We are not punished for
our sins, but by them.
-- E. Hubbard
(Yes, it's possible
if you have the, uh, tools.)
"Lose 10 Pounds in 10 Days! Guaranteed!"
DietPower Founder and CEO
For a 53-year-old man, I'm in pretty good
shape. I run or walk three and a half miles every day.
I don't smoke or drink (although I do cuss). My blood
pressure is 123/77. (I measured it just now with my
Mark of Fitness BP monitor.) And thanks to those
daily workouts, my resting pulse is down in the 50s.
I'm still 20
pounds overweight, and next week I'm scheduled to be
strolling on a public beach near
Kennebunkport, Maine, in a pair of royal-blue swimming
trunks. Given a deadline like that, I should be a sucker
for a certain kind of e-mail that I've been receiving lately:
Lose Up to 10 LBS
THE FIRST WEEK! FREE!
Off 5-10 Pounds in the Next 7 Days!
LOSE 75 LBS IN 1
MONTH? GUARANTEED WEIGHT LOSS!
I'm not making these up.
(The last one came in just this morning.) I have dozens of
others, all carefully preserved in a special Outlook folder.
I collect them the way some people collect postcards or
paperweights. Someday I'll tell you more of my adventures in
tracking down the senders and testing their products (see
"If the Slipper Doesn't Fit," February 2002). And
maybe I'll discuss their "guarantees," too. But right
now I'd like to focus on a much simpler question:
Can a person really lose weight
In other words, if you absolutely
have to, can you get down to a size six for
your cousin's wedding? Can you pass that life-insurance
exam? Can you shed the five pounds the camera will put
back on during your "60 Minutes" interview?
If you notice, most of those
e-mails promise weight loss of
one or two pounds per day for periods of a week to a month.
Suppose we go easy on them and say we only want to drop ten
pounds in ten days. Is this doable?
Ends July 28!
on All Orders Over $49!
I'm glad I asked that question.
To lose weight, you need to reduce
one or more of the three main ingredients in your body:
Let's start by considering the flesh and bone.
You can easily get rid of ten
pounds by cutting off an arm. The average arm weighs
just about that much, if you take it off at the shoulder.
This is convenient, too, because the arm that you'll want to
spare also happens to be the better one for holding the saw.
I'm right-handed, for example, so I would naturally want to remove my left arm,
which I don't use much anyway, except for shaking hands with
So, yes, you can lose ten
pounds in ten days -- in
fact, you can lose ten pounds in a minute if you have a sharp
Homelite and a bottle of Wild Turkey.
Some people, however, will prefer
to the second method: losing water. (I'm not going to say
which is better. I don't want to take sides
here.) The average person sweats, breathes, and pees away
about 80 ounces of water a day. This means that eating dry food and shunning all drinks
should remove 80 ÷ 16 = five pounds per day. Easy, huh?
Not easy. Unfortunately,
your body desperately wants to replace that water, to keep
your blood from getting too salty and short-circuiting the nerve signals
that run your brain and muscles. This can rapidly lead
to confusion, seizures, coma....
In other words, eschewing liquids
may get you the ten-pound loss in only three days -- but
you'll probably end up wearing that size 6 in your coffin.
(By the way, you can also kick the
bucket from drinking too much water. See
by Waterlogging," below.)
So now we're down to the third
method: burning fat. And here it gets really
Fat in your body is like gasoline
in a car. It stores the energy you need for walking,
running, refinancing your mortgage, opening childproof bottle
caps, and all the other necessities of life. (Including
thinking. Your head uses one-quarter of your total
energy expenditure, which may be why Thomas Edison said, "The
chief function of your body is to carry your brain around.")
Ends July 28!
on All Orders Over $49!
As a storage medium, fat is
wonderfully efficient. A pound contains 3500 calories -- almost as much as a pound of gasoline. This is good,
because otherwise your body would have to convert excess
calories into glycogen, a kind of carbohydrate stored along
with water in the liver and muscles. To equal the storage
capacity of 50 pounds of fat (the amount in my body right
now), this glycogen/water mixture would have to weigh more than
400 pounds -- and
I would have to weigh more than 550. (I would
also have a gigantic liver.)
