1931 So Many Talents.

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Well, I survived another Thanksgiving, but if I don’t do something about my weight I am seriously going to die. I was very conservative with my plate & didn’t have any pie at all. I also only had a banana for lunch, so I feel like I held back pretty well. My feet and knees swell so badly when I go anywhere that it makes me not want to ever do anything. It takes days for them to get back to normal sometimes. I really need to just stop drinking Dr Pepper completely, but I’m so addicted to it that it’s almost the only thing I actually look forward to drinking at all. I was down to a 90 calorie can a day but whenever anything stressful happens I want more to help get me through the day. It’s kind of ironic that I have so much of a problem with my weight because I don’t hate the kind of food that people classify as “healthy”. Barely cooked onion in a light sauce is more than enough for me a lot of the time. What I need is to combine them with a high protein bean of some sort and just subsist on that instead of canned stuff. The sodium levels are just too high in that sort of thing. It’s so much easier than cooking properly though. In some ways I’m actually doing better. I can breathe pretty clearly most of the time now. I don’t feel like I’m gasping for air unless my allergies are really bothering me. I can withstand being hot for much longer without feeling like I’m going to pass out instantly. I maintained a steady weight for a long time which was at least not making things worse but now I can’t seem to hold to the steady level anymore. The only major change in my habits has been drinking more soda. On some bad days I’ll drink as many as 3 cans which is almost 300 calories of essentially pure sugar. When I eat anything at all now I want a Dr Pepper to go with it. My brain has latched on to it somehow as nothing tasting right without it. As far as addictions go it’s pretty mild, but it’s still destructive. I’m not active enough in my daily life to be able to add that level of useless food to my diet and not have it do harm. The problem is convincing my brain of that, because as soon as I start to feel okay it convinces me that a sip isn’t going to hurt. How people ever get off of actual drugs I can’t fathom because I know how strong the urge is with just sugary drinks. Upping that desire by an order of magnitude would be insane to cope with, let alone stop.

Somebody was trying to tell me I needed to snack on trail mix because it’s healthy. I didn’t have the heart to explain why they were wrong. Trail mix is for active people doing things. As a food for sedentary people it’s terrible. It has sugar, protein, and salt generally for hiking type activities. When you’re trying to stay hydrated and energetic that’s what you need, but not if you’re in a room. That’s actually a big problem with “healthy snacks” because they almost all are just variations of trail mix. Nuts, berries, and some kind of carb, with flavoring, and salt.

I developed a taste for dry, unsalted, roasted peanuts. I don’t have a big problem with saturated fat, so they’re okay, but I actually get sick of them much faster than other food & they don’t make you feel like you’re “done” after an handful. They’re pretty much the only nut I like the taste of though. Sometimes I mix them with unsalted berries and stuff, which makes basically trail mix again, but without the salt it’s not nearly as bad for you if you aren’t active. I’ve also started eating little oranges instead of other things, which is a step in the right direction, but they’re sort of like a complex glass of water. It doesn’t feel like you’ve really eaten much of anything. Prunes are pretty good, but I always want a lot of them at a time and they’re more like candy in some ways than good food. Even with the fiber.

I dunno. I’m going to have to further change my habits to suit my lifestyle. Figuring out what exactly I need to do is the issue.


Hard to tell if John still has his goatee in the second panel.

You left out the e in “one” in the last panel, Crave. Still a great comic though.

I don’t understand? I read that panel, and I read One, but now YOU say it is not there. And indeed, I checked and it isn’t. How did you do that. I don’t understand how you made the E in one vanish. A 1star, you are. A. Magician!

The subject on an American junk diet that also happens to be intelligent. I did not think the two to be compatible before, but this makes it interesting. I guess it is upbringing and I know that’s hard to break. Having studied myself eating healthy diets for so long that it qualifies as a research project, maybe I allow myself some authority:
From an evolutionary perspective, we are built vegan, but the miracle of cooking made meat palatable too so I suppose there isn’t too much harm on our digestive system, and it does have a lot of nutrients. I came to the conclusion that we one-upped evolution with cooking.
You should be in good health eating anything that’s not processed food (no chemical ingredients), but the diet must include some raw greens (salad), some cooked veggies, and some fruit. Everything else is simply by caloric needs (carbs fat protein whatever) and it doesn’t matter. Table salt is good, not bad, it is actually essential, and getting deficient is easy. Other minerals and vits are plentiful in most foods so no need to worry. Do not eat raw anything from semi-tropical countries, basically nothing south of the border. Parasites are absolutely endemic in most places and on everything that grows on the ground.
Obviously sodas are pretty much the most toxic shit you can ingest. Alcohol shuts down your immune system while in your blood, so whatever’s living inside you will take a ride to cover more ground during that time, best to avoid it completely. I think that’s it.

I have to say you’re wrong on two things. maybe more, maybe less, I’m no dietician.
First, proteins. We absolutely need them. We are made of proteins (muscles, skin, etc.) and can’t make them apart from other proteins. So you absolutely need to eat proteins, any kind, vegetal or animal.
Second, carbs. Our brain can only function on “sugar”. But you can easily get sugar from fruits and veggies so you don’t have to add sugar in your diet.

