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7 Things To Avoid When On A Diet

Let's face it. The vast, vast majority of us much watch our weight, our caloric intake, and certainly our sense of fitness. Plus, we really know we should watch our figures (despite how much we like to watch other figures) and ensure we maintain a healthy sense of, well, health, on the inside as well as the outside. Sure, someone can look as if they're just on this side of Olympic fitness, and then, kapow, they're on a gurney chewing down aspirins like they're stashed Halloween candy while fitted with more tubes and lines than an off-Broadway Frankenstein play. Yup, you have to make sure the plumbing is as up to speed as the muscle tone, and I don't just mean Viva Viagra.

But it's such a drag for most of us. Well, not just merely a drag, but a matter of balance in habit and lifestyle. So, if one is in the habit of getting a robust amount of exercise at least one hour a day every day, or at least three or four days a week, and eating a balanced diet, getting plenty of rest and drinking plenty of fresh water, then they're likely to live well and long enough to die in a miasma of dementia caused by Alzheimer's Disease. But, if you're on the couch and in front of the TV for hours a day, scarfing down Doritos by the fistful, swilling beer after beer in between the bong hits while trying to remember what it is you're watching every time the commercials come on, then you're on a midnight train to Strokesville.

So, where's the happy medium, right? Do you have to live like an athlete in order to prevent being a slob, or is there a pleasant, sweet middle ground in there somewhere? Does one have to sport the abs of Cindy Margolis just to avoid the gut of John Goodman? I mean, come on. We all know we suffer from an incurable disease called Mortality, so most of us desire a balance in life when it comes to health and fitness. We know we must maintain a sense of health, but we don't want to wrack the joints with excessive exercise or yank a nut trying to crank out that extra mile around the neighborhood. It says over the entrance to the Oracle of Delphi, among other things, to Know Thyself and Nothing Too Much.

Just how do we find that happy medium? People, we live a lifestyle suited to us and avoid the temptations of unhealthy choices in life, or at least these temptations enjoyed to the point of gluttony. Come on, you don't have to do 3, 000 sit-ups and 2, 000 push-ups a day to be fit. If one eats right, avoids certain key behaviors that lead to poor health and properly exercises the body, then one is likely to...well, shit; you're going to die, anyway. But hey! You can live nice, sleep well, avoid intestinal hang-ups and four-figure pharmaceutical bills paid to your local supermarket's pharmacist, and enjoy a great Sex life all the way to the end, just by sensible lifestyle choices and effort. But if one lives a sedentary lifestyle, eats Rolaids like an Anteater over a termite mound due to a diet primarily obtained via drive-thru, needs sleeping pills to sleep, and other pills to get it up before the age of thirtysomething, and struggles to get three decent hours of sleep through the average work week, then something is not ringing the proper bells.

Okay, if one is devoted to pure fitness and the desire to see how much one can do in one day, counts every calorie and crumb, and tastes bile in the back of the throat whenever whole milk is within the same zip code, then move on, freak, since this article isn't for you. You clicked on it, I got my credit; go climb a mountain. Or, if your hero in life is something between Jabba the Hutt and the contestants during the first week of The Biggest Loser, then take your fat ass on and scroll down to the latest All-U-Can-Eat link on Max Knows, as this isn't for you, either. But if you're seeking a moderately healthy and comfortable existence without having to resort to a Red Bull to get back to work after the first break, then this article is for you.

Following is a series of seven things to avoid in order to live a happy, healthy and well-adjusted lifestyle without having to rely on too many external and short-term motivators. That's right, kids; just stick by your humble author on this one, because if anyone is a tribute to the art of proper lifestyle and moderate fitness, it's me. Just ask anyone who knows me! I may no longer have to wrestle with the endless sexual advances and innuendoes from the ladies like I did in my twenties and thirties, but by God I still dream of women wanting this like they claim anybody in their right mind is supposed to want a Vermont Teddy Bear. So, read on, lovers of life, and learn a few things along the way to a slimmer, trimmer you.

The food court at the mall

Let's tell it how it is. If one is the sort who favors flavorful, high-calorie comfort foods and has an affinity for the short-term therapeutic effects of these foods, then the mall's food court is the place for you. But these foods are not, I repeat, not good for the diet, and certainly not good for the individual who is watching the weight. These foods are not at all designed to be healthy or nutritious; flavor and satiety is the primary goal. After all, what are the foods that do best in these environments? Do you recall seeing a Salad Castle or Tofu Palace in any mall food court? No, what you have is heavy, fatty, highly processed fast foods that pack on weight quicker than a forklift on a semi. Further, therein lies an obvious problem, which is fat and calories, but another less-than-obvious problem with such dietary choices, and that is modern-day processing.