Because fat is so efficient, however, you need
to expend a lot of energy to get rid of a pound of it.
A 200-some pounder like me can operate on 2800 calories a day -- or
3300 if I throw in my daily walk or run. Since a pound
is 3500 calories, this means I can't lose a pound a day unless
I eat nothing and increase my workout to five miles.
If you can do this for ten days straight, you're a better (and
thinner) person than I am.
If you weigh 400 pounds, however,
your energy needs are proportionately higher. You could
easily lose a pound a day by eating what I eat instead of what
you eat. But you'd feel just as famished as I do when I
eat nothing. That's because your body has an amazingly
sophisticated system designed to "correct" a sudden weight
loss by making you feel ravenously hungry. The only way
this system is by losing weight slowly.
Wait a minute, you say.
Can't I take a pill or eat something to rev up my metabolism
so I burn calories faster?
In fact, this is what most of
the products in those e-mails promise. But the truth is, even
a dangerous level of amphetamines (probably the most powerful
metabolic booster available) will increase your burn rate by only
percent. You can do better than that by taking a
long walk every day.
The only real solution, then, is
cutting off your arm. And so far, none of these e-mails
has offered to sell me a chainsaw.
More on this subject later.
Right now it's time for me to practice the fourth
method of quick weight loss, which I forgot to mention.
It works instantly, it's perfectly safe, it's relatively
effective, and it costs absolutely nothing. It's called
Sucking in Your Gut.
10 Days Only!
FREE Shipping on Orders Over
DietPower 3.0 offers an expanded Food Dictionary containg
21,000 entries, a WaterMinder™ that
makes sure you're drinking enough water, and many other
DietPower has added nine new
products to its online
Health Shop. And from now through Sunday, July 28,
you can get free UPS Ground delivery* on any order over $49 -- including
the very latest
DietPower 3.0. All of our products carry a
guarantee, and our software is guaranteed for
life. Got questions? Phone 800-852-8446
weekdays 9 to 5 Eastern (U.S.) or e-mail us at
food scale fits easily into a shirt pocket, yet
measures to 1/20 ounce. It can even weigh separate
items on the same plate!
Order any of the items in this ad by July 28 and get
free UPS Ground shipping anywhere in the continental United
States. (Point to each picture to get a product
description. You can also combine lesser items to meet the
$49.01 minimum. To see all products, visit
Why Squirrels Don't Have Heart Attacks
who eat a small amount of nuts
at least twice a week may have a lower risk of sudden cardiac
says a recent article in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Harvard University researchers
tracked the habits of 21,000 male doctors over 17 years
beginning in 1982. About one-fifth of the doctors said
they never ate nuts at all; the others were divided into two
groups who consumed a small packet
or an ounce of nuts either A) once or twice a week or B) two to
four times a week. (They must've been frequent flyers.)
The results showed that those in the B group
lowered their risk of sudden
cardiac death by 47 percent. They were also 30-percent
less likely to die of other cardiovascular problems.
Nuts are a significant player
in the Mediterranean diet, which has been proven time and again
to be good for the heart.
They contain fat, but mostly
the monounsaturated kind that can actually protect your
Nuts are also loaded with vitamin E, magnesium, manganese, and
alpha-linolenic acid, a fatty acid that keeps your
heart rhythms smooth.
Editor's note: Don't go nuts when you're eating nuts. Although they're
good for you, they're also high in calories. (To learn more
about "good fats" and "bad fats," read
this page on the American Medical Association's Web site.)
Death by Waterlogging
Although most people don't
drink enough water for optimal health, it is possible to
drink too much.
The latest issue of Military
Medicine documents the cases of three young recruits who died of water intoxication.
The military has had more than
its share of heat strokes, and wants recruits adequately
hydrated when they're doing long marches in the heat while
carrying the equivalent of another person on their backs.
