Feed­ing the man in the mir­ror

Global Times – Metro Beijing - - TWO CENTS - By Wal­ter Shearer

Some weeks ago, I was shocked by the sight of a fat man get­ting out of the shower in the mir­ror. I spent most of my adult life un­der 70 kilo­grams, and sud­denly, here I was mid­dle-aged and blub­bery.

I eat al­most noth­ing and do a sim­i­lar amount of ex­er­cise. What I do eat, I con­sider healthy. Well, ex­cept my gin and tonic. But could three cans of tonic ev­ery night be the cul­prit?

To­day, the so­lu­tion to ev­ery prob­lem lies on­line, and I soon started an e-diet, read­ing a lot of blogs about nu­tri­tion and weight loss. But I did not ac­tu­ally do any­thing. The fat man in the shower stayed ex­actly the same, de­spite my in­ten­sive read­ing.

Soon, I con­cluded that my prob­lem was car­bo­hy­drates: rice, pota­toes, noo­dles, pasta, bread, beer and so on. More re­search brought me nu­mer­ous so­lu­tions, for ex­am­ple, the Atkins Diet, the pa­leo diet, ke­to­ge­n­e­sis, ve­gan­ism – a pan­theon of di­etary cults, each with their own deities, morals, taboos and rit­u­als. They each share a ba­sic tenet: Cut the carbs and eat more protein and fat.

The first step is to cut out sugar, which was sur­pris­ingly easy and very sat­is­fy­ing. Then you have to stop eat­ing low-qual­ity carbs, such as rice, fries and lasagna. Yeah, I know you love pizza. Tough. Learn to love Wagu beef in­stead.

As soon as I took th­ese lifechang­ing steps, I dis­cov- ered a lot of my friends were do­ing the same thing. Most of them call it “the keto diet,” but it isn’t. The keto diet is for body­builders, not for mere mor­tals like us. But it is good to give some­thing a name so that peo­ple can feel like they are a part of some­thing.

The reg­i­men is strict, but it is so easy here that you could call it the Bei­jing diet.

First, eat a bunch of leaves. I buy a ran­dom bunch of green stuff ev­ery evening and cram it into my face for break­fast the next day. Those are all the carbs I need. Then you need oil. You can get olive oil, al­mond oil, grape seed oil and av­o­cado oil, but ex­tra vir­gin co­conut oil is a cut above the rest. You’re also go­ing to need a lot of ba­con. You’d bet­ter get used to drink­ing shot glasses of al­mond oil and hav­ing a spoon­ful of co­conut oil for lunch. Sounds dis­gust­ing? It isn’t. That flab you call your belly, that’s dis­gust­ing! Eat­ing out be­comes a joy. Re­mem­ber when Chi­nese food was “too greasy?” Not any­more! Eat like a proper Chi­nese. Lap up the oil and ig­nore the rice. Get­ting a keto-friendly meal at a Chi­nese restau­rant is easy. Most Western places in Bei­jing seem to serve noth­ing but burg­ers. Snacks are im­por­tant. Eat fatty, protein-laced snacks such as nuts and seeds. Where else are nuts and seeds so widely avail­able? When you have had enough nuts, ev­ery con­ve­nience store has boiled eggs, dried fish, vac­uum packed meaty de­lights and unsweet­ened tea. Al­ways check the la­bels though. Evil carbs lurk ev­ery­where. Two months on, and 10 kilo­grams lighter, the man in the mir­ror is rec­og­niz­able again.

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