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Rich Dafter

Miracle Weight Loss: FADGETABOUTIT!

From eDiets - The online diet, fitness, and healthy living resource

They're heeeeerrrrreeeeeee.....The glut of get-thin-quick schemes. It's that time of the year when beer and car commercials jostle for space with ads for unbelievable diet success. And, my friends, I am here to tell you in no uncertain terms, if the pounds-lost promises sound too good to be true they are almost certainly just that: TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE!

Come now... we are intelligent men and women here... aren't we? Then why do we think we can LOSE UP TO 30 LBS. IN 30 DAYS! and not suffer any setbacks (other than financially for money wasted on hollow promises)? If you or I came up with our own way to drop 30 pounds over the next four weeks, we'd have friends calling up eDiets eating disorders expert Ellen DeLalla for help. Any doctor or nutritionist worth their sodium will tell you rapid weight loss is unhealthy.

Most people will laugh off the outrageous claims of the snake oil salesmen who tempt us with one daffy diet after another. Yet how come the industry remains a billion-dollar business? Why? It's simple: we scoff in public, but get suckered in private. It's time the buck stops here... before it lands in the hands of some uncaring entrepreneur who is set to sell you swamp land in Florida right after he pawns off his amazing "lose weight while you sleep" elixir!

Ladies and gentlemen, weight loss should be the natural byproduct of a healthy diet. And when I say diet, I am referring to the foods you eat, not the foods you shy away from. A healthy diet is a diet that includes all the food groups -- it isn't about deprivation, denial or guilt. A healthy diet is what we offer here at

OK, I can hear the "ah ha's!" from all you who feel John McGran is selling out. Yes I am here to shamelessly promote the eDiets weight loss plan. And yes, I work for eDiets. The bottom line: I believe in this product. Why? Well, for starters...

Close to one million men and women have already lost millions of pounds following the safe, economical and effective program. I am proud to point out that eDiets is the world's leading online weight loss and fitness plan. One of the main reason (in addition to our solid nutritional base) is we allow you to diet when you want to diet... day, night, weekends, whenever. You have 24/7 access to our small army of highly trained experts AND you have the awesome support of your peers. I'm referring to the compassionate men and women who share the 85 support boards with you here at eDiets. When dieting, we all face the same issues: cravings, slips, motivation, etc. So when you feel your resolve starting to slip, simply click online and find a pal who can "talk you down" and keep you on track to a healthy new lifestyle. Finally, I love eDiets because it's absolutely anonymous. No more embarrassing public weigh-ins. Your diet is YOUR business!

The eDiets program works. Sure, so too do most diets. Our chief dietitian Susan Burke will tell you the same thing. Her battle cry has long been, "All diets work, no diets work." What she means is you can lose weight eating a grapefruit diet... a cabbage soup diet... even a stand-on-your-head-for-8-hours-a-day diet. But surer than God made little caramel apples you are gonna gain back any weight you lose when you place your trust in a fad diet.

"'Dieting' works like this: you go on a diet, and then you go off the diet. But, what happens when you go off the diet? Most often people return to the way they looked before the diet!" Susan says. "You can lose weight on the Atkins diet -- you can lose weight on any diet that restricts calories -- but, if you think of diet as a verb, meaning a weight loss diet, and not as a noun, meaning what you eat, you’re headed for trouble.

"Portion size is the 'secret' to healthy eating. I do not even want to think about not eating at least two pieces of fruit daily. Fruit is full of fiber and antioxidants, and it tastes good! Diets high in saturated fat are not my thing. I prefer to eat in the real world, and enjoy foods that are full of fiber and flavor. I enjoy all foods…in the right portion size for my needs. Don’t limit my diet! Give me foods that provide variety and taste; the eDiets way of eating is more satisfying and probably more economical than eating animal protein at every meal.

"eDiets gives you balanced meal plans. They’re healthy, they’re tasty, and you can lose weight without compromising your nutrition or your energy levels. We give you more than just a diet. We give you skills so that you can reach your goals, retain your health, and enjoy your life."

So during this time of the year -- a time when the hours of daylight decrease and the weight loss ads increase, leading up to that unofficial Diet Holiday, January 1st -- please keep in mind that a healthy diet is something you subscribe to for life. Let eDiets teach you the fundamentals of eating healthy. We know if we do our job well you won't need to be a member forever. However, we are confident you'll so love your eDiets experience that you'll enjoy keeping us in your life. The friends you make here are friends you'll cherish for years to come. And the support you encounter is invaluable... worth far more than the pennies per day our program costs.

OK, so here's the bottom line (and hopefully that bottom line is a vanishing one for you!): you eat healthy, you get healthy. You eat right, the weight will slip away... at a healthy rate of 1.8-2 pounds per week. Don't be a yo-yo. Don't fall for outlandish diet claims. Fall in love instead with the world leader in online dieting. It's a relationship that'll grow as you shrink!

For all you eDieters already married to our plan, thanks for putting up with my unofficial infomercial. Hopefully, my ramblings have re-instated your resolve to stay the course.


