By Lisa Smartt
Posted: Thursday, August 30, 2012 8:19 am
The truth hurts. We’re getting fatter. I’m getting fatter. I’m probably gaining a pound just in the time it takes me to write this newspaper column. By the time I do all the corrections, two pounds. So, the obvious question is, “Why?”
I always have a theory. About everything. In fact, my life would be much simpler if I weren’t always coming up with theories. I have a theory as to why some people mow their yard every other day. I think I even know why your cousin, Tom, is afraid to ask your co-worker out on a date, even though you’ve told him she looks like Sandra Bullock. Why does your grandma never wear the perfume you gave her for Christmas? I have a theory about that. Oh, and by the way, I even have a theory about why writers have a hard time staying on topic. But these are for another day.
When it comes to weight gain, here’s the deal. We all know we should eat less and move more. Absolutely. There’s no discussion about that. But there’s a looming culprit out there which makes trouble for all of us fat folk. That culprit is low-calorie food. Low-calorie food is from the devil. That’s right. I said it. If this makes me a conspiracy theorist, so be it. I proudly stand on the grassy knoll and make my case.
Some of you don’t know what it’s like to go on a typical diet. Allow me to explain. Dieters want to eat regular stuff without regular calories. So dieters buy expensive low-calorie cookie crisps and fat-free ice cream. When everyone else is eating Oreos and homemade ice cream, the savvy dieter grabs her low-calorie treat and fat-free ice cream. This gives her the powerful feeling that she’s cheating the very universe out of the “eat less, move more” principle. She’s found a tunnel which leads to sweet, sweet freedom. But alas, the tunnel doesn’t lead her outside the prison gates. No. She’s still within the prison walls.
You see, the fat-free ice cream tastes like freezer-burned snow cream made from the snow of an ash heap more than five years ago. The low-cal cookies are beyond disappointment. Picture a burnt Ritz cracker dipped in Sweet ‘n Low. Are you picturing that? Yeah, that would taste better than something called a low calorie “crisp.” So, after consuming 500 calories of low-calorie nonsense (we kept eating the “crisps” thinking something magical would happen), the desire for a sweet treat has only built up steam.
May I share a scientific fact with you? After consuming 500 calories of a disappointing low-calorie treat, no human being ever craves lima beans. It’s a weird fact of nature. Soon the dieter finds herself eating the homemade ice cream and Oreos and asking Uncle Charlie if he wants to order pizza. See, I told you low-calorie food is from the devil.
I hope you find a moral somewhere in this story. Or at least a theory. How about this? Eat more real food and less processed food. Walk at least 30 minutes a day. What’s that? Yes, chocolate is a health food. It comes from the cocoa bean. And everyone knows we should eat more beans.
For more information about Lisa Smartt, visit her website, lisasmartt.com.
Published in The Messenger 8.29.12