Monday 16 January 2012

The D-Word: Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Honey and Mustard Salad Dressing

This year I started my last ditch attempt to move from my current BMI of YOU PORKY BASTARD(1) to a BMI of YOU FAT SLOB(2) by the end of the year(3). To do this I'm combining everything I've learnt from 35 years of unsuccessful dieting and blogging about it because if I'm going to have to obsess about this subject I don't see why you guys should be let off the hook. Today I'm going to bore you talk about priorities especially when it comes to what you do and don't put in your gob(4).

I have already asserted that the way to lose weight is to eat less (and healthier), we all know this and yet find it really fucking hard to do. This is because all the tastiest most appealing food is very fattening. Now this is the point where some odiously thin person says words to the effect of "oh but I find carrots so much tastier than chocolate" and I say " well of course you fucking do that's why you're thin - duh!" And why are you reading this blog anyway you skinny little wretch come to gloat at the fatties have you?  You sods will be the first against the wall....

Moving on.

I suspect (and I'm hoping to prove to my personal satisfaction) that it is better to prioritise eating habits that will contribute to your goal of eating less (and healthier) overall rather than obsessing about every individual food stuff. Enter one bottle of Hellman's Honey and Mustard Salad Dressing.

According to the label each bottle contains 428 kcal which is a lot. Your dietician will counsel you to avoid such heinously fatty, salty, sugary, spawn-of-the-devil food and perhaps try the low fat, low calorie alternative. So what if it tastes vile, it's salad dressing isn't it? Maybe if you eat it for ten years you might start to get used to the taste. As the Russians say 'A man can get used to hanging if hangs long enough.' 

This is a perfect example of why most diets are doomed. In your dieticians mind the alternative to a lovely bowl of salad with delicious dressing is a lovely bowl of salad without dressing but we all know that the real alternative, over the long run, is a MARS BAR. Sad but true. So lets look at this rationally.

A bowl of salad composed of tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber and whatever else is good for you and, for all intents and purposes, calorie free. It would be good for me to eat one of these at least once a day. I'm very generous with the salad dressing I like to slop it all over so lets say I use a third each time that's 142 kcal. Now that's quite a lot of calories but if I throw in an egg or half a tin of tuna and maybe a slice of bread and I'm still bringing in a meal at less than 400 kcal(5). Most importantly it's a meal that I can look forward too, again and again over the long term.

Now I will be dealing with issues around making healthy food tastier in a later blog provisionally titled Your Nut Roast Is A Thing of Beauty But I'm Still Dying For a Big Mac so I don't want to hear about how much you've learnt to love salad without dressing - I don't care. I think this will work for me and probably a lot of other desperate fat people out there. We'll find out if I'm right some time in the mid 2030s.

Dieticians and health professionals like to hedge their bets. They know us well enough to know that if they give us any wriggle room we shall wriggle out of it. So they advise avoiding foods that are high in calories and fat across the board. Some of this advice is very useful, grill rather than fry, up your intake of green vegetables and don't stuff your face with cake. 

But in the long term it's going to be you making a hundred decisions a day for the rest of your life and there really is no point making it more difficult than it has to be. So if the price of choosing salad over a Mars Bar is 128 kcal of Honey and Mustard Salad Dressing then that's a good deal. Don't eat the Mars Bar have the salad with the dressing, the liver of your dietician and a nice chianti. Fefefefefe!

(1) Actually it's 54 which is almost off the scale of some calculators.
(2) 120 kg which will give me a BMI of 34.9 which still counts as obese.
(3) My healthy BMI weight is supposed to 84kg which is just silly, I've been a healthy weight, with muscle definition and everything and I didn't drop below 95kg to get there.
(4) Mouth.
(5) Remember I'm running a diet in which I disregard calories for non-starchy vegetables and fruit but aim at 1800 kcal a day so 400 kcal leaves me lots of wriggle room.


Unknown said...

I came to salad dressing quite late in life, but couldn't live without it now.

I cook a lot of curry, it's got an unfair reputation due to the amount of ghee in your average Indian restaurant. I use fresh vegetables or lean(ish) meat, and sauces consisting mostly of coconut milk, tomatoes, or yoghurt. The spices add most of the flavour, and they're basically calorie-free. If you're sensible about the oil you use (although those stupid sprays are usually a bit of a non-starter), it's really pretty virtuous food.

The couple of beers that tend to wash it down, however, are probably less easy to defend from a d-word point of view.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant post. I agree completely. Good luck to you! And I think I shall buy myself a bottle of bleu cheese dressing at the store today. :)

LauraJ said...

Gentlebeings: you need some fat to get the most vitamins out of your greens.(cf (add yr own ht tp colon slash slash). MAKE YOUR OWN out of decent not mucked about with oil and stuff and it's tastier and cheaper. Even if you put bleu cheese in it.

(should it be either blue cheese or _fromage bleu_?)

I could probably rationalize the beers, too.

Leslie said...

Please please add a bit of walking to your plans. Slow and steady wins the race; keeping the weight off is easier (one would presume) if one loses it slowly, 1 to 2 pounds a week. They (you know, "they") keep saying diets don't work -- but it's keeping it off that's the big problem, and the only way to do that is to raise your metabolism by building muscle and burning calories via exercise. Losing weight via diet alone makes you lose muscle, which slows the metabolism.

If there is anyway at all you can do weight training, you can burn more calories just sitting still! It's almost like cheating! :)

word verification: befor as in, before and after pictures.

Leslie said...

Also! Have a Plan B. Because one day you'll look at that delicious salad and think I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE! And when that day comes, you can either say "ah ha! Plan B!" or run to the bakery for chocolate cake, and the latter is bad for the general morale. :)