But Col. John Gardner, of the Office of the Armed Forces Medical
Examiner, wrote the articles to warn against being
In each case, the recruits
drank between 10 and 20 quarts of water in just
a few hours. A 19-year-old Marine died after a 25-mile
hike with a 90-pound backpack. An Army recruit, also 19,
collapsed and died after a six-mile hike; he died,
paradoxically, of both heat stroke and over-hydration that led
to depleted sodium levels in his blood. And the third was
the first reported death by over-hydration associated with drug
testing. A 20-year-old drank too much water after being
asked to produce a urine sample.
When a person drinks massive
amounts of water, the excess enters the bowel, which leaches
electrolytes such as sodium from the blood. One fatal
consequence of this shortage of sodium (called hyponatremia) is
swelling of the brain.
Editor's note: An average
adult should drink no more than 1-1/2 quarts (44 fl oz, or about
five glasses) of plain water per hour or 12 quarts in 24 hours.
If you're rehydrating at anywhere near this rate, it's safer to
use sport drinks such as Gatorade and POWERade, which contain
electrolytes. To learn more
about hyponatremia, read
this page on Rice University's Web site.
Take a Bite out of Crime?
Eating well is not only good
for you, but can keep you out of jail.
So suggests a new British
study, which finds that young prisoners were less
likely to commit further crimes when they were given an adequate
supply of vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. It is believed to be the first study linking
crime and healthful eating.
The Oxford University
researchers, writing in the current issue of the British
Journal of Psychiatry, stop short of that saying poor
nutrition is the sole cause of crime. But they do say that
improving the diet of criminals is a cheap and effective way of
preventing further antisocial behavior. And they also
believe that a better diet in society at large can cut crime and
thus lower the prison population.
"Since every one of us needs
these nutrients regardless of being in prison, there is every
reason to think it may also reduce offending in the community,"
says the study's lead author, Bernard Gesch, a research
scientist in physiology at Oxford.
The researchers tracked 230
young prisoners, half of whom got supplements and half of whom
got placebo pills containing no nutrients. The supplements included vitamins A, C, and D, as well as several
B vitamins and omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids -- all
of which are available over-the-counter as well as in foods.
behavior was tracked for nine months before they got the supplements and
nine months after. The prisoners on the dummy pills showed
no change. But those on the real pills committed
26-percent fewer crimes and
40-percent fewer serious or violent offenses during the period
after their supplements began.
researchers used supplements for easier tracking of nutrient
intake, they claim that getting the same nutrients from food
should work just as well.
Editor's note: This is a
small study and hasn't yet been corroborated -- and
the results sound too good to be true. Stay tuned.
Meanwhile, if you want to monitor your own
nutrient intake, use DietPower's Nutrient History function.
You'll find an illustrated description at
They Said It: Customer Mail
Should DietPower Go Public?
I downloaded DietPower 3.0 after seeing it on the Discovery
Health Channel's "Body Challenge" -- and
I love it! It's helped me lose more than 45 pounds in five
months. Let me know if your company plans to go public.
I would be interested in buying stock.
I've also shown DietPower to
friends who are using Nutri/System and Weight Watchers. If
other weight loss programs included your software, people would
have a better chance of success in getting fit and losing
weight. Keep up the great work!
Dugan; Mountain View, Calif.
Editor's reply: We were pleased to see a DietPower user win the Discovery Health
Body Challenge (click
here for details). And if we plan a
public offering of stock, we'll be sure to let our users know.
Dr. Cooper's Legacy
I love your
It does for dieting what Dr. Kenneth Cooper's book Aerobics
did for running and cardio-pulmonary workouts in the early
confidence that your health goals are being achieved by the
number of points you accumulate.
In DietPower's case, I'm confident that I will reach my goal
weight on the intended target date if I restrict myself to the
daily budgeted calories. Thanks for your help!
