Every diet has a Boogeyman.
The Atkins Diet Boogeyman is carbohydrates in any form. According to Atkins, carbohydrates are to be avoided or minimized regardless of their source. During the weight-loss phase, a dieter’s overall carbohydrate intake is so restricted that it effectively forbids all high-carbohydrate foods, including breads and pastas, beans, peas and fresh fruit. And, of course, alcohol. Alcohol is to be avoided during the initial phase and minimized thereafter. To be fair, Dr. Atkins animosity towards alcohol was based solely on the carbohydrate count. When Dr. Atkins looked at a pint of Guinness Stout, he saw 20 net carbs. To put that in Atkins Diet perspective, you can eat a full pound of foie gras and consume fewer carbs than you would in a single pint of Guinness.
Weight Watchers warns constantly about the danger of over eating; large portions are, without a doubt, their Boogeyman. Weight Watchers allows dieter to eat anything they want as long as they don’t eat very much of it. The problem is that the typical serving size we have come to expect is two to three times larger than the portion Weight Watchers demands. As a result, Weight Watchers spends in inordinate amount of time warning members of the danger of eating large portions. To Weight Watchers, the whole world is conspiring to keep you over-served. They would almost have you believe in the existence of a shadow organization, like the Illuminati, which will not rest until every single person on the planet shops at the Big & Tall Store.
South Beach targets sugar; they use the term “high-glycemic index foods,” but what they mean is that their Bogeyman is sugar. Some people get confused because they view starchy foods as different from sweet foods. According to South Beach, they are one and the same. For the record, we agree completely with this basic philosophy. However, South Beach’s definition of sugar includes alcohol. South Beach forbids all drinking in the first two weeks of the diet and greatly restricts drinking thereafter. The prohibition of alcohol forces us to give it a veto.
Jenny Craig’s Boogeyman is any food not frozen, packaged into a cardboard box and sold by them directly. The kindest interpretation is that by supplying dieters with nearly all of their calories, Ms. Craig is able to control their caloric intake and thus their weight loss. It is equally possible that Ms. Craig is operating in conspiracy with the packaging and microwave industries, or that she simply did the math and realized that selling people every morsel of food that passes their lips is a very profitable business model. Whatever the truth turns out to be, Jenny Craig has made it clear that her Boogeyman is any food that does not bear her logo and cannot be neatly stacked into a tower like children’s wooden blocks.
Drink Your Carbs is no exception. Our Boogeyman is Mixers.
Take The Pledge: No More Mixers.