John McDonald

Blogging about politics, life, and the web

Taco and Cookie Diets? Really?

January 4th, 2010

One expected feature of a society in crisis is that people would start to learn about their mistakes and apply scientific logic to solutions when it becomes apparent that the ‘magic cures’ offered during an unraveling were as ineffective as snake oil.

Now, I’m not saying that its impossible to lose weight by eating at Taco Bell – there are just much healthier and cost-effective ways to drop a few pounds.  Of course, if you eat the dry meat-free burrito or whatever they’re trying to pass off as a healthy alternative, you’re going to consume fewer calories and you might even be nauseous enough to avoid further hunger cravings.  On the other hand, if you spent a little while cooking you could make your own mix of fresh veggies in a wrap – without two days worth of salt that comes with the Bell.

So it was bad enough to see that Taco Bell is trying to push a healthy image for their particularly unhealthy food, but imagine my surprise this morning when I saw commercials for a cookie diet.  They looked like they were probably made out of oatmeal, but the message they’re selling this year is all about the gain without the pain.

If your only goal is to lose weight, all you have to do is spend more calories than you consume.  Easy simple stuff.  Fats and sugars have the most calories, so analyze your typical diet and find the foods that tempt you there.  Find some way to create your own replacement with fewer calories or simply find a new favorite you can enjoy with less guilt.


Even if you just want to lose weight for purely superficial reasons and don’t care about the health benefits, you still need to exercise!  Skinny might be better than fat, but our human aesthetic sense still evaluates an entire health picture.  Plenty of men recoil from the sight of ‘supermodels’ who look like they desperately need a sandwich.  This also helps burn the calories, but it shouldn’t be an excuse to add that double-chocolate milkshake to your reasonable dinner.


Yeah, its still important to find diet foods that make you happy.  Eating is a simple and essential pleasure in life, so try different stuff until you can balance your caloric needs with what your taste buds tolerate.  If this means an occassional trip to Taco Bell or an oatmeal cookie, that’s probably not the worst thing that could happen.  Just don’t expect to eat a half dozen chalupas every night while thinking a few situps will help offset the ‘slip.’

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