The diet for stupid people

Hey, I am sure there are a bunch of new years resolution-makers out there. The gym fills up and then slowly empties out. And people start being rude to their mothers-in-law again and smoking a little more. Pleh, this time of year is for dashed expectations and self-disappointment. Why bother?

But there is something that you *can* do. Something you can feel really good about. You can go on Taco Bell's Drive-Thru Diet (TM). Taco Bell thinks you are stupid, America. And they are partially right.


Oh don't worry, I am not talking about you, blog readers. You have exceptional intellect and taste, because,'re here. I am talking about those other people over there.


Comments (18)

  1. jtenos says:

    I like how their "healthy" items are small enough that you’d need 2 or 3 for a meal anyway, which brings you up to 20-30 grams of fat and 800-900 calories.  If you want to eat a low-fat, low calorie lunch, you can either eat a single tiny taco, or actually eat healthy, and not starve yourself.

  2. HeatherLeigh says:

    And the sodium! Gotta love the text at the bottom about this woman’s "exceptional" experience. I wonder if it included a colonoscopy.

    Oooh, OK, that was gross. Sorry.

  3. Keith J. Farmer says:

    Many weight loss surgery patients live in the 1200 cal range — not a few of them in the sub-1k range.  Meal sizes are also much smaller than what many Americans consider a "meal" (there’s something to be said about American meal sizes vs American waist sizes).

    At that point, it doesn’t much matter what you eat (assuming it’s not, say, pure sugar) — you’ll lose quite a bit of weight, and often more than the spokesmodel’s 54#.  Of course, at that point, you also should be under medical — not corporate — supervision.

  4. HeatherLeigh says:

    I hate to admit this but most of the time, I live in the 1200-1300 calorie range (I bump it up when my workouts increase). I know that weight loss is calories in versus calories burned. But the *type* of food that you put in makes a difference in terms of satiety and metabolism. Regardless of all that, putting refined carbs and salty meat into your body is not part of a healthy diet. Yeah, there is that whole health aspect.

    People are looking for a shortcut. Instead, they should focus on a diet of lean protein, whole grains, fruits and veggies. And they should exercise. And if they don’t like that plan, then they should just expect to be fat. Harsh reality. But I know of what I speak, and my results are typical for anyone that follows the same plan. Eat healthier, control portions and move more. Period.

    (So, sorry, gotta disagree with ya, Keith :))

  5. Keith J. Farmer says:

    Except that simple diet and exercise solutions only work for about 10% of the obese population in the long run.  That’s why surgical options are of any interest at all.  And *I* know of what I speak in that regard, myself.

    Yes, choice of food matters, but it’s rather more complicated than you make it out to be.

  6. Keith J. Farmer says:

    Of course, there is the fact that base calorie requirements decrease with weight.  So I’ll amend my statement to include the fact that as you reach a healthy weight, eating in the range we both do will engender a decreased rate of weight loss and instead be closer to a maintainance level, as opposed to when someone is, for example, about 50-100# heavier, or more.

    As for "expect to be fat".. I can safely say that I don’t know of any obese person but one or two who consciously chose to be fat because they didn’t "like that plan".  Unable to follow such a plan, perhaps (for any of a wide variety of reasons clinical, social, or emotional), or because they’re in the sub-culture that denies causality of concurrent health issues that go along with excess weight, but never because they simply don’t like it.  Treating food as an addictive substance reveals a lot of parallels with the treatment of drug addiction, not the least of which is that quite often, what the patient "likes" or "dislikes" has less impact on the end behavior.  Unfortunately, unlike narcotics, you can’t completely remove this particular substance from your life.  (Not practically, at least.)

    Again, and respectfully, this whole issue is more complicated than you let on.

  7. HeatherLeigh says:

    Hey, I’ll acknowledge that psychological issues play a big part. That doesn’t justify the Taco Bell diet in my mind. I still think that they are pushing product based on negative eating behaviors.

    Anyway, I get your points and disagree on some of them (mostly from the standpoint that my view is about overall health, not just weight loss). We can agree to disagree….I like it that way 🙂

  8. Keith J. Farmer says:

    Oh, I’m definitely not disagreeing about Taco Bell (mmm.. seasoned meat paste).  Actually, my original point was that Taco Bell (mmm… seasoned meat paste) likely had almost nothing to do with it, and that any weight loss was dominated by other factors, like the fact that she had switched to a calorie range known to induce weight reduction in people who need it.

    I have to say that MSFT benefits have excellent coverage in this regard.  Commendable.

  9. HeatherLeigh says:

    LOL…meat paste. And cattle-grade corn.

    OK, I agree about the calorie restriction. Seemed to turn her into a bit of a scary mannequin though 🙂

    The Microsoft benefits are awesome when it comes to preventative health and specifically weight loss. I know some people that have done 20/20 with excellent results. For me, it was just the ProClub (working with a trainer) and oh, I admit, some Jenny Craig. I feel so much better/fitter/healthier at 41 (cough, cough) than I ever have. Never would have expected that.

  10. Duncan says:

    "Except that simple diet and exercise solutions only work for about 10% of the obese population in the long run"

    Why is that?  It is not because the formula is not correct. A well balanced diet and exercise will work 100% of the time.

    When I went on my first big weight loss drive, all I did to begin with in regards to diet was cut out all the junk food and then I exercised. I went from struggling to walk half a mile to running 5 miles a day over 18 months.

    The formula for weight loss is incredible simple..

    I watched a show the other day where they took (cut) a 900lbs guy from his house and he spent 4 months in hospital. He lost a huge amount of weight before the surgery because he no longer had someone bringing him 5000+ calories every day.

