I was getting my daily exercise recently by briskly flipping through the TV channels at a business-like, no-nonsense pace. It’s my way of doing morning aerobics to get my heart rate up. I was looking for “Gilligan’s Island” reruns specifically but found myself caught up in a fascinating segment of a “You Can Do It” weight-loss show.
This particular segment was a debate among top diet experts who felt strongly about the correct way to lose weight. They were so adamant that at times I thought they came close to whacking each other over the head with their diet books.
Dieting and diet theories weren’t always so complicated and competitive.
Back in the beginning there was just one book on dieting: "Dieting For Simpletons."
It consisted of a big stone tablet on which the author Woog had chiseled “DON’T EAT SO MUCH.” It never made the bestseller list: It was too heavy, plus everyone back then was busy with their main concern which was trying not to starve to death.
It’s different now with food being available in abundance any place you go in our country with the exception of commercial airline flights.
Diet programs, diet books and diet food have become a huge industry that is totally confusing to the average American like myself sitting in my recliner, trying to decide whether to open yet another bag of Doritos chips or to just eat the guacamole dip right out of the bowl.
The history of the modern diet began with the Calorie Counter Theory, which basically states that you should never eat anything that tastes good.
Then along came the theory that said you can have calories as long as they aren’t from fat. Because of this theory the multi-trillion dollar industry of low-fat products came into existence: Low- fat cookies, low-fat milk, low-fat bread, low-fat cows, low-fat fat, low-fat deodorant, et cetera.
Another even weirder theory then came along that said you can eat all the fat you want but you cannot have carbohydrates: You can snork down an entire pig for a snack, but eat one single baked Lay's potato chip and you will bloat up like a ten-man rubber raft.
So it’s hard for a dieter to know what to think, which is why it was so helpful to watch those leading diet book authors and experts debate this important issue.
Anyway, I watched the experts debate for an hour or so and here’s what I learned: Pick either the low-calorie, low-fat or low-carbohydrate diet and it will either work or it won’t, but don’t buy the stair stepper - it will kill you.
So there are the facts, consumers. It’s now up to you to make an informed decision.
Just remember: it’s your body and as such, it wants a double chili-cheeseburger with fries.