I’m Thaddeus Moriarty, and you are wrong. Why?

Because you eat food. Food wants to be eaten, will make itself smell good and look tasty in order to be eaten, and — by eating it — you’re falling right into its trap. Don’t play food’s game. Think for yourself, you sheep. (Mmm, lamb chops.)

I’m being facetious, of course; food doesn’t coerce us into sampling it. Shaw’s Supermarket employees do that. No, what food does is entice us into eating it, filling rooms with delicate aromas and mysteries and the hopes that ARAMARK will serve something identifiable this week. (Nope.)

Food is potentially the greatest invention since sliced brea—er, since grated chee—um … since the chalkboard. Lives are saved by it, relationships strengthen over it and the Virgin Mary was found on a Dorito. Ignore Benjamin Franklin: it is far more fun to live to eat than to eat to live.

And yet we, as humans, insist upon the diet plan. Diet plans confound me. Now, not just dieting; a healthy diet makes for a healthy everything else. You know what I’m talking about when I say diet plan; the fat-free diet, the Atkins diet, the gluten-free diet, my current nothing-but-Twix diet. These diets, each one promising a slimmer waist and healthy glowing skin and toenails, do little more than deprive people the food that they want and need and instead make them eat nothing but Twix. Is this truly fair to the food? Think of the food. (Mmm, lamb chops.)

Now don’t get me wrong, as wrong as you are; there is certainly some merit to the Only-Purple-Foods-Diet© and its diet-planny brethren. Eating fat-free foods really can help to lower your risks of health problems (except in a recent study by the European Journal of Nutrition, reviewers found that in most of the participants, high-fat dairy was associated with a lower risk of obesity.) And the Atkins diet is proven to be useful for quickly losing weight over a one-month period (except the British Medical Journal reports that there is no significant weight loss beyond one month when comparing Atkins to regular diet-exercise regimens.) And hey, the nothing-but-Twix diet got me a column in this paper, so there’s that (except…nope, I’ve got nothing; the Twix diet’s pretty rad).

My main issue with a lot of these diet plans isn’t so much the intent (although “Lose Weight Fast” sounds a lot like “Get Rich Quick,” and my Sea-Monkey selling enterprise is foundering), but rather the foods that are then marketed towards the folks who use them. How is the fat taken out of the fat-free foods, and where does it go? Has no one really ever thought about this but me? (Nope.)

In my head, the only thing that could possibly be truly fat free would be ants, and I don’t really think the Antkins diet would catch on with the greater populace. (Writer’s note: it turns out ants do in fact contain small amounts of fat. I consider my point proven, and therefore you are still wrong.)

You have to be careful about things with low-calories, too, I’m afraid. By (somehow) removing all the fat from foods, the flavor usually goes with it, because fat things taste good or something. The way to then combat a Lean Cuisine (because I want to pick on Lean Cuisine) tasting like a soggy magazine is to — you guessed it — add a metric crapton of salt, which is even worse for you than fat. Your nothing-but-salt diet is scam, Paula Deen; a scam!

Here, then, is the moment you’ve been waiting for, dear reader: the hypocritical Thaddeus Moriarty diet plan. Listen closely; I’m only going to type this once. Ready?

Eat whatever you want.

Seriously. Just eat what you like, eat what tastes good, eat what your date is eating to be nice to her because she has pretty green eyes and is good at video games. But if you feel like having two of something, just eat one. If something looks bad for you, it probably is. If you feel full, you’re full. And a few hours after you’re done eating, go for a walk. Or a run. Or a hang-glide/jet-ski/mountain-bike adventure. And live.

That doesn’t sound like a diet plan?

Well, then. You are wrong.

Thaddeus is a senior history major, and he is right.


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