A diet coming into popularity these days is the Paleo Diet, which is a catchy term for eating the way people did long before processing and other modern-day abilities to produce food came into play. The philosophy approaches from more than one direction; the foods humanity has been conditioned to thrive on over the millennia, and then the foods those who come from antediluvian environments, such as tribal societies of remote locations, like those in deep forests or fringe Eskimo regions. These people live simple, natural lives reminiscent of pre-industry and so forth, but tend to be absent of so many afflictions of modern society. They are free of obesity and diabetes as well as so many other afflictions common to a modern society where artificially processed foods and sedentary lifestyles are ordinary. So...


That's right. If you want to live a healthy lifestyle and maintain a proper weight as well as a high degree of fitness and wear a sweet figure as a result, avoid civilization. Now, this isn't stating that you should live with the tribes of the Amazon, since while these people do tend to be fit, they also suffer from dental issues. Moreover, their dancing doesn't coincide with the club scene and often involves stone and bronze weaponry, and more often than not, some sort of animal blood. Sure, they're on cue when it comes to piercing, which is the thing today, but piercing one's nose with the horn of an Oryx and then stuffing a turkey plate into one's bottom lip does not fall under the description of sexy along Hollywood and Vine.

So, if you want to be fit, you need to find a happy medium. You want to live in an environment where motion of body and soul is common, but indoor plumbing and electricity is, too. Might we recommend living in an abandoned lighthouse? You're near the beach and therefore the beach bodies, but need to climb a lot of stairs (good for the body and targets the glutes) in order to access most of the place, and the presence of pirate ghosts helps ensure target heart rates.

The Drive-Thru

Part of the problem with the drive-thru is that for one thing, it's mind-numbing on the boredom scale, continuously endures a toxic emissions line of cars, trucks, and SUV's that spew their toxins into the air surrounding the fast food location of choice, inundating the weeks-old grease with life-destroying chemicals, as if it needed any help. Everyone sitting there in the drive-thru line is sucking in those chemicals by the liter, and that only adds to the notion that so many of them are likely liquored up (now, that's inappropriate, dear friend) when pulling into the drive-thru about twenty after midnight.

We recommend you avoid sucking in large amounts of toxic fumes spewed from idling automobiles all around you while you sit in a confining car while irritating proper posture in the attempt for discretion while leaning forward to puke out the window as a result of a lifestyle proving unhealthy for even an old, fat rock star. These things are a deadly combination of chemicals sure to lead you down the Super Sized Highway of fat. You'll be rocking to the tunes, reeling from carbon monoxide, and squirreling into your craw fistfuls of fries followed by monstrous bites of the Death Burger, all washed down with a thousand ounce diet soft drink while you negotiate a one-way road to Misery.

Instead, if you're going to eat the fast food, demand from yourself a limit and stick to it, such as once a week or so, and nothing is too small. Get the smallest always, particularly since an hour later it will feel satisfying just as much as anything else without as much bloat. And never negotiate your way through the drive-thru. Always park it and go inside, always. Remember that the drive-thru is for morons, losers, and perverts. Parking and going inside to enjoy an occasional fast food meal, only occasionally, is the act of someone sexy, brilliant, and with a three-digit IQ.

All-U-Can-Eat Buffet Restaurants, particularly the Chinese ones

People, these are the crack houses of restaurants. They're for those who desire to be surrounded by their Opium Den-minded colleagues (now, for the sensitive readers out there, this is nothing more than a metaphor and not to be taken literally) consume their swan-song meal with reckless abandon. They're the ultimate moment of American overindulgence, and in this day and age, how can we indulge like that?

Besides, how can one go to one of these places and not overdo it? Doesn't one feel like a sucker if they pay that amount and not scarf down as much as humanly possible? Just ask any professional buffet patron; you eat as much as possible and then purge when you can't take anymore in. Then, when purged, you get back out there and pick up where you left off. That's commitment, baby!

So unless you live the active life of an Olympian, you avoid these places. Now, that doesn't mean you should never, ever enjoy a buffet. On occasion, a nice buffet is fun, social, and a nice place to relax with friends and loved ones. But look, when you're hitting the All-U-Can-Eat joints several times a week, or worse, every day at lunch, you have a serious problem that'll have you turning tricks at truck stops for Golden Corral and China Jade coupons. And in case you didn't get the memo, that's not good.

