Eat Less, Move More

My wife has a revolutionary diet philosophy. She calls it, “Eat less, move more.”

Such a simple idea. But I think most Americans do not want to eat less. Or move more. After all, there is a lot of food to be eaten. And a lot of TV to be Tivoed.

Dinner at Claim Jumper, Reno, NV

I can never understand why eating until you’re stuffed is considered an American virtue. Perhaps it has its origins in surviving the Great Depression. Like, you better eat all you can while it’s in front of you, because one day it might not be. But when I eat until I’m stuffed, I don’t feel very good. I can feel my heart struggling in my chest to keep up with the digestive tract’s demands. After a meal, you should feel like taking a pleasant walk, not lying down.

We often have friends who are dieting, some for weight loss, some for allergy-related reasons, some for perceived health benefits. My pal, Nat, is currently trying not to eat gluten. This is the guy who only weeks before was scoffing about gluten-free diets. “People have been eating wheat for tens of thousands of years, and suddenly everyone is allergic??” I like gluten — it’s what makes my pizza doughs stretchy and my pastas thin.

Some diets are named after people — Pritikins and Atkins and various other “kins”. If your culinary options are named after someone, that’s unnatural. It’s also unnatural to eat boiled cabbage and water for several days straight — and it is not delicious, either. A friend of mine drank water flavored with maple syrup and cayenne pepper for a week. I didn’t notice much difference, except that he was ornery.

We have a friend who is depressed, and she’s become thin as a rail. Depression can be a good diet. Although some people eat when they are depressed and become fatter. You have to know yourself before you try depression as a diet. I lose weight when I’m depressed — which I can’t really afford since I’m wiry to begin with. Fortunately, I haven’t been depressed since my 20s, when I realized most of what I was worried about never came to pass anyway. Or if it did, it actually wound up being a good thing. (Remember that girlfriend you didn’t think you could live without??)

It’s predicted that by the year 2030, 40% of Americans will be obese. Not overweight — obese. (Current statistics have obesity at 30%.) These people need to eat less and move more.

The economics of eating less are really good, too. When I go out to dinner, I eat half my dinner and take the rest home for lunch the next day. Two meals for the price of one! If you’re one of those people who eat at places like Claim Jumper or TGIFriday’s (and if you are one of those people, nice to meet you, by the way), you could probably get four or five meals from a single entree!

The exception for me is sushi, in which I can’t stop until I’m stuffed. When I’m having sushi, I eat more and move less. And the economics aren’t very good.

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Pal-O
    May 15, 2012 @ 01:09:31

    Pass along to Leslie that this (hers) is my new food philosophy and since Mardi Gras I have dropped right at 18 lbs and am not hungry at all and more active than ever before.


  2. Greggie
    May 15, 2012 @ 07:01:19

    Some people get too obsessed with diets or food restrictions. I remember once at an out-of-town conference one of my vegan colleagues couldn’t find anything to eat in the food provided and looked as if she was about to pass out. She ended up eating a bag of organic potato chips for nourishment. Add to the “Eat Les, Move More” – everything in moderation. As for Claim Jumpers & TGIF – are there any in LA? I only know of TGIF due to late-night cable ads. Sounds like that Hometown Buffet chain.


  3. Michelle
    May 15, 2012 @ 23:19:17

    Well said. I second your friend (pre-diet) on the gluten stuff. The staff of life? Really? (Though, of course, I’m not talking about those folks who actually have celiac.) Now, where’s my tivo remote?


  4. a toast and tea
    May 17, 2012 @ 01:48:59

    This is a great healthy eating plan. All those diets you listed sound horribly unappetizing (and depressing!) – it’s not surprising that people often break diets that involve eating tasteless food! Much better to enjoy delicious things in moderation.


    • scolgin
      May 17, 2012 @ 02:17:51

      Completely agree! I’ve always eaten that way. But people who used to stuff themselves and switched over to a more moderate approach tell me that their stomachs actually shrink and they’re not as hungry anymore, and therefor don’t eat as much, etc. It’s a loop!


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