Sunday, October 28, 2012

Original Anti-Diet: Toggling Between Pollan and McCann


The all-new Anti-Diet (ebook format) is now cuddled on my Kindle close to one of my food heroes, Michael Pollan.  I can toggle between Food Rules and my book to places where the man who coined “edible foodlike substances” (Pollan, loc 180) and I are on precisely the same page.  He’s referring to camera-ready products with a binge baked into them, the so-called foods that make your body long for the real thing and keep on eating even if you’re full.  I say that besides perpetuating cravings, they desensitize and render you numb to your needs (McCann, loc 216).

Pollan declares that he is “not antiscience.” He has “made good use of science,” and only wishes remind us how successfully humans have managed to nourish themselves “for millennia before nutritional science came along to tell us how to do it” (Pollan, loc 164).    

I love Pollan for that!  Pop over to my Introduction, where I encourage readers to trust the “fantastic equipment” we are born with, a “complex biological, neurological and psychological system” that has kept most of us healthy “since we rose up on two feet” (McCann, loc 37).  And while I call my book, The Anti-Diet, I confess to an ingrained awareness of caloric intake.  I too read food labels for content and seek the most bang for my nutritional buck. 

Yes!  I prefer to “eat foods that will eventually rot” (Pollan, loc 313).

Yes!  I “avoid food products with the wordoid ‘lite’ or the terms ‘low-fat’ or ‘non-fat’ in their names” (Pollan, loc 202).  Indeed, I stand in the aisle and laugh out loud at the fat free labels on strawberry jam that has never harbored so much as a nano-gram of any oil or butter in all its days. 

Pollan’s Food Rules is a pleasure to read and his simple admonition to “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants” (Pollan, loc 155) is a model to live by – exactly what I hope my book will grow up to be. 

My “rules” take a few more words, but are just as flexible: “Eat everything you want. Eat nothing you don’t want. Eat only when you are hungry. Eat only what you really want. Stop when you are full” (McCann, loc 952).
OMG, this is fun!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Original Anti-Diet: Are you secretive about eating? Do you always clean your plate or never skip meals? What do you forbid yourself?

Try not to judge; just observe.

“I watched other women pick at their dainty portion while I loaded up my fork, and wondered why the standard four ounces never satisfied me.  Standard schmandard!  Stomachs, like other parts of our anatomy, come in different sizes.  I still tend to eat big meals but no longer eat to excess.  Please don’t urge me to eat when I don’t feel like it!  I don’t care if it’s “time” or if it’s “good for me.”  My afternoon snack may become dinner.  I may graze in one major food group for a whole day.  Some people might think my current eating habits are a bit strange.  So what!” 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Your Desires Are the True Representatives Of Your Needs

Your appetite is there to tell you when and what to eat.    

When you ignore it, deny it, mess with it, you have no choice but to eat compulsively. This contributes to the dulling of your inner signals, the most important tools you’ve got!  Desensitized and feeling guilty, you cannot really taste and relish anything you eat, on or off the diet, but continue to seek satisfaction – eating more and enjoying it less.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Anti-Diet: Let Go, Eat Everything You Want and Look Great

Imagine how good it would feel to let go, eat everything you want, and look great – to have your cake and eat it, too.      

If the idea of abandoning restraint fills you with horror, it suggests that you do not trust yourself in regard to this fundamental human need.  So, you accept restrictions in many forms, almost anybody else’s idea of what’s good for you.   Minimum daily requirements, high protein, high energy, high fiber, low carb, low fat, low calorie, and a balanced diet (which no one can agree on) – you feel you must stick to standards and guidelines set by others without stopping to consider first of all:  do I want it now?  Will it taste good to me?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Original Anti-Diet: Sneak Peek at a Book Excerpt!

Way – way  – back in the late 1960s, I wrote a book called The Anti-Diet: the new “pleasure power” way  to lose weight. The good friend who provided a sounding board for my project called it a manual for living disguised as an innocent little diet book. When The Anti-Diet was published in 1971, it didn’t change the world, but I began to get thank-you letters from  all over the U.S., England and Canada. People said my idea worked for them where other weight loss solutions had failed. 

The Anti-Diet proposed that the wonderful apparatus we all have to nourish ourselves and maintain appropriate weight might work better than any diet. It said:
* A fundamental reason why we overeat is lack of awareness about when we are hungry, when we are satisfied, what we really want to eat, when, and how much. 

* Rules, restrictions and other interventions put us further out of touch with our needs and desires. They tend to make the problem worse. 

* You can lose weight and keep it off through self-awareness rather than self-control. Pleasure is your greatest ally in this process.

The Anti-Diet also introduced an unconventional how-to format for its time: no rules, no measurements, no menus or recipes. No impressive degrees or credentials appeared on the cover. The author, then in her late twenties, offered only the personal experience of a chronic overeater and dieter who learned, literally, to trust her gut.

I am now a slender, vibrant septuagenarian – did I really say that? This fully revised edition of my book draws on nearly half a century of following and developing its principles. It retains much of the original text with its youthful perspective, but speaks to a far wider audience than originally envisioned. I promised no miracles then and promise none now; however, I’m living proof that The Anti-Diet works. I’m not the most willing, consistent, determined, or sane person in the world.  But, I have what it takes. We all do.  We are born with fantastic equipment to deal with the elemental need for food. This complex biological, neurological and psychological system is sturdy, adaptable, and has withstood the test of survival since we rose up on two feet. The hardware is built in and the software innate. I discovered, with a little experimentation and thinking outside the box, that the whole thing runs elegantly, given half a chance.  

Click HERE for more information about The Anti-Diet by Lynn Donovan McCann

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

When You Feel Guilty, You Don't Process The Food

I print out the Anti-Diet for final proofreading. As I’m swiping my credit card at Staples,
a pretty woman eyes the manuscript on the counter. She couldn't be a day over 25. I
wonder what she’s thinking.

“How interesting . . .” she points to the title.

Here’s an opening I’d be crazy to ignore. I’m supposed to be networking!

“Have a look.”

My tone is casual and I linger at the register. By the time the receipt has been tucked
away, she’s on page 5.

“This is true!” Her voice expresses personal conviction. “When you feel guilty, you don’t
process the food.”

It took me years to figure that out and she already knows it. I feel a surge of hope that
young people today are really going to get what I have to say.

I add a name to my mailing list, and expect to see her. at a book signing event in my