the Maria Callas Diet (which is championed by my workfriend Apollonia, who has never tried it, but who thinks it’s a wonderful idea): swallow a tapeworm. It will keep you thin, no matter what you do.






To quote Paul Bartel, who plays a “thinologist” in the 1990s movie “Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills”: “It’s like I told the police: if you have a bunch of rich people in one place who are determined to lose weight, some of them are going to die.”



Or you could just eat less and exercise more.



You should choose the diet that’s right for you.



(Unless it poisons you, or devours you from within.)




About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to

4 Responses to Diets

  1. starproms says:

    Quite a funny post and thought provoking too. I’ve often wanted to try the Atkins diet, but never took the first step. It would also increase the cholesterol levels, wouldn’t it, which at my age would not be a good idea.

  2. i myself tried all the possible diets available but as you say they back fire , i stuck with eating what i want but exercising for an hour daily. works like magic.

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