Diamond-Cut Life

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The Very Best Diet, Part I

April 11th, 2008 by Alison · 8 Comments · health & well being, lifestyle, sustainability, transportation

You have probably read by now that our country has been getting dramatically more obese for twenty years now. Most people I know seem to want 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 miles we drive in our cars and the hours we spend in them. 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 cars)
  • 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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8 Comments so far ↓

  • Crafty Green Poet

    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.

  • matt

    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!

  • The Very Best Diet, Part II « Diamond-Cut Life

    [...] DVDs, movies, sex, television, video games, walking, weight loss Last week I named the very best diet for weight loss as being one of low car use. That’s because our bodies were designed to get us from place to place with this cool gait [...]

  • Sustainability Round-Up « Diamond-Cut Life

    [...] by far is Our Next Car: Prius Or Honda Hybrid? It’s not my personal favorite since I believe cars (any cars) are best put on a diet. But in fairness to the many readers who are clearly interested, here is a link to research on [...]

  • Rejecting Food As Fuel: What To Do « Diamond-Cut Life

    [...] Put your household on a fuel or gasoline diet. For instance, how much do you intend to spend on gas each month? (average $3.65/gallon in Oregon at time of this writing). Having healthy limits is what adults do. Some ways we live happily within our fuel diets: [...]

  • Saving Money With Carpooling

    [...] transit’s not an option, you can’t bike or walk (the very best diet!), and you have to use a car to get to work I highly recommend carpooling. It saves not just dollars [...]

  • Laurie Dougherty

    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.

  • Alison

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

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