The Diet-Rites of Lunchtime

It’s Five Things Wednesday …

I’ve always enjoyed lunch.  It’s my favorite time of day to eat, lunch cuisine (sandwiches and the like) appeals to me more than that associated with other meals, it’s a break from the workday, etc.  There are lots of different kinds of lunches – the small business lunch, the catching up with friends lunch, the service club lunch, the solitary lunch in the car with the radio and/or a book and many others, not the least interesting of which is the compulsory lunch with co-workers.  Yesterday was one of those.

I don’t mean the kind of lunch where you and some co-workers go off-site to chat or to work on a project or do anything constructive, I mean the “we’re all leaving at 11:20 to get the big table so we can celebrate X. You’re coming, aren’t you?” lunch.

At compulsory lunch with co-workers, nobody wants to talk about, you know, work, because we’re off-site and we’re supposed to be having fun.  Let’s face it, you’ve already shared all the outside-work stuff you intend to share with the co-workers you intend to share it with.  So you make an hour of (hopefully) creative small talk about the weather, vacation plans and if one or more in the group are actively losing weight (and they always are) the topic of the day is … dieting!

What’s that you say?  It’s odd to talk about how much you’re not eating while you’re eating?  You are correct.  But compulsory lunch with co-workers is odd.  No way around it.

In honor of yesterday’s compulsory lunch with co-workers, here are five ways people I know are obsessing about weight-loss:

1.  Eat food, not too much, mostly vegetables.  You knew this was on the list, didn’t you?  You can hardly get through any of my posts without me preaching the gospel according to Pollan.  For the record, it fell on deaf ears yesterday.  Eat things that are clearly good for you?  Be careful of Frankenfood?  Not magic-bullet-y enough.

2.  Coconut Water.  No, not coconut milk, like you might use in a nice curry, coconut water.  Maybe you’ve heard of it.  Maybe you drink it regularly.  I’d never heard of it until yesterday.  Apparently it’s really good for you.  For now I’m stickin’ with regular ol’ water.  Maybe with some bubbles and some lemon in it.

3.  Massive Calorie Restriction.  I’m sure I could get by on 600 calories a day.  But I wouldn’t be much fun.  And I’m pretty sure when they let me (somebody would have to stay after me about this – I damn sure wouldn’t do it to myself) get back normal nutritive sustenance I’d be headed for the cake aisle at the Publix.  Regardless, three times this week I’ve had conversations with people doing this to themselves.  Apparently it’s hip and cool.  And really, I suppose if you’re going to starve yourself, you may as well brag about it.  **I note that one other person who is serious about weight loss was in this group and is restricting himself fairly severely, but was by no means “bragging about it.”  He felt as uncomfortable about it being the center of attention as I did, if not more so.

4.  Atkins/South Beach. Anybody who tells you not to eat vegetables is not doing you any favors.  Plus, this is old news.  No fun to talk about it.

5.  Lean Cuisine.  The anti-Pollan.  Dieting always comes back to fake food.   I’ve eaten a lot of these over the years.  I don’t anymore.  The list of ingredients on this (randomly picked) Lean Cuisine meal is 13 lines long.  But you don’t have to think about it.  Just pop it in the microwave et voila, a self-contained meal unit with specified levels of calories, fat, fiber and protein.  One step away from a science-fiction meal-in-a-pill.  It’s the ultimate magic diet bullet.  Without snark, I will say that I understand.  Sometimes you need something simple, fast and not super-greasy.  I’ve just sworn it off.  Maybe it will work for you.


3 responses to this post.

  1. Even though according to my BMI I am obese, I try to eat food that is healthy. This is one of the resons that I cook so much. Once you become accustomed to eating food that was cooked 5 minutes ago, and made out of products that you recognize, you really don’t like frakenfood food. The only canned veggies I cook with are tomatoes and the only refined product I use is sugar. I make every bite of food we eat except pasta and in the summer bread (too hot to make bread!)

    People always tell me that they don’t have time to cook. I always counter with, what did you watch on TV last night? Just give up one show to make dinner. That is one reason we are all so unhealthy, we have removed ourselves from the process of creating what goes into our bodies.


  2. Posted by Amy on July 13, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    I’m intrigued that you included coconut water as a tag…just in case. 🙂 I think it’s horrid stuff.


  3. Posted by hlward on July 14, 2011 at 9:10 am

    Amy, I also tagged Lean Cuisine, Atkins, South Beach and caloric restriction. All of which I think are of the devil. Thank you for taste-testing coconut water so I don’t have to.

    Tami, I think BMI is a fine tool in its proper context, but applied to everything in every circumstance it is, to quote myself, as useful as a ball-peen hammer in a nanotech lab.

    And thank you both for commenting!


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