The Very Best Diet, Part I

You have probably read by now that our country has been getting dramatically more obese for twenty years now. Most people I know would like to lose weight and be more lean and fit. Diets, though, are famous for non-lasting results.

My philosophy of the diamond-cut life naturally has a different take on weight loss and dieting than the mainstream culture does. (I’m not making any money on any of this after all, which can help with objectivity.) The little-publicized fact is that our body-weight is rising in conjunction with the hours we spend in our cars. Incidentally, our carbon emissions are on the same upward trajectory.

Think about it. Sit in a car more, gain more weight. Use your body to get yourself around, lose weight. Too simple, huh.

My conclusion: it is the car-use that needs the diet, not the well-meaning person. You may think the car is well-meaning, but I like to give people the benefit of the doubt over inanimate objects.

Here is the very best diet I know.
I would call it the Low-Car Diet except that my nice pals at the car-share company Zipcar already use that name for their fun summer program. I subscribe to the diet below and am often asked how I stay so slim. I don’t talk much about the time back in college when I got really fat, it’s too embarrassing.

  • Use stairs instead of elevators and escalators
  • Bicycle for trips and errands of five miles and less
  • Walk for trips and errands of up to two miles
  • Use transit whenever possible (entails more walking than driving)
  • Pick a church or other steady destination that’s within walking distance
  • Use the car only when nothing else will work for the purpose at hand

See below for link to the other very best diet I know. It’s almost as fun and carbon-reducing as this one.

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  • Alison
    November 23, 2008

    Laurie: you’re right, must wear a helmet when bicycling, unlike the cute but careless lasses in the photo. Thanks for pointing this out.

  • Laurie Dougherty
    November 22, 2008

    Hello, Alison, I saw your comment in Dot Earth (11/22/08)and followed the link to your blog. You’re right, reducing car use is so much healthier in so many ways. I don’t have a car myself and bike, walk or take public transit most of the time (with a little help from my son and his car now and then). Just one thing, please wear a helmet when you ride your bike.

  • matt
    April 17, 2008

    You’re so right! I’d add:
    Pick a parking spot far enough from your destination to get a short walk in (assuming safety and good weather).

    Interesting that (anecdotally) it seems that weight is gained when teenagers get into the car-driving/riding range. And then there is the college weight-gain stereotype.

    Getting out of the car as much as possible is certainly good advice!

  • Crafty Green Poet
    April 16, 2008

    you’re so very right, our love affair with cars has got to stop for so many reasons. I walk or take the bus or train everywhere (shamefully I can’t ride a bike!).

    Interesting blog you’ve got here. I found it via Best Green Blogs, which listed my blog too recently.