Don’t get me wrong, John is a good friend and probably one of the smartest guys I know. And you can’t argue with success – he’s lost probably a good 70 pounds in the past few years. And he says that his doctor says his numbers (cholesterol etc.) are all excellent. But the thing is, he’s so damn smug about the whole thing. John’s Unified Theory of Nutrition is, as he will gladly tell you, the only sensible diet, ever, period, bar none, end of discussion.
He’s only partially tongue-in-cheek when he says this.
Being that I’ve just embarked on a supervised weight-loss program, backed by a team of doctors and researchers, John has no problem tearing holes in it. The thing is, since JUTN is internally consistant, there’s little arguing with it. And perhaps it is quite sound, but it feels a little like trying to argue with a Moon Hoaxer. Even if he’s a correct zealot, he’s still a zealot.
So what do you think?
Here is John’s Unified Theory of Nutrition:
Doctors are idiots. They can’t think for themselves, they only parrot what other doctors have said.
The so-called Mediterranian Diet is great – if you are Mediterranian. People of any other race can’t handle it.
No other animals eat carbs. We’re not designed for it. We didn’t evolve in bakeries, and so if it needs to be cooked to be edible, it’s not food. (He explained this to me as he pulled a glazed ham out of the oven.)
No refined sugars. Ever.
We didn’t evolve to eat pineapples in Winter. No out-of-season foods. Ever.
No-carb does not mean living like a T-Rex. Vegetables are allowed. (I do, however, notice a major lack of greenery on his table.)
So, how would you argue with this guy? Or do you agree with him?
Wow. I don’t think I’d bother arguing with him. I’d just smile and nod, and say “You’re absolutely right, John. The way I’m eating now is probably gonna kill me one of these days; on the other hand, if everyone ate like you, we’d all live forever, and just imagine how crowded things would get. I’m just trying to do my bit to keep the population explosion under control”.
IMHO, people with really whacked out ideas cannot be debated.
Internally consistent doesn’t mean correct. I don’t even know where to begin with this theory. An important first step would be forcing him to take a basic biology class and learn what evolution means.
I just took a Nutrition class in college, and our professors (we had 3!) stressed over and over and once more to eat A WIDE VARIETY OF FOODS. FROM EVERY FOOD GROUP.
Eat different foods from the different groups and you’ll likely end up with all the vitamins and minerals you need. You need carbs for energy or you’ll start burning protein for it, which you don’t want to do. Most Americans already eat plenty of protein in their regular diets, you don’t need to load. If you start nixing foods, you’ll be missing out on something useful for your body.
It is hard for the average person to lose weight. You’d have to have a 500 calorie deficit every day for a week to lose one pound. The most healthy way to lose weight is by eating a wide vareity of nutritious foods, exercising, and having patience. If your weight is a problem, seeing a nutritionist or doctor can be extremely helpful. They know more than you!
By designed, of course, he meant evolved. He’s no creationist.
This is the central point of his diet. And it does strike me as having some amount of logic. What other (wild) animal eats grains? The idea is not without precedent, but is of course controversial, and most nutritionists denounce it.
Oh, I forgot rule 7) Fat is good. Butter that steak. Wash it down with a tall glass of whole milk.
And rule 8) Wine is good, in moderation. Beer is bad, because it comes from grains.
In fact, it’s not so very different from my diet. Less fatty protein, certainly. And whole grains are not only OK, but essential. These differences are the very lynchpins of JUTN, though.
I think you need your own countervailing wacky nutritional theory – one based on nuts, maybe, or a fanatical rejection of refrigeration. Or maybe you could tell him you’re only eating foods that begin with the letter “o,” or cause hives in people of Ashkenazi descent, or are mentioned in Mother Goose. After all, that’s about where the guy is, mentally.
No strawberries in winter? What’s the point of living? :falls over dead:
Seriously, I live in a civilized society. We have refridgeration. And we EVOLVED to make fridges and freezers so we can eat our damn strawberries in the winter! The mere thought of giving those kind of treats up is giving me fits. If I wanted that I could move back to a poor village in India and be lucky to even see a strawberry.
Look. One of the benefits of modern society is to make ourselves comfortable and happy. Of course I’m a hedonistic type, but I don’t believe in an afterlife, so this is all I’ve got, and I’ll be damned if I’m not going to enjoy the one life I get.
You’re missing the key issue here. What you need to do is abandon the phrase “John’s Unified Theory of Nutrition” and replace it with “John’s Nutrition(al) Unified Theory.” Then you can have fun calling his plan J-NUT. Be sure to refer to it often, out loud, to him and his other friends.