-- John Calamos;
reply: DietPower founder and CEO Terry Dunkle began jogging
after reading Dr. Cooper's book in 1975, and has run or walked
regularly ever since. (See '''Lose
10 Pounds in 10 Days! Guaranteed!'", above.) Like Cooper, Dunkle is a military veteran who
turned to aerobics and nutrition to control his own weight.
Quiz: The Dark Side of Sugar
the question below and your name will go into this month's
drawing. If you win, we'll send you a $50 gift
certificate toward any food scale, bath scale, body-fat
scale, pedometer, yoga kit, cholesterol monitor, or any other product in DietPower's
Health Shop -- including our own top-rated personal
weight- and nutrition-management software.
Which of the following is a proven consequence of eating too much sugar?
Hyperactivity in children
You'll find the answer in DietPower's help system.
(If you don't
have DietPower on your computer, you can
download a free 15-day trial right now. If the trial gives
you an "Expired" message,
click here and we'll help you reactivate it.)
Send one answer to
(Sorry, you'll be disqualified if you enter multiple responses.)
Entries in the
July quiz must be received by August 10. We'll announce the
winner in the next issue of this newsletter. To claim the prize,
the winner must e-mail
within 45 days of the newsletter announcement.
a $50 gift certificate by answering our June quiz,
which inquired about fast foods. Here's the question:
Which of the following chain-restaurant meals is the
A Big Mac, a salad with vinaigrette
dressing, and a 16-ounce Coke at McDonald's
A 6-inch tuna sandwich, two sugar
cookies, and a 13-ounce frozen-berry drink at Subway
A grilled-chicken sandwich, a large
chili, and an 11-ounce cola at Wendy's
A regular Triple Crunch sandwich (no
sauce), mashed potatoes with gravy, and an 8-ounce whole
milk at Kentucky Fried Chicken
A Super Roast Beef sandwich, potato
cakes, and an 8-ounce regular milk at Arby's
The answer is B -- the
Subway has cleverly
positioned itself as the healthful fast-food chain
through a series of TV spots featuring Jared Fogle, who lost 245
pounds eating almost nothing but Subway sandwiches. It
happens that he started his diet because he walked by a Subway
every day, but he could just as easily have lost the weight by
dining at a McDonald's or a Wendy's.
Fogle took notice of
Subway's sandwiches that are low in fat, and stuck with them.
Had he chosen other Subway items, however, he could have saved
the expense of buying a new wardrobe. Likewise, he could
have subsisted on lower-fat, lower-calorie foods at other
fast-food joints. It all depends on what he chose to eat.
Given the choices in our
quiz, Subway comes out as the loser even though the entrée is a
tuna sandwich. Despite its self-made image, Subway, like
other fast-food restaurants, has an "extra-value" menu -- and
in this case the menu lets you substitute two fattening cookies
for a bag of potato chips. Thanks to the 444 calories in
the cookies (that's more than in the sandwich!), this meal totals
By contrast, the McDonald's meal has only 875
calories, mostly because of the salad. The Wendy's meal, thanks
to the side of chili, is 740. The Arby's meal is 840.
And the KFC meal isn't as fattening as it may seem: only 655.**
Most entrants gave the wrong answer to
this quiz. Often it was because they counted grams of
fat instead of calories. It's true that fat, because it's
a more concentrated form of energy than carbohydrate or protein,
will add more pounds to your waistline per bite. But the
root cause of overweight is consuming too many calories,
regardless of what kind of food they come from.
Thanks, David -- and
thanks to the many others who participated. Good luck with
this month's quiz!
You'll find this information and a lot more at
www.dietpower.com/restaurants.htm, where we've
posted links to top fast-food chains that publish
nutrition facts. If you're a DietPower user, the same
facts also appear in our software's Food Dictionary.
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1992-2006 by DietPower, Inc. All rights reserved. The names
DietPower and Piping Hot! are trademarks of
DietPower, Inc. Information in this newsletter is meant to
increase your awareness of the importance of nutrition to
health. It is not meant to substitute for the advice of a
Last Modified: January 10, 2010 20:56:23. Reference No. 6/1/03