Monday, April 19, 2010

Day 14 - Celebrities and Diet Plans

Diet tip of the day: Keep track of your nibbling. A cracker here, 3 M&M's there, licking peanut butter off the knife, 2 potato chips... it all adds up. Make your nibbling count. If you want that little lick of peanut butter, pair it with 3 celery stalks. You'll remember to keep track of your snack and won't need to nibble later.

There are a lot of diet plans that use celebrities in their commercials. Nutrisystem has used Tori Spelling and Dan Marino. Jenny Craig has had Queen Latifa, Kirstie Alley, and Valerie Bertinelli. Weight Watchers has used Jenny McCarthy, Jennifer Hudson, and Fergie (the Dutchess of York, not the singer). Slim Fast has had Kathy Lee Gifford and Whoopi Goldberg. All of these celebrities, for the most part, have had weight loss success. But they are celebrities. They have assistants who can control what they eat and when they eat it. They have personal trainers to whom they pay tremendous amounts of money to keep them on track.

But we are real people with real priorities and real bills to pay. We can't pay someone to manage our weight loss plan. We have to do it ourselves. So we need to stop looking at those celebrities and saying, "I'm on the same plan, why am I not having the same success?" We can't compare ourselves to celebrities. We tell young girls not to compare themselves to models in magazines, why do we compare ourselves to these celebrities and think that we are no more delusional than they are? Let's be realistic with our goals. Do any of those trend diets work for working people? Instead of looking for a quick fix, we need to make smarter choices. Every day. Long term. We need a change in lifestyle.

The reason I started with a tip about nibbling is because that is one of my biggest dieting problems. But nibbling doesn't have to bad thing, as long as you structure your nibbling into something you can keep track of. Last night, dinner at my boyfriend's parents' house was a spread of meats and cheeses with bread. I made a sandwich with one piece of bread, a slice of turkey and a slice of ham and 3 pickles. My nibbling consisted of a few small pieces of brie, white cheddar, and Stilton. My calorie count was under budget, though most of dinner was an approximation. Feel free to nibble, but don't nibble freely.

And now for your suggested exercise. Everyone hates underarm jiggle. To get rid of those built-in punching bags, sit down on the couch and scoot forward to the edge. Plant your hands on the edge of the couch as you inch your way off the couch, then lower yourself down so that your arms form a right angle. Lift yourself, then lower yourself down 5 to 10 times. This is an easy one to do during commercial breaks. Try to do it twice during each break. If you have very little upper body strength like me, you can start by just supporting your weight with stiff arms and work your way into the 90 degree angle.

Good luck! Thanks so much for the comment, Anonymous. Don't be afraid to make a name for me to remember you by. I'd like to keep track of your progress and advice just like you can keep track of mine.


  1. Arm jiggle! I love that. :) I've got it and there's not way I could support myself on the edge of the couch. Any other ideas for arm exercises?

  2. Sure. Put your arms above your head and clasp your hands. Make a right angle so that your forearms are parallel to the ground. Dip them down into a 45 degree angle and then back to a right angle. Do this as long as you can. Once you feel this is far too easy (which might very well be the first time you do it), add a small weight. If you don't want to go buy dumbbells, you can use a 1 to 2 pound household object like a decent size ketchup bottle or a big jar of peanut butter (Remember: no nibbling). Work your way up to heavier weights. Try to do this a few times a week. Maybe we can change the stigma of reaching for the peanut butter jar.
    I've got some more arm exercises up my sleeve (sorry for the terrible pun), so I'll make sure I add some of those in my posts. Thanks so much for the question.