Dumping Excess Gerberage

Yesterday, I officially started a diet.

I’ve decided to combine two plans: the Carbo-Calorie diet, which fellow comics writer Gerry Conway recommended to me circa 1975 and on which I lost about 70 pounds back then, and the Shangri-La diet, of which I’m highly skeptical but willing to keep an open mind.

The Shangri-La diet, described here in detail, is basically a very weird method of appetite control.

The Carbo-Calorie diet, formulated in the 1970s by an engineer named Donald S. Mart, is a method of counting caloric and carbohydrate intake *at the same time*, using only one unit of measure, the so-called “carbo-calorie”, which doesn’t exist in nature but is a purely mathematical construct. The diet assures that if you eat 100 “carbo-calories” a day, it’s impossible to exceed *both* 1200 calories and 60 grams of carbohydrate — although, on any given day, you could, theoretically, exceed one *or* the other. Over a period of days, weeks, and months, it all evens out.

The weakness of the Carbo-Calorie diet is that it doesn’t take into account the glycemic index, which didn’t exist thirty years ago. The weakness of the Shangri-La diet is that it may be hooey, although its many adherents don’t seem to think so. (The fact that it isn’t a franchise, isn’t associated with a product line, and doesn’t lend itself easily to the creation of one are, to my way of thinking, all factors in its favor. The same is true of the Carbo-Calorie diet, by the way.)

I’ll post more details on the Carbo-Calorie Diet if anyone’s interested. The original book is long out of print, and it’s difficult to find information about the diet on the net.

For me, the biggest obstacle to losing weight will be the inability to exercise. Even the simple act of bending over and straightening back up now leaves me panting for breath, so I won’t be hitting the gym or taking any long walks for awhile. (I cannot describe how infuriating this is.)

Anyway, my starting weight is about 215. I’d like to be at 180 or less before I go under the bone saw. Wednesday will be my weekly weigh-in day. We’ll see what happens.

For those of you who were completely bored by all of the above, let me just add that Killhead can be an extremely violent entity.

8 Responses to “Dumping Excess Gerberage”

  1. Stephen Abrams Says:

    I’m not at all bored. I think it will be good for you to have the weigh-ins and the blog to hold you accountable.

  2. Scott Andrew Hutchins Says:

    I’m looking for a diet where I can eat white bread, pasta, and potatoes again without gaining weight. Even with a nearly meatless diet, they still make me gain weight.

  3. Exercise » Dumping Excess Gerberage Says:

    […] wpman wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptFor me, the biggest obstacle to losing weight will be the inability to exercise. The act of bending over and straightening back up now leaves me panting for breath, so I won’t be hitting the gym or taking any long walks for awhile. … […]

  4. Alex Krislov Says:

    Speaking as an insultin-dependent diabetic, I have to say that this carbo-calorie whatzit scares the hell out of me. I think I’d end up in the morgue if I tried it. But it does take a while to build up to exercising off your weight, and with your lung problems, it’s probably not wise to even start. And it hurts to read about it, because I remember how fast you used to walk on those long legs of yours (hey, I’m five foot eight, and I remember trying to keep up with you on the run to a Nat Gertler panel; damn, you were fast).

    But, geez, don’t all those doctors have any recommendations on how to lose weight fast?

    We’ve got a friend who is going on a modified Slim-Fast diet, before having her stomach stapled. Nothing to eat but slim-fast crap all day long and a salad and meat at the end of the day. Recommended by a doctor. Or so she’s telling us

  5. jb Says:

    Even the smartest doctors I’ve known were pretty ignorant when it comes to nutrition. They can tell you when to cut down on salts or start eating better, but they’re usually so focused on disease and pathology that they care little about the biochemistry involved in feeding yourself.
    This is why people with heartburn end up on drugs that sap their bones of calcium instead of simply consuming enzymes and acidophilus.

  6. Steve Gerber Says:

    Followed sensibly, the Carbo-Calorie diet winds up being a high-protein diet that doesn’t completely exclude carbohydrates. No foods are forbidden; a dieter could — if he/she were incredibly stupid — consume his/her entire allotment of carbo-calories as a gigantic hot fudge sundae and eat nothing else that day. The foods that are lower in carbo-calories, though, tend to be proteins and vegetables.

  7. Robert W. Getz Says:

    Best of luck with this, Steve. I’m very well aware that if I could drop 30 or so pounds (I usually hover around 205-210), I’d be a lot better off physically, maybe even be able to drop a couple of drugs off the daily roster. But it’s just so damned hard. I love my comfort food and I’ll take comfort where I can get it these days.

    I feel certain you’re made of sterner stuff, though.

    Let me take a moment to give a late thank you to everyone here who was so supportive at the time I was getting a cardiac catheterization. It went, as everyone predicted, very smoothly and there was nothing to fear:

    [Click here for Robert’s blog entry.]

    Anyway, the words of encouragement here actually did help going in, so thanks again.


  8. Steve Gerber Says:

    The problem with comfort food is its effect on, oh, comfortable pants, for example. On a diet of comfort food, they soon become trousers of torture.