DrFidelius: "Just halve what you eat"

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showpost.php?p=19197174&postcount=42

The post I started the coffee/caffeine thread with


didn’t just contain links to “entertainment or woo-woo websites”.

DrFidelius seems to be saying that some good advice is:

just try "Cut everything you eat by half for three weeks."

Ok say I went to a party tonight and would have normally had 2 drinks of diet coke and 4 pieces of pizza. I guess using your advice I should have 1 drink of diet coke and 2 pieces of pizza.

Then the next day I might have a glass of orange juice and some cereal. That means that I should have half a glass of orange juice and half a bowl of cereal?

What if I felt really hungry? Well let’s look at your advice again:

just try "Cut everything you eat by half for three weeks."

It says “just” as if that is the entire plan.

It also says “try”. So say after 2 weeks I felt so hungry that I ate my normal serving rather than half? Then what? You didn’t say what to do if I tried and failed.

Then if I did do it for 3 weeks, then what?

If I went back to my original diet I would gain all of the weight lost back. And according to some sources people can gain even more than their original weight.

Also, in regards to the original thread (Is coffee/caffeine good or bad for belly fat loss?), DrFidelius’s verdict is that “Coffee is neutral”.
http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showpost.php?p=19198230&postcount=48

Even though every link in the OP disagreed with this.
http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?p=19198230


Sugar is 16 calories per teaspoon, coffee powder is 4 calories per teaspoon. (let’s just assume this is the exact figure)

Let’s say one group of people have a cup of sugar per day and a healthy diet. Another group of people have 1/4 cup of coffee powder, 3/4 a cup of water or something neutral and otherwise the same diet as the first group (except for the cup of sugar).

Do you think that if everything else was the same, after a week both groups would weigh about the same and have similar amounts of water weight, fat, muscle, etc? Note that my purpose for a diet is not just weight loss but muscle maintenance, etc.

Here is a relevant blog:

Yes it is a blog but if someone demands a scientific paper then they should also provide me with scientific papers backing up their claims.

My side of the debate is that I am not going to try DrFidelius’s 3 week suggestion and I think a diet should be more sophisticated than just changing your portion size.

Dude, just eat less and get some exercise. It’s the only diet plan that ever worked.

When you fail, you say to yourself, “gee whiz. I failed.”
Then, you take alessan’s advice in post #2.

I assume you mean consume less calories because a person on a chocolate diet might be technically eating less than a person on a cabbage diet. So would it just mean smaller portions of the same foods? Or choose different foods based on calorie counts?

Whatever works for you. Some people just scale back everything. Others cut out or greatly reduce their intake of particular calorie-dense foods that they feel they eat too much of. As long as you reduce your calorie intake to below your calorie expenditure, and you do so in a way that you can sustain, and you ensure that your diet remains balanced, then you’ll lose weight.

edit:

It should be the other way around. Since sugar is 4 times as calorie dense there would be 1/4 cup of sugar (and 3/4 cup of water or something calorie neutral) and 1 cup of instant coffee.

Also:

My side of the debate is not that DrFidelius’s advice of halving all of your foods won’t result in weight loss - I just don’t think it is a very good diet and is not something that most people would try for 3 weeks.

Does anyone think that it (halving all foods) is something that dieters should try?

I think you may be interpreting him too literally. By “halve” he means “reduce to a material degree”. Exactly what that might require depends on how overweight you are, and how rapidly you wish to lose weight. And by “everything you eat” he means “stop fussing about this particular food or that particular food”. That’s just looking for a magic way to lose weight without materially reducing caloric intake, which in turn is a tactic to avoid facing up to the fact that losing weight requires a material reduction in caloric intake.

If you know you’re eating massively too much, e.g, cheese, or chinese takeaway, or some other food known to be calorie-dense, then by all means cut out cheese or chinese take-away or whatever your particular vice is. But if that’s not your problem and you still want to lose weight then you need to reduce caloric intake, and if there aren’t a couple of major offenders to cut out of your diet you’re going to need to spread the reduction over your diet more generally.

If you would normally take seconds - don’t take seconds. If you would normally have a snack - don’t have a snack. If you would normally drink a coke - drink water instead. Etc. It’s not rocket science.

No I think “halve” means 45-55% or maybe 40-60%. If he meant something more vague he should be used a different word.

He said “just try…” without saying it depended on how overweight I am. BTW I just want to lose some stubborn belly fat and slight moobs. I already have a low calorie diet.

That means not thinking about alternative foods such as diet cola or low fat mayonnaise (which has about 20% of the calories).

DrFidelius said nothing about checking whether foods are or aren’t calorie dense. He said just try “Cut everything you eat by half for three weeks.” So that means cut your vegetable servings in half as well.

You said “just eat less and get some exercise”. You were talking about the amount - not the type. Don’t say “just” if you don’t mean it.

Oh for fuck’s sake.

Not really a debate again.