January 6, 2010
Shedding #s with the Dallas Restaurant Critic’s Diet
Saw an interesting blog post by Dallas Morning News Restaurant Critic Leslie Brenner where she reveals the details of her new diet-and-exercise program.
First, I'm not embarrassed to admit that I'm inspired by her efforts. (I'm not even embarrassed to admit that I read the Eats blog.) We restaurant critics inspire and are inspired by each other; as she points out, she was inspired to start her diet-and-exercise program by the calorie-counting of fellow restaurant critic Kim Pierce. (Surprisingly, she lumps Kim in with "savvy foodies." Doesn't that undersell Kim a tiny bit? I mean, you could call any random blogger on the web a "savvy foodie." We're talking about Restaurant Critics.)
Like many readers and savvy foodies, I'm fascinated by the life of the Restaurant Critic. What makes them tick? Even the tiniest, most seemingly inconsequential details of their lives are mesmerizing. What do they do on their off hours when not quoting Michael Pollan or mainlining foie gras? What are their favorite guilty-pleasure snacks when they're not "working"? What the heck do they put in the thermoses they bring to the office? (And don't scrimp on details, I want to know about every pea and diced carrot.) How many calories a day do they need? What kind of exercise equipment do they use?
Most importantly, are they fat ? Because, see, they eat a lot. They eat for a living! Thatâ€™s a lot of food. Being such experts at putting food in their mouths, do they also have expertise in getting that food back out? Special techniques, perhaps, that melt away the rolls around the stomach, the flab on the thighs, the cellulite on the butt, even those little wings under your arms, which some people say are genetic, no matter how many tricep lifts you do?
The answer is YES. Her blog post outlines a diet concept so ingenious, so revolutionary, I wish I had thought of it myself, and patented it, and turned it into a best-selling book. It's called The Restaurant Critic's Diet, and it's so incredible that LB â€“ or as I like to call her "#" â€“ has lost 9 pounds in 7 weeks.
You heard me right: 9 pounds in 7 weeks.
Thatâ€™s better than Bowflex. Better, even, than that goofy Ab Circle Pro. Amazingly, the diet doesn't involve any special formulas or creams. It doesn't require invasive surgery, or a pricey membership like Weight Watchers, or one of those deals where they deliver meals to your house.
The Restaurant Critic's Diet is a whole lot more and yet less than all that, though it is nothing less than genius in its deceptive simplicity, which # manages to distill to its essence in a mere 1,243 words. The formula is this: "Exercise more, eat less."
Sounds simple? Not so much. It entails a bit of technology: a "really cool app" for iPhone. ("App" here means "application" â€“ not "appetizer"! Ha haha. That's a Restaurant Critic joke.) You enter how much weight you want to lose and the iPhone tells you â€¦ something. Something about calories. I'll need to re-read the blog post to remember exactly how the iPhone dealio works. But the point is, it's not just something as duh elementary as "exercise more and eat less."
Even if the diet were that stupid-simple, it doesn't account for the glimpse those 1,243 words give into the life of a Restaurant Critic, a glimpse most readers and savvy foodies surely crave, and it does so with a painstaking attention to detail you'd never find in a restaurant review. Such as:
1. #'s target weight loss: 20 pounds (whoa, homegirl must be packin' it on).
2. # skips breakfast and lunch, other than grapefruit. ( Regular readers will recall that she has a grapefruit on her at all times .)
3. # can eat 1300 calories a day unless she works out really hard on the elliptical which burns 500 calories in which case she can eat 1800 calories a day but if she can't do the elliptical then she works out on the stationary bike at home or takes a long fast walk although any day she's doing a restaurant review she really tries to do the elliptical.
4. # eats sandwiches from the newspaper cafeteria. Formidable ! (That's French for "formidable".) I've eaten at that cafeteria and know what the food is like. Suffice it to say, it would NOT get 4 stars.
One cool feature of the blog post is the way # inexplicably bolds certain phrases as if to emphasize them. Phrases like " long-time gym habituÃ© " and " amount of everything I ate ."
The only omission: After such a wealth of insider poop, she refuses to divulge her height, age, or weight. I know: Boo! But don't ask. Because she won't tell. But chin up: She threatensâ€”er, promises more of these infinitesimally detailed, excruciatingly personal, diet updates. So you can follow her countdown on every single pound # loses. (One suggestion: Needs daily photos of the scale!)
There's no telling whether the Restaurant Critic's diet works for regular people or whether it's only for Restaurant Critics. Regular people aren't, as # puts it, seeking out great finds all around town that they can blog about. Restaurant Critics have special dietary needs, not unlike a professional athlete or a race horse. But just as we look to the Restaurant Critic for guidance on where to find the 10 best taquerias, we can look to them for tips on other facets of life, be it diet or exercise or whatever. They're a special, special breed.