There is a place in Clearfield, PA called Denny's Beer Barrel Pub. All the locals go there. They serve a 2, 4, 6 or 8-pound hamburger. A friend of mine went there last week as he is known as the King of Eating Everything -- he could not eat all of the 8-pounder. A woman that weighs 100 pounds beat her own record of 45 minutes recently. She ate it in 30 minutes!
Melissa Schaffer

I have really enjoyed your column. Starting a new diet, I found myself out around lunchtime, and thought I would stop in at Einstein Bagels, where they have some lovely salads. Healthy, right? WRONG! Their bistro salad has nuts and blue cheese and a great raspberry vinaigrette and is accompanied by Asiago cheese and rosemary flatbread. I called after lunch for the nutritional numbers and I was shocked! The salad and bread -- no dressing included -- was 1,050 calories!!!!! I could have had a peanut buster parfait at 750 calories from Dairy Queen and done better! Their bagel dog -- a hot dog wrapped in a bagel -- is a caloric bargain by comparison at 680 calories and 30 grams of fat! The smallish banana nut muffin is 520 calories and 25 grams of fat! Definitely not a diet-friendly place and I thought I was just having a salad for lunch! I will not be fooled again!
Whitney Hoffman

I have family members who witnessed my dad put tuna fish on a chocolate doughnut and eat it. He's also put summer sausage between two pieces of white bread, dip it in hot chocolate and eat it. I don't know what else he's consumed. Guess I'll have to ask my family and submit more if there is more. It actually wouldn't surprise me if there were more.
Jamie B.

As a child, which was about 25 years ago, my father use to fix me this dish: ice cream, frosted flakes, Hershey's chocolate syrup, whipped cream and Karo syrup poured over top of it. Now how does this sound for calories???
Dave W.

The B.B. King's at Universal City Walk here at Universal Studios in Southern California serves deep-fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches... with a breading! In other words, take a PB&J sandwich, dip it in batter and deep-fry it. Believe me, the taste is nowhere near worth the hardening of the arteries that must occur from eating one of these babies! I wouldn't have believed they existed if I hadn't seen them with my own eyes.
Natalie Gray

As a first time writer I am compelled to write about a sandwich that contains an item only Pennsylvanians are willing to eat... scrapple. Obviously, as a native of PA you have had this tastiest of treats. Growing up just outside Philadelphia, I spent my summers at the Jersey shore and had the pleasure of eating JYD's or Junk Yard Dog's every morning for breakfast. Don't know how I did without turning my blood to cholesterol but I am still here. This Sea Isle City treat consists of a sub roll piled high with 3 eggs, bacon, scrapple, sausage and cheese. Down it with a 32-ounce Gatorade and you're ready to go for two days. This might be the best breakfast sandwich ever known to man, however, my fellow aging and aged comrades only find it in our growing stomachs and chins to have just one when we get the chance to relive old times at the shore.
Jared C. Schuler


Man, did I strike a nerve with last week's snippet on the Mourning of Common Sense. While some of you praised the piece -- a faux obit marking the passing of our "dearly beloved," others howled in protest. Discretion is the better part of valor (at least that's what some folks say) so I yanked the offensive entry. However, here are a few of your reactions to it...

I wanted to thank you and your friend Victoria Rizzi for passing along the article on common sense. You have a good friend -- treasure her! I have forwarded the article to my 14-year-old daughter who believes I have been "struck stupid" and don't "get it" in the continued hope and faith that she will one day exercise "common sense" as opposed to the impulsive and hormonal driven behaviors she is now exhibiting! (Yes, I have heard she is 14... this is normal. I beg to differ: there is nothing normal about a 14-year-old!) I keep reminding her that this is my job as her parent to parent her. Duh! No-Brainer! (as she would say) "Unfortunately" for her this involves the instillation and practice of morals and values -- not a popular trend among teens these days. Thank you for the great insight and website. It is a daily part of my morning quiet time and helps arm me for battle before I hit the trenches! Your website has been a fabulous resource for me and I am now more aware and able to maintain a balance in my weight and my diet.
Angela Kovach (MzKitty)

Wow. That was unbelievably bigoted. So the evil stepbrothers are rights, tolerance and whiner? The message came through loud and clear: if you don't have basic human rights and are faced with intolerance, you should just shut up and take it, or risk being called a whiner. The good old days weren't good for everyone.
Carol Lloyd Neill

Thank you for a truly good column that's always worth reading. And thanks to for the obit for Common Sense: I couldn't agree more!

Your Food for Thought on "common sense" was offensive. I read these articles to get information on diets, nutrition, healthy habits, etc. NOT to get political commentary. Stick to the purpose of your newsletter. That diatribe on common sense made no sense at all.

I know you deal with this all the time but I'm really frustrated with some of the big trendy restaurant chains. I contacted Bennigan's and TGI Fridays about not having any info on their websites. I was pushed off about it and was wondering if you ever included either of them in your Worst Foods articles. They gave me the excuse that their menus change and the calories are based on how it is prepared. Personally, I think if anyone knew how much damage this food was doing to their body, they probably wouldn't go there. I think these chains know that and just want to make money.
Christina Van Horn


A couple from Minneapolis decided to RV it to Florida for a long weekend to thaw out during one particularly icy winter. Because both had jobs, they had difficulty coordinating their travel schedules. It was decided that the husband would fly to Florida on a Thursday, and his wife would follow him the next day in the RV. Upon arriving as planned, the husband checked into a hotel. There he decided to open his laptop and send his wife an email back in Minneapolis. However, he accidentally left off one letter in her address, and sent the email without realizing his error.

In Houston, a widow had just returned from her husband's funeral. He was a minister of many years who had been "called home to glory" following a heart attack. The widow checked her email, expecting messages from relatives and friends. Upon reading the first message, she fainted and fell to the floor. The widow's son rushed into the room, found his mother on the floor, and saw the computer screen which read:

To: My Loving Wife
From: Your Departed Husband
Subject: I've Arrived!

I've just arrived and have been checked in. I see that everything has been prepared for your arrival tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing you then! Hope your journey is as uneventful as mine was. P.S. Sure is hot down here!

And thus my friends, you now understand the importance of typing in the proper email address!

ETC., ETC., ETC...

Until next week, the kitchen is closed. But if you have any questions and/or comments -- or a tasteful joke to share -- feel free to write me, eDiets editor-in-chief John McGran, at

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