    Subway hit a home run when they tried this approach. I can’t see TB going far with it.. what next, I lost 50lbs on a big mac diet 🙂

  11. NativeWizdom says:

    Actually I had the Taco Bell new fresco menu items, I can say they were tasty, but to use as a diet plan…uhhh…no.

    I do a sensible diet, load on veggie and the good protein.  Spin bike 3-4 times a week and run daily.  

    Is it safe to say any fast food is not really a basis to have a healthy diet?  So, don’t believe them!  

  12. HeatherLeigh says:

    Duncan, I am with you. That formula works unless someone has a severe metabolic issue. So does cutting back on calories even if you are eating junk like TB. But I like our plan better! 🙂 Healthy eating changed my life.

    There is a psychological aspect. I know that when I am most successful cutting back, I have to be mentally ready for it. I think the TB thing makes people think there is an easy solution. I wonder how many of those dieters actually only get their one drive-thru diet item.

    Was there something that happened to you that made you decide that it was time to make a change? I had a specific moment where I decided to get healthy and then I learned how to define what that was going to mean for me over time. Never felt better.

    Native, how many of those items did you have? Was it easy to resist all the other stuff? Hey, if you are working out regularly and have an otherwise healthy diet, a little junk now and then is cool. I ran ten miles yesterday and you should have seen what I ate afterward. Normally, I would have felt bad afterward. But I burned off 1200 calries with running. It’s all about balance, right?

  13. Keith J. Farmer says:


    To be honest, it’s the subject of ongoing research.  I will say the problem with "that formula" is that there are many reasons people gain weight, as I alluded.  Ignoring endocrinological issues and the more recent discoveries of genetic markers that relate to weight gain, there are basic issues of:

    – does the patient physically experience satiety at an appropriate time?

    – does the patient recognize that experience for what it is?

    – does the person respond to satiety by ending the meal?

    The first can have physiological reasons:  perhaps they are producing too much ghrelin, perhaps their stomach is slightly too large, perhaps the type of food they are consuming, or the way in which they consume it, is effectively emptying the stomach before the nerve relating to fullness are triggerred (they exist in the upper 1/3 of the stomach).

    The second and third are for the most part a psychological issue.  Food-as-comfort is in my experience the most cited (or mocked) behavior and I would say is what most "home cookin’" (high fat + high sugar .. an addictive combination) campaigns play on.  But there’s also training of the "eat everything" and "eat fast" sort.  The training aspect is sneaky — get everyone in the US over time to consider a "reasonable" meal size to be twice what the rest of the world considers reasonable, and tell them they have to eat it quickly because of (eating contest, work schedule, etc), and soon you’ve fostered 300 million habitual overeaters with inflated (pardon) ideas of "healthy" weight.  Weight loss patients — particularly those with overweight families — frequently report comments about "you’re getting too skinny" or "you’re looking sick", despite the fact that they’re now enjoying the healthiest weight they’ve had, in many cases, ever.  That in itself causes problems.

    The 20/20 plan Heather mentions actually didn’t impact me much at all, though I know it worked wonderfully for some others.  Eventually, I ended up making use of the surgical benefit, which thankfully did work.  To get this far, though, required I be screened for both physiological and psychological impediments, as well as progress through the standard diet/exercise regimine (the 20/20 plan in my case).  Some patients get flagged for counselling until they are deemed emotional ready before surgery is even scheduled.  Despite this, and despite the new mechanical and chemical changes the WLS patient can experience depending on surgery, some (by this point comparatively small) fraction can still gain weight.  Unfortunately, there’s no surgery yet that can’t be subverted.

    So, as I said, ongoing research problem.  But the fact that we still have surgical options, that people have to jump through pretty amazing hurdles to get to it, and that it can still fail shows that it’s a particularly hard problem to deal with.  And, unfortunately, it’s endemic.

    But dang if Microsoft doesn’t have great offerings to its employees in this regard.

  14. Duncan says:

    The weight loss I mentioned I started on after I had to climb two floors of stairs and thought I was going to drop dead.  Unfortunately after 18 months I busted my knee again and have not run since.  I struggle to maintain my weight with just diet alone but walking helps.

    The big change in my life in regards to diet came about 7 years ago when I started to research what was actually in the foods. I switched the family onto the Feingold diet/program which basically is changing your foods to those without additives, preservatives, artificial colorings and flavors. Those foods are in your normal grocery store at roughly the same price. It is a lot easier these days since a couple of years ago many companies got onto the whole ‘All natural’ bandwagon and plastered it all over their products.

    My daughters ADHD type symptoms went away after we switch to this diet.  After researching what is in most foods and seeing what kids around me were eating, it does not surprise me in the least the amount of health issues there are today.  I watched a documentary where they changed all the foods in an elementary school to be healthy (low or non sugar) and the grades went up. Kids were no longer dozing after lunch.

    It really does not take much extra effort to remove the junk from your kids or your own life.. but as you said, most people want the easy option 🙁

  15. HeatherLeigh says:

    This conversation is so right up my alley. Love it.

  16. Keith J. Farmer says:

    Duncan:  My plantar fasciitis and runner’s knee were alleviated by switching to MBT shoes.  There are variations on the same theme (ie, stiff footbed with a deeply curved sole), including some from Sketchers.  I don’t know how different results are between the two brands, but for me, it was the difference between being mincing painfully across a room to (within a few days) walking a mile and not noticing it.  I can’t walk comfortably in flats anymore, and jogging doesn’t work well, though I still switch to them when doing weight training.

    That, and filling my Zune with a few dozen audiobooks.

  17. Owl says:

    well…i lost 35 lbs on this diet already…

    but i am stupid…

  18. dohfiddle says:

    Im looking forward to the mcdonalds system the mcworkout followed the the burgerking 10m dash ! lol

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