Serving Whitman County since 1877

Bruce Cameron

Editor’s Note: The following column was originally published in 2010.

The Internet has turned the world into one gigantic linked community, capable of instantly sharing vast amounts of incorrect information. Anyone can create a “fact,” such as, “If you do nothing but watch sports all weekend, the lack of physical activity will convince your body it is slipping into a coma, so to stave off unconsciousness it will start burning calories like crazy.”

Post this new fact to a blog, and the search engines will dutifully pick it up so you can win an argument with your spouse. (Searching on “lack of physical activity” will also result in “Michael Moore.”)

I discovered this when I decided to look for diet advice on the Internet because my current diet wasn’t causing me to lose weight because I hadn’t changed my eating habits. I wanted an effective diet — meaning one without sacrifice. I wanted to decrease bad things, like cholesterol, and increase good things, like chocolate cake.

My search wasn’t easy because a lot of so-called weight-loss diets focus on reducing calories, which doesn’t work for me because I have a very special body type that actually gets fat on low-cal, “healthy” foods. (This is true, you can look it up on the Internet because I posted it to my blog.)

For example, here’s one tip I found during my research: Wear tighter clothing. The thinking here is that if your clothes are too small, you’ll naturally eat less and lose weight!

But guess what: My clothes are already too tight. It feels like my stomach is being strangled by an anaconda. Since I can’t wear pants, I wind up sitting on the couch in my boxer shorts eating ice cream. Consuming five chocolate sundaes in an evening does not cause a person to lose weight (though if life were fair it would). So what I call the “cramping pants diet” not only doesn’t lose fat, it actually increases your caloric intake, though getting off the couch to make another sundae does burn energy, I suppose.

The same site suggests that certain vegetables have “negative calories,” meaning it takes more energy to digest leafy foods than they contain. This is why there are no fat cows.

Another Internet dieting tip: Use smaller plates. Supposedly your eyes will be fooled into thinking the portions are bigger than they are. But here’s the problem: My eyes aren’t the ones eating. And apple pie on a tea saucer is still apple pie. The only way a smaller plate will make me feel full is if I eat the plate.

How about this one: Brush your teeth as soon as you’ve finished eating (the “your dentist loves you” diet). Once you’ve done this, your brain believes you’re completely done eating for the day and won’t want to snack.

Brain: Just brushed our teeth, so that’s it; no more food!

Eyes: I agree, that apple pie looked huge on that tiny plate.

Stomach: Maybe we should eat the plate.

One blog advises us to drink cold liquids, because the body has to burn calories to heat the fluid up. So if you’re sitting there in your underpants and you think you want to eat a chocolate sundae, try getting yourself a beer, instead. To lose double the weight, eat a hot dog from a tiny plate (don’t forget to brush your teeth afterward).

Of course, ice cream is cold, too, so if you eat some you’ll get skinny. (This must be true because I read it in my blog.)

Another diet website says, “Building a snowman is a fun way to shed pounds.” My response: Not in August, it isn’t. And even in February, this isn’t a “diet” unless you eat the snowman. If you do, though, heating up all that snow inside your body will burn a ton of calories, especially if you put chocolate syrup on it.

OK, “especially” may not be the right word, exactly, but how else are you going to consume an entire snowman? That’s a lot of snow, even if you serve it on a huge plate.

My advice is to build an apple-pie man. Now that’s a fun way to lose weight!

And you can do it in August.

(Bruce Cameron has a website at To find out more about Bruce Cameron and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at



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