The Holidays

If there's anything worse for one's general state of health than the holidays, it's likely only an uncontrolled addiction to All-U-Can-Eat Chinese buffets and that's about all. While we, generally speaking, like the holidays, they're not conducive to good health. They're usually compounded by a lot of food and a lot of family. People, now you know this is not good for your weight, your stress level, your heart, and certainly not your budget. Attending one of these functions makes about as much sense as emptying a staple gun into one's own thigh.

Then there is the fact that some familial dumb-ass is going to drink too much and show their ass, likely to push those who are tired of fighting with family just to have family bail them out the next morning towards the table covered with tasty food (these things almost always have deviled eggs, which are a satanic temptation) where they'll consume large quantities of comfort food to compensate for the thought of, 'why do we do this to ourselves every year?'

Another part of the problem is the holidays never stop coming. We're not just talking about the six major paid holidays, but all of them. There is all the recovery from New Year's Eve all the way through to Christmas and Hanukkah and everything in between. Don't forget the subtle holidays, like Valentine's Day (dinner and chocolate) and so on, but also the myriad of birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, divorces, graduations, births, deaths, and every other supposedly special day where diet and caution are tossed to the wind. These days add up just like calories; they're grossly underestimated until the next day.

A smart way to cope with the holidays is to take on a holiday project, like supervising the children beating the piata, which must eventually be broken open with a chain saw and illegal explosives, or occupying the grill. The kitchen is a place where one endlessly samples food, packing on calories like sundae sprinkles, but the grill is not so finger-friendly. One could be the official photographer, gathering valuable evidence for future extortion, or one could merely be smart enough to find a cozy place to hide, lay low, and watch some movies until the crowd disperses. But avoid the rich, fatty foods and stick with the veggie tray. But feel free to enjoy a few chicken wings, as some things are not meant to be missed.

The ice cream truck

Okay, now I'm just saying, but maybe, just maybe, people who might have to concern themselves with their weight just, I don't know, just might be a little old to be chasing the ice cream truck rolling through the neighborhood. But let's think about that for a minute. Chasing implies running, which implies a heightened boost of adrenaline and other endorphins, which often leads to a greater heart rate, which usually leads to greater metabolism and therefore easier weight loss and management.

So, get out there and chase that truck!

Now, the thing to avoid is waiting with baited breath for the ice cream truck to roll down your road and park in front of your house (where the driver knows he's making the day's selling quota) so you can simply meander out the door and order those three sundaes along with whatever else you're slowly killing yourself with, one sweet calorie at a time. But if you think this through, the arrival of the ice cream truck in your neighborhood just might prove to be the single greatest weight loss tool ever devised.

Further, this might work best if it was a team effort on the part of the weight-conscious neighbors and you. The only thing the bunch of you need do is piss off the ice cream truck driver guy.

I don't mean make him dread the sight of you while he endures your generous patronage. Oh, no. I mean down and out piss this guy off to the point that he'll negotiate your neighborhood as quick as possible, only stopping for those prepubescent and with cash on hand. Why do this? Because it is chasing the ice cream truck through the neighborhood that will inspire a lot of fun-filled and meaningful exercise on the part of you and your neighbors.

All right, here is what you do. Gather the maximum amount of neighbors you can in on your scheme and create territories through the neighborhood where each of you will give chase. Everyone should do their best to make chase for at least two blocks at first, but then work up to several blocks to maximize the proper amount of exercise for the day. Even a good, speedy chase through the intersection would be beneficial, particularly if the intersection is congested. The thing is that the chase must be meaningful for you and the driver.

You can do this one of two ways. You can have the driver in on your little scheme, whereby he knows he must make a certain amount of people chase him before he is 'conveniently' cornered in a cul-de-sac and has to give up the goods to his sweaty, panting marauders. This is a nice way of doing this, and might stave off the frequency of police cruisers in the vicinity. But the rule of thumb is he can only 'give up' frozen juice bars, frozen yogurt, or other health-conscious frozen delights.

Another way is by NOT letting the driver know you're actually up to some good, but making him think you're a raving lunatic who is out of their mind. This way he really and truly runs, making you and your partners-in-crime run, too. He'll be more likely to blast through traffic, red lights and stop signs, causing his annoying ice cream truck music to wail like a cat caught in a barbed wire fence. This will likely enable the endocannabinoids in the hippocampus and therefore inspire a greater sense of bloodthirst. Your pumping adrenaline will provide greater endurance in the chase, so when you finally catch up with the hapless soul, you would have burned off enough calories to enjoy a strawberry smoothie and still be on the positive side of the weight loss curve.

