SLIGHTLY OFF THE MARK
I have a healthy skepticism of any and all dietary plans and weight
loss “experts”. As I’ve mentioned before, my diet book would be so clear
and simple that it would consist of only three pages:
1. Eat less.
2. Exercise more.
In reality, I could then fill up the book with how to accomplish
that fourth, all-important step: Have willpower. I haven’t cracked that
Although those steps will work, it’s also true that you can tweak
both diet and exercise in ways that help you lose weight faster. It’s
also true that losing weight alone doesn’t make a person healthy: I give
you as a famished example rail-thin, malnourished supermodels. At the
beginning of last winter I was close to thirty pounds overweight
(although I’ve somehow lost some since), and was still more healthy than
any number of skinny people who I could snap like a twig.
Better to meet in the middle – or, for you vegans, to vegetate in
the middle. That’s all well and good, but who do you believe? Eat all
protein; eat all veggies; eat nothing but cabbage soup. (I actually
tried the cabbage soup diet, and did lose weight even though it was
winter. Plus, fringe benefit, once it worked its way through my system
nobody wanted to be around me.)
Now I’ve discovered a new twist, on the website Health.com: Packing on the carbs.
What this article is talking about is Resistant Starch, which is
what happens when your dry cleaner goes overboard with your suit and it
won’t bend to fit your body, and is also apparently a kind of food.
Starches would be that stuff people are always telling me not to eat.
Like baked potatoes. Yum …
Resistant starches apparently include bananas and oatmeal, beans,
potatoes, and plantains, which are like plantations only built under
mountains. Also included is Pearl Barley, who you might know as a singer
made immortal in the song, “Won’t you come home, Pearl Barley?” Pearl
Barley, as I recall, was a very large woman, which makes me question her
diet and wonder if she didn’t come home because she was at a fast food
(Oh my gosh – I just checked, and Pearly Bailey died twenty years
ago! Is part of getting older having to explain your jokes to younger
people? Also, it was her brother, Bill Bailey, you didn’t come home –
possibly because she sent him for take out.)
But according to this article, which is written with all the
authority of someone with a website of their very own, resistant
starches are cool, which makes them hot. The reasons:
1. Carbs fill you up.
That makes them appetite suppressants, more filling than protein or
fat and digested more slowly. I usually accomplish the same goal of
losing my appetite by watching disgusting TV shows: The Biggest Loser,
Dirty Jobs, or … well, with Olbermann gone from MSNBC, I might have to
try the baked potatoes.
2.Carbs curb your hunger.
Researchers say that when dieters go from a low-carb diet to one
high in fiber and resistant starches, their cravings go to the curb.
Not unless they make resistant starch chocolate bars, bub.
3. Carbs control blood sugar and diabetes.
One study indicated a 38% improvement in blood sugar and insulin
response, if carbs were eaten in certain combinations. Which is actually
an idea I can’t make much fun of.
4. Carbs speed up metabolism.
In other words, the body fires up its natural fat burners. Usually,
when I burn fat, I have to run for a fire extinguisher. In this case the
body releases fatty acids, which sounds disgusting but kicks your
metabolism right in its overly padded butt.
5. Carbs make you lose belly fat faster than other foods.
Even when the same number of calories is consumed this is true –
calories, keep in mind, are a unit of
measurement, so in theory one
calorie is the same as another. In actual practice, with carbs the
calories are the same, but the body burns them faster. Imagine the
federal government maintaining the same income but decreasing spending.
No, seriously, imagine it. Just try. Stop laughing.
6. Carbs keep you satisfied.
Foods high in resistant starch trigger your body’s fullness signals.
Your brain says, “Gee, I’m full – I don’t want to eat anymore”. You’ll
no longer crave foods, and can then go on to craving other stuff, like
brains. Carbs will start the zombie apocalypse!
7. Carbs make you feel good about you.
That’s because dieters can lose weight without doing something
really unhealthy, such as cutting out food groups, crash dieting, or
cutting off a limb. They feel empowered by the results, although be
warned: You’ll never be a runway supermodel.
The main problem I have with this article is that there’s a dearth
of sources quoted. Dearth is more than an evil Sith Lord, by the way. Is
this a big study, or the result of a poll taken after a big family
I’ll consider that one over dinner.