When I first saw the headline about the amazing Blogging diet while in line at the supermarket checkout, I thought it sounded way too easy to be true. The bullet points on the cover promised I wouldn't even have to modify my eating and exercise habits, not if I didn't want to. I was skeptical, but I bought the magazine, took it home and read the article in bed with a bag of half-off Halloween candy.
Savoring stale candy corn I realized there is just as much reason to believe a steady blogging habit will result in miraculous, unearned weight loss as any of the other diets I've fallen for over the years. And I do need to lose a ton before my mother-in-law’s annual holiday dinner, otherwise I’ll be wearing sweat pants and a roomy sequined top and all the relatives I haven’t seen in a year will be whispering about how I’ve let myself go since I retired to “write.”
I was already determined to give blogging a try for the more typical reasons: self-promotion and expression, the compulsion to make one’s thoughts and opinions public with an online journal of sorts that at least has the allusion of a readership. When I considered the possible weight loss benefits of blogging, well, as I writer with a bit of a snacking fetish, one I don't really want to inhibit, it seemed tailor-made.
In case you might be considering a quick-fix holiday diet yourself, I offer the following somewhat scientific comparison of the Blogging diet to this year’s popular “Miracle Pill” diet, which according to a board-certified Podiatrist and charasmatic television personality, similarly promises "up to" an 8-pound a week weight loss with minimal effort. Below are the salient points of both regimes:
Miracle Pill diet: Take 50 mg of “miracle pill” three times a day, 20 minutes before each meal. If 50 mg doesn’t produce desired results, double the dose, but cut back if you experience heart palpitations or fainting spells. And, as always, consult your physician before commencing this or any other weight-loss program.
Blogging diet: Commit to at least one weekly blog post. If one post doesn’t produce the desired results, go for two, or more, but cut back if you begin to repeat yourself or lose Facebook friends.
Miracle Pill diet: The “miracle pill” targets negative, self-defeating emotions by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. And that’s important because it is our “emotions” that drive so many of us to overeat. That’s right. It’s not your fault. It’s in your “brain.”
Blogging diet: Fosters a regular writing practice, one with a tangible outcome, a publishable “post,” which also increases serotonin levels in the brain which in turn combats the writer’s fear, anxiety and feelings of inadequacy over never finishing anything, as well as the tendency to babble on and on about very little. Note: for the blog post to be effective at increasing serotonin, it should be about “something,” as opposed to “nothing” or simply one’s “feelings” about oneself, one’s weight, or the status of one’s writing endeavors.
That’s right. The inability to write and then feeling bad about that inability and perhaps over-indulging as one result is not your fault. It’s in your “brain.”
Miracle Pill diet: At least one test subject reportedly lost eight pounds in one week while taking the “miracle pill.”
Blogging Diet: Julie Powell, the “Julie & Julia” blogger, scored a book deal and a movie with Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. That could be you!
Miracle Pill diet: Promotes sleep, one of the most efficient fat-burning activities there is, and it contains fiber, to ensure a healthy, constipation free, digestion.
Blogging diet: Fight’s writer’s block, that dreaded constipation of the mind and fingers, without the cramping and other unpleasant and embarrassing side effects of exotic herbs, teas, suppositories and pills.
Miracle Pill diet: The slimming results of the “miracle pill” can be greatly enhanced by indulging in “me” time to further increase serotonin levels. Suggestions: nibble on a square of dark chocolate, pet your dog or cat or give yourself a scalp massage.
Blogging diet: Nibbling on dark chocolate, actually any chocolate or candy, or a savory snack if you prefer, or both, as well as petting the dog and enjoying the occasional massage, facial or pedicure can also prove beneficial in increasing serotonin levels when combined with the Blogging diet, or any diet, or no diet.
Miracle Pill diet: Requires a leap of faith. You must believe that taking the miracle pill might possibly/conceivably/this time melt up to 8 pounds a week as reportedly experienced by at least one test subject. Otherwise why buy the bottle of pills and expose your body to some secret “proprietary” blend of ingredients printed in illegibly tiny type.
Blogging diet: Also requires a leap of faith. You must believe that releasing your words to the universe on a regular basis will accrue positive benefits or at least minimally negative ones.
Based on this semi-scientific comparison I have begun the Blogging diet and the Miracle Pill diet simultaneously. I will take the miracle pills three times a day and blog. Double indemnity. The chances that either, neither or both will result in any appreciable weight loss are probably about the same. But it’s possible all the ancillary mood and confidence boosting benefits of both programs might induce me to eat more sensibly and go for the occasional walk. It could happen. Probably not in time to generate noticeable results for the holiday party with my mother-in-law. For that I’ll invest in a pair of camouflaging palazzo pants to go with the sequined top.
Disclaimer: this website does not provide medical advice. Results from any diet will vary. Any results from the regimens described above would be surprising. None of the content has been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration or, for that matter, anyone. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material, contained on this website is for purposes of potential diversion only. The content is not intended in any way as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are convinced otherwise, well, I suppose that makes you as gullible and inherently lazy as I am.
Dorothy, author of Gray Is The New Black, blogs about the challenges and opportunities of being a woman and a writer of a certain age in a youth-centric universe.