Tuesday, October 10, 2006


As I'm sure everybody knows, when you diet, you take out some of the foods that you would normally eat and replace them with foods that, although they are better for you, you wouldn't normally eat. However, by taking out foods that you normally eat, you start to miss those foods, and you start to crave them, as if you were some kind of junkie food addict.

Stupid being addicted to food.

For me, when I do miss food, I don't tend to miss the higher end stuff. I don't sit at work jonesing for a filet mignon covered in sauteed mushrooms. Nope, gutter-gut that I am, I miss the cheap easy; that is to say, I miss fast food.

The last time I was dieting, I did pretty well. I was eating lean meats, vegetable, and fruits for just about every meal. I felt better. I looked better. I smelled better. Overall, I was a better person.

However, one night, a friend's car had broken down in front of a Jack in the Box, and he called me to go pick him up. When I got there, he said, "Before we go, let me run in and get something to eat."

Oh vile tempter! Wherefore draw'st thou me thither to yon place of zero recommended daily value of important supplements, and gargantuan recommened daily value of heart stopping ingredients?

To make a long story short, I buckled. It's not like I fell off the wagon completely; I just opted to be dragged along for a while. I purchased a chicken sandwich, and let me tell you, it was one of the most delicious things that I had ever tasted. My abstinence from fast food had given my taste buds a greater appreciation for it. I took slow, conscious, deliberate bites. I simultaneously explored the greasy bun, the breaded chikcen, the wilted lettuce, and the special sauce. I appreciated that sandwich not only physically, but abstractly. The concept of the sandwich made me thank the heavens for it.

An orchestra of taste sensation was exploding in my mouth, and I was powerless to stop it.

I drove away a much more contented man, albeit one with about 600 more calories than absolutely necessary.

Which brings me to my philosophical quandary of the day. Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, has a theory about why people are overweight. Contrary to popular opinion by many who are in shape, he surmises that overweight people don't have less self control than skinny people. Rather, he believes that fat people simply receive more joy from eating than they do by exercising; conversely, he thinks that people who are in shape receive more joy from being in shape than they do by eating a hamburger.

I tend to agree with him, as is evidenced by my above story. What do you think?


Thany said...

All hail Scott Adams, for he is wise and all knowing.

All hail the AC who I missed while on vacation. May dogs everywhere be given your name. ;)

Red Riding Hood said...

I agree to a point. I'm all about food. I just try really really hard to find things that are healthy that I like. There is sooo much food to choose from out there, you crave something sweet have a strawberry, something salty, have some kettle chips. etc. So that when I get home from work and I have the option of 1. bag of doritos - 1000 calories 2. artichoke - 60 calories...I crave the artichoke more then the doritos. Yummmm artichoke.... The downside to my husband is 1. bag of doritos-$1 2. artichoke-$4

Red Riding Hood said...

And yet i still crave hot wings.

Analyst Catalyst said...

Miss Thany: Glad to have you back! And I appreciate the attempts at dog naming in my favor!

Red: Hmm. So the trick is to get yourself to crave things that aren't horrible for you. Unfortunately for me, I enjoy artichoke primarily when it is accompanied by things that are horrible for me.

superaustin said...

My approach is instead of completely cutting out the terrible, I try to just cut waaay back. I'll still have fast food, just once or twice a week as opposed to, you know, every day. Sure, it slows down the weight loss, but then I figure I'm actually altering my eating habits as opposed to "dieting" for a brief period.
If I tell myself I can't have something, I tend to want it more...

Crayl said...

To add to what Scott Adams said, it could be taste receptors. Where as some peoples systems are satisfied with one bite of something, or a small portion while for others...often heavier persons, it takes alot more of the flavor on the palatte to quench the need.This also has something to do with those that need super intense flavors vs blander...the resptors have different levels of sensitivity....ANYWAY...
Just another theory that they are testing and finding some truth in.
I read your blog regularly thanks the Thany and her sis!

Analyst Catalyst said...

Huh, that's really interesting with how different people need different amounts of flavor to feel satisfied. I knew that some people felt taste more intensely than others, but I didn't know that there was a corollation between the two. Thanks for the info!

And Supes, I usually settle on fast food once or twice a week after I've been dieting a while. Giving it up completely appeals for only a couple of weeks; then I go towards a moderated approach.