Healthy Dads – Episode 61

In this episode, Rod and Hugh go through five ways that being a Dad make them hungrier, but healthier (whether they like it or not).  Then, Hugh shares follow up to his juice diet stunt – the General Motors Diet. What is the General Motors Diet? Your guess is as good as theirs.


5 Ways being a Dad Made You Hungrier but Healthier

5 reasons no 1 car#1: Road Trips have a new, non-food focus – When you were a young man, road trips were the best. Freedom of the road, time to think and talk with friends, new horizons, and most importantly, FOOD. Snack packing prep, gas station snacking (Combos are a personal favorite), fast food, and local specialties galore – and you’ve earned it all because you’re working SO hard driving. But as soon as your kid joined in the ride, your delicious road trip turned into a chore. A long, hungry chore. Want to stop for a burger? No way – the baby is asleep. Want to munch on chips? You will get less than half because your kid wants some. Want that amazing local bbq? Nope, its not kid friendly. Now, suddenly, the trip is about getting where you want to go, and keeping your kid docile while doing so. Sure, food is one of those things that you can use to keep your kid quiet, but now you are looking at pretzels and graham crackers (that is, if your kid will give you any) and not an orgy of beef jerky, Skittles, burgers, fries, soda, and pixie sticks. Think of all the calories saved. yay.

5 reasons no 2 shopping#2: Soda and snacks are officially “sometimes” (i.e. almost never) foods – As the King of the Castle, you would like to have unfettered access to soda, potato chips, ice cream, cookies and other foods. These things used to be staples in your cupboard. But now that you are a Dad, they are either banned, or at best, “sometimes foods.” As a survival technique, you have perfected what the Hungry Dads call “covert eating,” and consequently you have also upped your personal hypocrisy factor. (for more on cover eating, check out Hungry Hippocrates and Episode 18)

5 reasons no 3 holidays#3: Holidays are no longer a complete free for all – You lost weight over the holiday? How is that possible? Your Mom’s house is full of food. Delicious, unhealthy, wonderful food. Home cooked dinners with butter and cheese on everything! And you are allowed to indulge yourself since it’s the holidays, right? Wrong! Kids at the table essentially ruined every meal. Holiday style snacking was significantly hindered in front of the children. They were allergic to the nuts. They were asking for “more, more, more,” whch means the snacks have to be put away – out of sight. Sure, you snaked a little, but it was covert, rushed, and ultimately unenjoyable. While covert eating at home is generally a victory – getting something extra, you wouldn’t normally get – holiday covert eating was depressing. At a time where you could previously, normally snack with reckless abandon, you had to cower in corners like a rat to sneak an extra cookie or handful of Chex mix.

5 reasons no 4 eating out#4: Eating out and ordering in are no longer, fun, simple carefree decisions – Going to a restaurant with a kid is no fun. Restaurants gotta be kid friendly. And when you get there, you are so busy tap dancing to keep those kids happy, the food is mostly an afterthough. You are no longer going “out-to-eat.” You are now going “out-to-growl and grunt at you kids” in a low-volume version of yelling that does nothing to stop them from pouring ketchup into their water via a funnel crafted out of a straw and napkin, just before knocking the whole contraption into a drastic, attention, grabbing, spill. Ordering for delivery is no better. As if deciding where to order from (and what to order) was easy when it was just you and your wife. Add more people, especially finicky, greedy, irrational small versions of people, and ordering becomes a nightmare. Sure there is pizza, but say goodbye to the freedom to consider toppings options. Cheese pizza it is. ..yay… Restaurant? Ordering-in? food truck? It doesn’t matter. Your kids are gonna ruin it.

5 reasons no 5 workout_#5: Physically keeping up – Games like “banana peel” and something the kids invented called “daddy playground” (which is mostly just you getting stepped on or throwing the kids onto the couch over and over) somehow result in a LOT of physical effort and impact for YOU and very LITTLE for THEM. (“carry me” “throw me” “up, up” “again” “more” “faster”) And once you’ve started, it only ends in one of two ways: (1) you stopping it and they throw a temper tantrum; or (b) them getting hurt. You have to seriously consider and plan before engaging in physical play with your children since its as hard as PX90 marathon training workout with a relentless trainer.


General Motors Diet Review

This odd diet offers unlimited eating (yes strings attached) and guarantees 10-17 pounds of weight loss. One day you are mandated to eat six tomatoes.  Another day, you eat unlimited beef.  Yet another day ensures colorless urine.  Eight bananas on Day 4? Meanwhile, other aspects of the diet, like the fat burning “GM wonder soup” are well tread and unsurprising diet territory.

The fun of engaging in this diet is not the food. And it’s not the promise of weight loss or health.    Any amusement here is purely from the lingering curiosity about whether the diet’s origin is real or if it’s all some crackpot hoax.  Reading the GM diet’s “official” description, hardly helps.  It’s written in an manner that is somehow both corporate and poetic (“finish off the program like a good cigar used to finish off a Victorian meals.”)

Legend has it this unique diet was approved for employees by the Board of Directors of General Motors (yes, the same GM that makes cars), passed as an official action of the company in a board meeting on August 15, 1985.  GM denied its association with the diet to the New York Times in 2009.  It is a dubious urban legend. But…

Isn’t it just possible that this diet really was created by GM as an Americanized version of a Japanese program, imported from the East in an era when US industry realized that Japan was manufacturing circles around it?  Maybe, just maybe the GM Board really really believed that their legions of greasy handed, blue collar assembly line workers would become lean, mean, car manufacturing machines with the right diet?  Maybe it’s simply another Japanese management tactic that didn’t fit the American palate (if you don’t know what we mean, go to Blockbuster Video and rent a VHS of the Michael Keaton classic, Gung Ho).

So how was it?  Well, I lost the promised 10-17 pounds (10 to be exact) in 7 days.  I didn’t expect to keep it off…and I did not. I didn’t try to.  I consider it a monumental success that I didn’t put on more than my equilibrium weight the following weeks, backlashing against the fruit and veggie assault of the General Motors Diet.

Day by day, I found the General Motors Diet infinitely more bearable than the juice diet of 2015. At least here I could chew.  The diet trends from less bearable to more bearable as the week progresses – that’s a big benefit.  I wasn’t hungry and I wasn’t shy about indulging in the “unlimited” aspects of the diet. Despite being largely veggie averse, I didn’t abuse the unlimited fruit/veggie day and the unlimited beef/veggie day.   I made it a point to eat a majority of veggies each day.

The weirdest parts were (a) eating a baked potato for breakfast, and (b) eating a mandatory six tomatoes in one day.  The least surprising part was that the GM “Wonder Soup” was rank.

We’ll be saving up to buy a share of GM stock so that we can request archived meeting minutes and ask pointed questions about the diet at shareholder meetings.

Read the whole diet plan here.  Check out Hugh’s other diet experiment here.

Music is by the amazing Outsiderswwiinstr! Check out their beats on Soundcloud!