From an evolutionary perspective we’re insectivores, not herbivores. And it’s perfectly fine and healthy to eat raw meat. I’ve been known to do it from time to time from my own livestock that I know are healthy, particularly if there’s an especially nice cut.

Auto-correct messed up your statement – its omnivores – eats anything that it can get its paws on that doesn’t kill it or make it sick ….. well mostly ….

Early man or proto-man or whatever, adapted to various environments during their development. At one point they were “water apes” with a semi-aquatic lifestyle and the remnants of those traits are with us.
Now at which point in their development they were endurance hunters is up for debate but that collection of traits is what makes man as a species terrifying to anything else.
Size, ferociousness, prickliness, toxins, accessibility, place on the food chain – none of that matters to man – he will figure out how to catch, prepare and eat it.

I’m not going to argue with you guys, because of course this is all news to you.

Sorry that was overly arrogant. Let’s just say I’ve been there (your arguments).

Welcome to the internet, the easiest place in the world to claim greater experience than others with no real basis, complete with ‘grizzled, world-weary’ manner to really hammer it home.

You can only catch parasites from meat or from surfaces of plants, so if you can peel it or cook it that works

One more thing about being overweight: I never understood how a determined person cannot simply eat less to lose weight, which is what will happen, logically. Maybe this: you can literally not starve yourself to death while you are overweight. You could survive on an apple, some table salt and clean water a day until you lost all the extra weight.
(Standard disclaimer: you should never listen to anything I say)

I know several overweight people, and when I was healthy, I ate more than most of them. They really don’t eat that much compared to other non- overweight people. I think metabolic typing must be a very important thing- find what your body needs-and doesn’t. It’s literally different for everybody. Maybe try making healthier stuff a bigger part of your diet-eat more of it- so you actually have less room for unhealthy-your intake of unhealthy should theoretically go down. If not, I wouldn’t worry much about weight gain from celery,etc. Might also look at Dr. Pepper (my vice of choice also) with real sugar. Undoubtedly just as bad for you in a lot of ways, but maybe not in as many ways as high fructose corn syrup.

I would suggest trying Dr. Pepper light, but there are two drawbacks : first, sweeteners might be bad for gut bacterias (https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-10-bad-news-artificial-sweetener-users.html), and, if you’re actually addicted to Dr. Pepper, you might feel light doesn’t do the job.

If it’s the caffeine, my go-to source its black tea. Unsweetened, sweeten with sugar or honey if you must.

One of the things about tea is that it is enjoyable at all temperatures, from painfully hot to nearly frozen cold. Find what you enjoy.

Agreed, tea is good.

I’ve also switched from soda to sparkling water. After a while on that, I found soda to be far too sweet. (Though if you persevere for a day or so, you can start up your soda habit again.)

As an alternative to anything “light” [aka sweet toxins] may I suggest looking at trying out the straight favour concentrate.

I am not sure if DrPepper is directly available but a very quick web search popped up a number of “tastes just like” flavourings though your mileage may vary on the knock-offs.

The company does have an indirect customer feedback / inquiry web form so you could ask them directly for the taste that you crave.

You are on the right track as far as diets go. Controlling salt, sugar and fat intake is paramount. That is not to say to eliminate them completely (the nervous system requires sodium, and other health factors are associated with too little salt, which is just as bad as too much). Fibre is also important, and adding a side of salad to a meal will help you to feel full for longer.

As far as drinks go… seriously, good luck finding “healthy” drinks that doesn’t taste like lawnmower clippings and sadness. What I usually do to lie to myself is have two bottles, a small one for cordial (or soda), a larger one for water. Have a swig of cordial, wash it down with water. Over the course of the day, you are still getting the same amount of sugar as that other drink contains, but you are not getting as dehydrated (which leads you to reach for another drink) because you are chasing it down with water, and it isn’t boring as hell as water is.

The trick is to cut carbs, not calories. Fat isn’t especially bad for you. Protein isn’t either, unless you really overdo it to a degree that’s difficult to accomplish. Fruit, soda, starches—they’re your enemies. Atkins has been proven to work well for weight loss, and there are relevant apps.

I hope you can do this, Jackie. I’d hate to see you kick off early.

No diet is universal. Atkins doesn’t work for everyone.

The only “trick” that is universal is “everything in moderation”. Figure out what *your* most balanced diet is and stick to that. Don’t parrot anyone else’s.

What worked for me was:

1. Cut out Sodas and Sugary Drinks- No fruit juices, soda, even diet sodas. I drank a lot of water, and unsweet iced tea with lemon juice for flavor.

2. Cut carbs as much as I could from my diet- This part hurt the worst because I love, bread, rice and pasta. No bread, rice, pasta, potatoes or anything with a grain in it. I substituted “riced” cauliflower for rice, Shiritaki “Zero Carb” Pasta for some recipies. Some people like Zucchini or Spaghetti Squash “noodles” as a replacement. Sweet Potatoes have carbs, but they’re a better choice in moderation than regular potatoes if you have to have them.

