A blog about writing . . . and a lot of other things

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The ice cream diet!

From a juicing website - I think she's been
juicing a little too much.
Next week I kick off another round of Biggest Loser with some friends, acquaintances, and a few complete strangers.  I've been doing this for years, but I've never won.  Not even when I had part of my stomach wrapped around my esophagus and couldn't eat for weeks.  However, other people lose lots of weight, and I'm very happy for them, so I keep putting in my $12 of support.

It would be fun to win, though, or at least lose some weight.  So, I was thinking about doing a juice fast.  A couple of months ago I watched "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead" at the recommendation of a friend who did an extended juice fast and lost thirty-five pounds.

With all the glowing testimonials, it's hard not to want to try it.  One website said that if I did a juice fast that I would lose weight, my skin would tighten and be clear, my hair would be shiny, my eyes would be brighter, my mind would be clearer, my vision would be better, and I would have more energy.  In addition, it would heal my internal organs, eliminate my chronic illnesses, and boost my immune system.

Wow!  I mean, wow!  It'll fix all that?  And all I have to do is buy a juicer and a lot of produce and not chew anything at all for a while.  It's like magic.  Or not.

Do I think that doing a 30-day juice fast like my friend did can have health benefits?  Yes.

Will I be doing a juice fast?  No.

First of all, a juice fast is a bad idea for anyone with kidney disease.  My kidney disease is fairly mild, but I do have one, and I make it a point not to mess with it.

Most scientists and medical professionals agree that the health benefits from a juice fast are from eating so many fruits and vegetables, and you can do that without fasting.  The weight loss is from not consuming enough calories.  Chances are that if you restrict your calories sufficiently and consume plenty of fruits and vegetables you can get the health benefits without the risks.

There are so many health claims out there for various things, and the Internet is a veritable font of misinformation.  You can find someone who advocates nearly anything and says it will cure all your ills.  I mean, look at me!  I'm writing about health claims on a blog and I have no medical training whatsoever.  I could be making it all up.  I'm not even documenting my research.  Feel free to disbelieve everything I say.

Most health claims are for weight loss, of course.  We all want to be thin and svelte, or at least get the cash prize in Biggest Loser.  I'll tell you right now that I lost 20 pounds one summer in high school eating pretty much nothing but Haagen-Dazs Chocolate Chocolate Chip ice cream.  I should start a Haagen-Dazs diet! Granted, the weight loss might have been due to the four hours a day I was swimming rather than the Haagen-Dazs.

Want to have some fun?   Faddiet.com (motto: 30 Ways to Lose the Same 5 Pounds) lists information on many fad diets, some more serious than others.  For example, one of the fad diets it lists is the Amputation Diet.  By amputating your leg, you could lose between 15 and 45 pounds.  Frankly, I would want to lose at least 50 pounds before trying something this drastic.  (Please note: This website has some potty humor and the ads can be quite dodgy.  You can take this as a warning or a recommendation.)

Want to know what really works to lose weight?  Okay, here goes:  if you want to lose weight, you should eat fewer calories than you burn.  It works every time.  You can lose weight safely if you make sure you eat quality, wholesome foods, lots of fruits and veggies, and exercise regularly.

Oh, is that no fun?  Sorry, reality is annoying sometimes.  Feel free to try the Cookie Diet instead.

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