Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A surprisingly simple way to lose weight

Let me be frank: I can stand to lose 25 lbs. That would drop my Body Mass Index below the obese range and lower my blood pressure a few points. I’m happy to report that I have lost some weight. (I’m five to seven pounds lighter, the operative variable being the number of chicken wings consumed the dinner prior to stepping on the scales.) Unfortunately, I doubt the weight loss is linked to healthy alterations in my lifestyle. I wrote last week about the sedative properties of my environment that have me sleeping 8+ hours nightly and prevent me most days from rising early for exercise before work. Late morning hunger and afternoon fatigue then rule out a gym visit later in the day. In addition, the dining facility here features every meal several entrees plus a buffet line of hamburgers, chicken tenders, french fries, onion rings and hot wings; and I’ve discovered that increased sleep unleashes a powerful appetite once consciousness takes over.

The only way I can explain my weight loss is this: I no longer stop at Carl’s Jr. on my way to work for a breakfast hamburger, hash brown nuggets and a Coke. The Breakfast Burger is a charbroiled all-beef patty, fried egg, crisp bacon, American cheese, hash brown nuggets and ketchup on a sesame seed bun. Living in San Diego County and frequenting the drive-thru at Carl’s Jr. most days of the week, I was always confused why the Breakfast Burger featured the hash brown nuggets smashed within the bun of the sandwich as the Value Meal comes with a side order of those crispy golden nickels. The burger certainly didn’t need the deep-fried potatoes for extra nutritional value: the sandwich provides 830 calories and 47 grams of fat.

Simple math illustrates my contention that I’m losing weight by simply eliminating the Carl’s Jr. Breakfast Burger from my diet. If I ate 300 of the burgers last year (a conservative estimate), then the sandwich accounted for 24,900 calories ingested. A pound of fat stores approximately 3500 calories. Therefore, eliminating the (delicious and addictive) Breakfast Burger from my diet equates to (24,900 ÷ 3500) dropping 71 pounds! And that doesn’t even include the calories I miss from forfeiting 300 side orders of hash brown nuggets. Realize I have to eat something first thing in the morning, but imagine that I consume a decent breakfast of 500 calories daily. Again, simple arithmetic shows that such a (surely boring and unappetizing) meal equates, over 300 days, to 43 pounds, or 28 fewer pounds than the (delightful) Breakfast Burger breakfast. I might meet my weight loss goal simply by avoiding Carl’s Jr., which thankfully has no franchising plans for Kabul.


Anonymous said...

Having seen Seeden lose 20+ lbs in the last 2 months, I am a firm believer in your weight loss theory since he used to be a CJ Breakfast Burger Connoisseur. Add PT and the transformation has been incredible! In the words of Weird Al Yankovich, he used to have "more chins than Chinatown"!


mb said...

Sarah Morell, no stranger to a love of fast food, says you are funnier than Bill Bryson (high praise chez Morell) and you should write a book. I completely agree. Just imagine, if you cut down on napping a bit, you could have several chapters drafted by the 4th of July. Thanks for a great laugh... if only I had such an obvious culprit as the breakfast burger to eliminate in my never-ending slim down strategies :) We're so enjoying the blog... mb and family

sandra said...

ron you are so friggin hilarious! Here's a way to make your millions and never have to see another eyeball again..."memoirs of Kabul", a compilation of your blogworks over your time spent in Afghanistan. The war through much different eyes! It is an instant NYT bestseller! btw, we miss you :(