I also stayed away from red meat as much as possible. Ate a lot more turkey, chicken and lean pork instead.

3. Portion Control- I started reading labels and portioning out 1 serving of each item for a meal. I started looking at eating food not as a reward or a pleasure, but as a necessary process to fuel my body. Eating enough at one sitting to not feel that hungry anymore, rsther than eating enough to fill my belly everytime.

I also emphasized a larger serving of vegetables versus meat. There are certain vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce etc that are extremely low in calories and carbs that can be used to “fill out” a serving if you’re still feeling hungry.

4. Being aware of the total- I kept a loose count in my head based on what I read from the labels and tried to keep my caloric intake under 1500 a day, which is a little extreme forsome people. This is something you’ll have to figure out for yourself based on what your current intake is.

Losing weight is kind of simple. Burn more than you take in. You just have to figure out what works best and is SAFEST for you.

5. Exercise- You need to do something that gets your heart rate up for at least 20 minutes a day. You may need to consult a doctor to see what you can or can’t do, but any exercise is better than nothing at all.

I started with walking on a treadmill for 20 minutes. Gradually working up on speed and elevation changes. Every other day, I switched to a exercise bike. Once that got boring, I switched the treadmill/bike to three days a week and started weights and body weight exercises for the other two days. With weekends off.

I dropped weight, felt a lot better, got off my hypertension medications and had more energy.

But you need to consult with your doctor and talk with them about what you can safely do to address this issue.

I remember the first time I caught the missing goatee on an old page. It’s alright man, it’s the holidays and everything’s crazy. Keep up the good work!

You mention wanting beans, but not the labor involved – thought I’d pop in to mention the instant pot (or any programmable pressure cooker) which are incredible for the job. 1lb dry pinto beans (rinsed) + 5.5c of water, set to cook on high pressure for 55 minutes, then walk away for a couple hours. After the pressure has come back down you have a delicious pot of beans from only a couple minutes of effort.

Also great for hard boiled eggs, split pea soup, and lots of other delicious low-labor dishes that require only a few minutes effort to get them started further effort after the cooking cycle has been started. Also makes great broths from vegetable trimmings and the like – just strain out the chunks when its done and use instead of water in recipes for a bunch of added flavor.

I eat largely vegetarian, and I eat a lot of beans. Though beans cooked from dry are best, no question, canned beans are available everywhere, convenient, and not bad. Rinsing them will remove excess salt and any syrup used in packing.

You want the plain bean varieties for this–black beans, garbanzos, cannellini, etc.–not anything seasoned or further prepared beyond just canning the beans.

I’m diabetic. My dietician told me I had to have carbs, protein, and fat. But she advised against plain sugar in all its disguises. The thing to watch out for is glycemic index — the abiliy of food to increase blood sugar levels quickly.. In general, foods with low glycemic index are better. Exss blood sugar gets deposited as fat.

As for what the glycemic index of various foods is,there are nutritional indexes to look it up in. Generally, though, foods with lots of fibre have low glycemic index, because the fibre slows digestion.

Okay, I never comment, but here you are playing in a field I know. First, there are a lot of old paradigms I would advise you to forget.
Fat is not the enemy. Fruit is not ideal food. Canned vegetatables are often a suitable substitute for fresh, and safer. Jogging is not the ideal exercise.

Quit soda. The easiest way I know is coffee and protein. Tea is great, too. Caffeine I not the enemy, except in excess. Have it with milk, even cream, but no sugar.
Exercise is a must. Start with brief, quick walks. Look up HIIT. Resistance exercise is fabulous, but look at compound exercises, not a “bodybuilding” routine. Resistance exercise can have you burning calories the day after.
CrossFit is great in theory, but some of the actual practice is too much. You need something you can start with and increase work capacity with, not a new religion.
Fat has 9 calories per gram, carbs and protein 4, so diets often cut fat. At this point in your life, though, what is your insulin resistance like? So, pick carbs carefully.
I wouldn’t advise Adkins or a ketogenic diet, but fats are necessary and carbs should be very low in the glycemic load index. Stuff with lots of fiber per carb content. No sugar, only high-fiber, low sugar bread (if any) green leafy veg (canned, frozen, work) squash, sweet potatoes not white or russet. If you do have white flour or white rice or white potatoes, remember that you need to have them with fiber, protein or (gasp of horror) fats. Any or all of those slow the uptake of carbs a d their conversion to sugars.
You don’t have to become vegan, or run marathons. Don’t try.
1. Avoid the hormonal dangers of high glycemic foods.
2. Put on some muscle mass. It will force your body to change many things, including your hormonal profile. As you age, you lose muscle and bone. Start changing that now, gain more muscle than you ever had before, bone mass will follow. Put some of that bone and muscle “in the bank” now, you will age better.
3. Don’t worry about your “abs.” If you’re obese, they’re probably pretty strong, you just can’t see them. People with well-defined abs die every day.

You’re smart, do the research. Just don’t make the mistake of listening to only one “guru.” That’s how people get sucked into cult- like diets and exercise fads.

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