May 18, 2024
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May 18, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

One of the big things about having a month with 85 days of Yom Tov is that after all those weeks shopping and cooking and living in the backyard, you’re like, “What did I used to do before I spent 90 percent of my time making food and sleeping?”

Dieting. That’s what we used to do. Ask around.

The last time I wrote about my weight was around a year ago when I was trying to shed some pounds for my brother-in-law’s wedding, and I promised to do a follow-up article if I’d lost any real weight. And you’ll be happy to know that I kept that promise. There was no follow-up.

But then I found out about a three-day diet. Three days. It’s like a three-day Yom Tov, except you don’t eat.

Or maybe it’s like a fast, except that you do eat. Barely. You get to eat very specific portion sizes of very specific foods. It’s kind of like when the doctor says you have to eat on Yom Kippur, and you’re measuring everything in shot glasses.

The diet starts off with Day One, when you eat barely enough to keep you alive, and then you eat less and less, so that by Day Three, you’re eating the crumbs from Day Two. The idea is that diets are more effective if you spend the whole time thinking about food. This is why whenever you skip a meal by accident, you don’t lose weight.

But according to what I read, the science is actually a lot more complicated than that. Apparently, scientists who are not named—just a grand term the article uses: “scientists”—figured out exactly what you need to eat so all the foods chemically react with each other to help you lose weight. For example, they figured out that on Night Two, you have to eat two hot dogs and some broccoli. The broccoli isn’t as effective without the hot dogs.

I actually got the idea for this diet from my high school students, who basically came over to me and said, “Mr. Schmutter, you should go on the kind of diet where you lose a lot of weight really, really fast.”

“Excuse me?”

“No, we’re on it too. I’m on Day One.”

Everyone I’ve spoken to was on Day One. I rarely saw anyone on Day Two. Do they die before then?

The truth is I don’t think any of these kids should go on a diet—especially a diet that’s been proven by “scientists.”

Hey, here’s a way to lose weight: Stop eating in class.

So I tried it, as an experiment, because I’m okay with a diet if it’s temporary. I figured it’s three days. I can do three days in my sleep. Literally. I can just sleep for three days.

And not all three days were difficult either. Day One isn’t so bad—I guess because you’re living off the nutrients from Day Zero, when you gorged yourself because you figured, “Hey, I’m dieting tomorrow.” For me, Day Zero was my brother-in-law’s wedding.

But I didn’t get a single stitch of work done the entire time I was on this diet. Unless you count thinking about food and recording my thoughts:

DAY ONE: This diet lets one have way too little of certain things and way too much of others. Right now, I’m having a lone piece of toast with two tablespoons of peanut butter. I can’t even find the toast. But in the meantime, I’m not allowed to put milk in my coffee.—Tonight, as part of supper, I’m supposed to have 3 ounces of chicken and some vanilla ice cream. So do I have a six-hour break in middle of supper? Or should I have the ice cream first? If I eat the ice cream first, I might not have enough room for my 3 ounces of chicken. Or my half a banana.—Um, how on earth do I measure 3 ounces of chicken on the bone? Is that including the bone? How much do bones weigh? I can’t believe I’m actually weighing the bones. I don’t even have a tiny scale. I have to step on my bathroom scale with a chicken bone and then again without it.

DAY TWO: The second half of my banana is brown.—Lunch—a full cup of cottage cheese. This is the most cottage cheese I’ve ever eaten in one sitting in my life. I hope I lose weight from this.—Licked off the plate. I haven’t licked off a plate since I was a kid, but hey, one cup is one cup. I also licked the cup. —This is the slowest I’ve ever eaten crackers. —Okay, for supper tonight I get 2 hot dogs. But no buns. Because buns were the problem.—Is there a point in experimenting with this diet if I forgot to weigh myself before I started?

That’s where the notes end. About halfway through Day Two, I found out that I had to make an emergency sheva brachos for my brother-in-law in four hours. The diet went straight out the window. I had two wraps, a cold cut sandwich, several kinds of salad and a piece of chocolate cake. I was glad I hadn’t weighed myself before starting the diet.

Alternatively, I could have just made everyone have what I was having.

“Hot dogs and broccoli?”

“What do you want? I found out about this sheva brachos four hours ago! Eat your half a banana.”

All in all I wouldn’t recommend the diet. I got nothing done, the students who were on it didn’t show up to class and it’s really impossible to keep the weight off, because as soon as the diet is over, you eat a restaurant. I also don’t know for sure that it works. Mathematically, if it’s possible to lose 10 pounds in three days, it’s also possible to gain 10 pounds in three days. That’s terrifying. I’d rather live in a world where neither is true.

By Mordechai Schmutter

 Mordechai Schmutter is a freelance writer and a humor columnist for Hamodia, The Jewish Press and, among others. He also has five books out and does stand-up comedy. You can contact him at [email protected].


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