Diet Director, Self-Employed

My education as my own diet director was, in fact, my re-education into healthy eating. After all, if I was going to dip into those supposedly deadly carbohydrates (I had been thoroughly brainwashed about carbohydrates, by now, and probably all to the good good for my health, that is), I had to make sure I was at least getting the sort that would do me some good. The kind like healthful whole grains and fresh vegetables and fruits. The forbidden pleasures I’d foregone for the past three years.

For I was convinced that something in that Alabama homecooking was responsible for the sudden return of my hair and the equally sudden loss of that poundage whether it was water or fat. At least it was, at last, gone. And I intended to see that it stayed that way. Gone.

I decided to cut my caloric intake to 1,000 per day. For a person of my size and bone structure, this allows for three perfectly normal meals a day. A big man would require many more, even for weight loss.

The answer to determining that amount of calories required by you is the weigh-in method. And that means that you must weigh each and every day of your life. Without fail. Begin by cutting to 1,500 calories per day, which is usually enough to make weight come off of most metabolically sound people. I am not so metabolically sound, as you have already seen by my hypoglycemia. Better still, ask your

doctor for you will have had a thorough physical by now what he considers to be the best starting point for you.

And then just go right on weighing in. If the needle goes down, you’re on. If it doesn’t, cut more, bit by bit, until it does. And keeps moving in that happy downward direction. Then you’ll know what is required to get the poundage moving.

Now I can’t possibly stress enough the importance of daily weigh-ins, regardless of the diet route you choose to take.

With Atkins, I was told to weigh, without fail, every day of my life. And that weigh-in should be at the same time of day, and in the same kind of clothes. While I was with Atkins, I had to set my own bathroom scale up four pounds so that it would jibe with his. I mean, why kid myself into thinking I’d lost more, when I’d get to his office and be four pounds heavier? That scale is still set up four pounds. So if it’s wrong, then I’m really four pounds lighter, which is fine with me.

The weigh-in at the same time every day is to assure that any water retention you have acquired will probably be consistent. That is why I prefer to weigh in the morning. It seems that the body does acquire a bit of water during the day from liquid intake, et al. and I would just as soon not see that on the scale. I don’t like being unnecessarily depressed. So keep a beady eye on the needle. If it starts going up, you start cutting down on the calories.

I embarked on my own low-calorie diet with a lot of help from the nutrition knowledgeables of the world. People like Adelle Davis, Linda Clark, and Carlton Fredericks. And I learned. Plenty. Plenty about all the things I had been doing wrong, plenty about all the things I still hadn’t learned to do right.

I learned about health foods which to go for, which to avoid, for you can be fooled just as easily in health-food shops as you can in any other shop. I had, however, learned one lifetime valuable lesson from low-carb life. I had learned to watch labels carefully. I will hammer this home to you again in a moment, for your health and your shape will depend on this one lesson. I learned that some so-called health foods are pretty meaningless. Take granola, for one, the favorite cereal of the long-hair set. Earthy, they think it is. Recent stories in newspapers across this country brand granola as just one more commercial cereal no better, no worse for you. Dr. Carlton

Fredericks devotes an entire chapter in Eating Right for You to shopping in health-food stores. I think it would be wise for you to read it before you head for the commercially healthful life.

As far as I’m concerned, one of the most important beauty lessons you will ever learn is the reading-the-label lesson. It’s something that must always be done. And don’t think you won’t find it confusing. I told you in the beginning I would hammer on this point over and over again, for it is that important. Just for kickers, a friend told me today that he couldn’t imagine why he seemed unable to lose weight. And then went on to tell proudly how he’d given up booze, but had spent the previous evening with a friend drinking magnums of diet soft drink, instead. (1 know this gentleman, and he meant magnums.) Of course, the diet drink in question contains sugar, so that by the time he downed all that, he might as well have gone out for a piece of pie.

So often would-be dieters are well-meaning but simply misinformed or uninformed. I, before my re-education, was most certainly misinformed. The things I thought were low in calories turned out to be among the highest-caloric items on the counter scale. That’s the reason, of course, for that super-accurate chart I have compiled. Narcissistic needs my narcissistic needs that, I hope, will keep you from making all the mistakes I needn’t have. If I had only been informed, the way I’m going to inform you. For not only am I giving you a chart that will tell you everything you need to know about the nutrients needed to make you beautiful, I am going to give you a chart that lists both calories and carbohydrates. Just to make things easy for you.

As for those labels: read every single word on them. You’re going to find, until that new labeling law gets into action, that most of them are confusing. They will say such mysterious things as “eighty-five percent carbohydrates.” What does that mean to you eighty-five percent of the jar? Of a spoonful? What? I was never able to find out until I set a researcher off to sink her teeth into the mathematical problem and come up with the answers on our chart.

So, on labels, you won’t find out much about calories and carbohydrates. Or vitamins. Yet.

But you will be able to spot hidden sugar anything that might make it dangerous for your kind of dieting. And you’ll most certainly spot all those additives, should you be choosing from cans, or other prepared foods. You may just decide you’d rather not have it after all. Labels are instructive and important, not only to your dieting, but to your health, as well. It won’t take long to see the difference between pure-and-natural food and synthetic food.

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