Dear Diary: I'm fat

In all the hysteria over the health threats posed by obesity, one group of at-risk Americans have gone overlooked -- those of us who work at home.

Telecommuters, home-office types and housespouses face daily diet dangers dire enough to make Richard Simmons sing basso profundo. We're home alone (or, worse, with the kids) all day. The food's right there in the kitchen. No one's watching . . .

Many of us find ourselves gradually inflated by unhealthy meals and round-the-clock snacking. A few pizzas here, a six-pack there, the occasional fistful of chocolate, and, next thing you know, your kids are spray-painting "GOODYEAR" on your abdomen while you nap.

Dieting experts say creeping weight gain results when people don't watch what they eat. These experts recommend that dieters keep a daily diary of everything they consume, so they can be alert to dangerous trends.

Such a diary can be revealing, and often surprising, to us at-home workers.

For instance, if you're very busy at your desk, you might not even notice that you've scarfed down a pound of peanut M&Ms, worth 27 bazillion calories. Heck, you might not have even tasted them, depending upon your level of distraction. But your body will remember every calorie. Especially your hips, which neither forget nor forgive.

How to set up a diet diary? It's best to keep it simple, recording on lined paper each morsel consumed each hour of the day. Use the following example as a template:


7 a.m. -- Coffee.
8 a.m. -- Coffee.
9 a.m. -- Coffee.
10 a.m. -- Omigosh, I forgot breakfast. A cinnamon-raisin bagel with "light" cream cheese. More coffee.
11 a.m. -- Mid-morning snack of a healthy apple. Apple unsatisfying, so chased it with nine ounces of peanut M&Ms.
Noon -- A healthful lunch of a salad with low-fat ranch dressing, one serving of cheese and some baby carrots. For dessert, one 16-ounce bag of potato chips dipped in low-fat ranch dressing.
1 p.m. -- Nothing. So there!
2 p.m. -- Early afternoon snack of low-fat cookies. Bad news from corporate headquarters forced me to eat entire box. Not my fault.
3 p.m. -- Mid-afternoon snack break with the children, consisting of three Popsicles.
4 p.m. -- Need something to cut that sugar high. Twelve ounces of pretzels. Fat-free!
5 p.m. -- Time for a few quiet moments before dinner preparation begins. Six handfuls of peanut M&Ms and two glasses of wine.
6 p.m. -- A few little tastes from various pots while preparing dinner. Nothing much. Really!
7 p.m. -- Dinner with the family. Healthful broccoli, more salad, pasta, French bread, butter, more wine. Lots of calories, but the kids were begging for spaghetti.
8 p.m. -- Favorite old movie on TV can mean only one thing: Popcorn!
9 p.m. -- A few peanut M&Ms while getting the children ready for bed.
10 p.m. -- Bedtime snack. A healthy glass of milk. And 14 Oreos.
11 p.m. -- Can't sleep. Aren't peanut M&Ms a natural tranquilizer? Eat just enough to nod off . . .


7 a.m. -- Awake to find M&M bag empty and pillow smeared with colorful stains. Time for coffee.

So that's how a diet diary works. Keep track of your intake every day, and you'll have a record to use, years from now, when you sue the snack companies for making you fat.


Anonymous said...

That made me laugh. So true, so true.

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