Tricounty News

Counting calories

I was taking my then 10-year-old daughter to school one day when she told me about a little boy who had expressed his undying   affection for her. She explained who the boy was, and I told her I didn't know if I had ever seen him. Her response was, "Oh, he's got brown hair and he's kinda pudgy like you." Pudgy? I had never thought of myself as pudgy, but maybe I was. I had recently purchased new pants because the other ones weren't fitting like they used to. I thought they shrank in the wash. Maybe I was getting pudgy. Maybe I do need to go on a diet, but which one? The South Beach Diet, the Zone Diet, the Hollywood Diet? The list is endless. In fact, there are more fad diets available than you can shake a bratwurst at! Several of my friends have tried a number of fad diets only to find them wanting in some way or another. For instance, one friend went on the Atkins Diet. This diet encourages cutting out most carbohydrates and eating more protein in the form of beef, poultry and pork. My friend said that, although he lost weight, he also smelled like charred animal flesh most of the time. Another friend decided to try the Cabbage Diet. He lost a few pounds but, as a result of what happens when someone eats nothing but cabbage for several days, he also lost most of his friends during that time. A couple of friends are on the Hallelujah Diet, a very disciplined diet where a person eats only foods that were possibly found in the Garden of Eden ... with the possible exception of apples. This diet has been very effective for them, and I myself have used some of these principals to good end. But meat is a no-no in the program, and every once in a while I just have to have a big helping of something smothered in barbeque sauce ... something that at one time stood on cloven hoof. Yet another of my friends swore by the Grapefruit Diet, but soon gave it up because she kept getting squirted in the eye every time she poked her spoon into the acid-rich fruit; a real bummer if you wear contact lenses. I've decided instead of following someone else's diet plan to simply cut my portions and count calories and this seems to be working well. Last week I reached my weight loss goal and it feels good. And my wife says I look good too. I still won't be running out to the sporting goods store to pick up a Speedo for our next beach outing, though. I think this simple diet has been successful for one main reason. Every once in a while I fall off the wagon. There are a number of culinary Achilles heels for me, and if they are placed in front of me I must eat them. Like mom's Thanksgiving feast, the pepperoni and sauerkraut pizza from DiMaggio's, and a big old juicy steak fresh off the grill. I had pizza last night and so am resolved to return to my calorie counting ways once again. And after drinking my morning breakfast, a concoction consisting of flax, alfalfa and kelp, I kissed my wife goodbye, grabbed a 100-calorie snack bar and my 320-calorie   frozen lunch, and made my way to the office. Upon arrival, I am greeted by Wesley, who has just arrived with a box of fresh donuts from the bakery. "I got a custard-filled one just for you, Nate. I know they're your favorite," said Wesley.   Custard ... I think to myself, realizing the green organic sludge I had for breakfast had left plenty of space for a delicious pastry roommate. Calorie counting will have to wait till tomorrow.   www.nmfredrickson.com