You'll need to be smart and strategic if you choose the method of pursuit on a driver who believes you mean serious harm. After all, he won't want to come back into your neighborhood, or if he does, he might be armed with Tazers and other self-defense weapons. Tazers would be okay, since they might inspire a sense of motivation once one is used to the regular doses of voltage, but pepper spray would be unproductive and might inspire defeat, prompting the need for comfort foods. So, you'll need to contact the ice cream truck driver guy employer and let them in on your nefarious, weight loss plan.

This could work out well, since driver employment turnover would be high, adding a nice mix to your chase, since each driver would surely react differently. Hey, you could even write your own weight loss book and maybe land a spot on Oprah, who might film you and your much thinner friends terrorizing a helpless ice cream truck driver, with all of you melting off the weight like an ice cream truck on the fly with a busted air conditioning compressor.

Saying or writing anything that'll stress your publisher into the donut box again

The seventh thing to avoid affects you indirectly, but could push other liberal whiners into a hissy fit and cause you to rewrite an enormous amount of material that you worked hard on and thought (considering this is a humor article, would have been rather humorous-sort of, like the point) would have elicited a few laughs from the readers. But no, some overly sensitive, whining, simpering pinko with a penchant for censuring the kind of funny stuff that makes people laugh but might approach an edge sharper than the edge of the donut box they raid (obvious, particularly if you look at that gut and chin) on a daily basis felt they knew from funny more than me.

You see, this article originally contained a reference to particular substances that may affect diet and weight loss in a negative way, or in other words, could cause one to put on the pounds. But certain fidgety crybabies who cannot take the stairs because they're endlessly worried about tripping over their shoelaces (which are just a cover to hide the Velcro straps that are easier to fasten with a belly like that, and don't have to be tied) also thought you internet readers might take offense and cry on your veggie burgers. So, your svelte and genuinely funny author who knows from funny (unlike some certain leftie knuckle-draggers I know) was forced to rethink this entire article (not an easy task, there bucko) and write in a powder-puff demeanor so as not to offend the fans of Joy Behar (who happens to sit right next to Whoopie on that vile show, who would have seen the humor back before she became a communist lunatic) with humor slightly more adult than, say, the Teletubbies.

Oh, but I shouldn't mention the Teletubbies, because everyone knows they consume large quantities of Tubby Custard and then bound around in a bunny-laden field chasing each other, leering at children through monitors hidden on their person, and trying to talk with slurred speech so interrupted by their inane habits that they're an embarrassment to all of civilization and therefore should be banned for the protection of the people.

Wow, but it's a good thing certain comedy teams like, say, Cheech & Chong or the cast of Friday's never tried to make it starting out through a venue like this one. They would, after all, be facing endless scrutiny and brow beatings, forcing them into Denny's and the All-U-Can Eat buffets where they'll be eating away their sorrows caused by the left-threaded wing nuts of the world who know with confidence they have a finger on the pulse of what's best for the population's rank and file. Before you know it, they'll be eating away their skimpy paychecks at the fast food locations where skanky women with blocks in their pants are trying to sell our children kids meals and adult themes simultaneously...but since that's out there to be seen and for me to knock, it must be perfectly okay in the eyes of the cranks who find Constitutional rights offensive but not the distribution of contraceptives to middle-school girls sans parental consent. And I'm the one scorned with scowls of assumed ill intent, because, after all and like it says in the commercial aimed right at our kids, booty is booty but people like Tommy Chong should be in jail.

Wow. That was sure funny.

There you have it, kids; seven things to avoid when you're on a strict diet and need to lose weight. If you keep these in mind while on your weight loss endeavors, you'll likely end up thinner than Calista Flockhart after a bout of the Swine Flu. And as everyone knows, that's just awesome! So make sure you take notes, keep a journal, avoid the temptations, remain antisocial (particularly during the holidays) except when ganging up on the ice cream dude, and you'll be surely ready for those jeans you've been keeping around since high school.

Feel free to leave your thanks for all of this in the comments section below, but rest assured that your overall health and fitness is more than enough thanks for me. Be well, everyone!

By Roddy J Dryer - As a writer, I have enjoyed the benefit of making small, yet enjoyable differences in the lives of many, with my writing. My first writing accomplishment (between hardcovers, that is) is the release of The E...  

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