holiday eating is not making you fat

In recent years I’ve heard some “experts” on TV say you should eat light on Thanksgiving so you don’t become obese.  First of all, that’s stupid, and second, the research doesn’t support such tomfoolery.  According to a study, the average weight gain for the holiday season (including Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s) is just 0.8 pounds.  That’s not a typo.  For all the hype from the media outlets, you’d think people were becoming instantly obese from a couple of big meals.  0.8 pounds is nothing — you can gain that just from eating normal, or if your regularity is not as regular.  I figured the number would be higher, given the big holiday meals, the extra cookies, and the parties.

Obviously some Thanksgiving meals are more fattening than others, but a traditional feast shouldn’t be that bad.  I figure a normal Thanksgiving dinner wouldn’t be more unhealthy than some of the things you can get at restaurants, particularly all-you-can-eat buffets.  Plus you might be eating less processed food, which could make it healthier.

To diet on Thanksgiving day and Christmas day is foolish, if you want my opinion.  It’s hard enough to diet and eat right, particularly if you enjoy eating.  To miss out on the most special meals of the year would be depressing.  If you’re seriously trying to lose weight, one way to approach it is to eat healthier in the days leading up to the big meals, to rationalize eating a lot at the family get-togethers and parties.

Of course, common sense disclaimers apply.  For example, if you’re on the verge of a heart attack or some other severe health problem, maybe you shouldn’t eat a huge meal, but in that case, you should do something about it NOW.

Let’s get back to the study, if I may rant for a minute.  The health “experts” shouldn’t try to make people feel bad during the holidays if the research shows that the holiday eating isn’t the problem.  Here’s what irked me most about the article:

In the study, 14% of overweight and obese individuals gained more than five pounds during the holiday. In the abstract, the researchers wrote, “holiday weight gain may be an important contributor to the rising prevalence of obesity, even though absolute values for weight gain in this study were less than anticipated.”

Okay, so obese people gained more weight than average.  That’s not exactly breaking news, since they’ve obviously been gaining weight before then, so they’re just continuing the trend.  But notice the quote from the researchers, which basically says they’re still sticking to their hypothesis even though the statistics don’t support it.  Hopefully some people were reprimanded over that kind of junk.

So in conclusion, don’t feel bad about eating a few big meals during holiday feasts and parties.  The obesity problem isn’t caused by a couple of big meals here and there.  (Shouldn’t that be common sense?)  And the next time a news person on TV says to cut back during the holidays, eat another piece of pecan pie… or pumpkin pie… or cookies… you get the idea.  🙂  Eat, drink, and be merry.

World Cheese Dip Competition

The annual World Cheese Dip Competition will be held again this weekend.  Some day I will attend this, and talks are already in discussion among the Buffet o’ Blog staff to conquer this challenge next year.  (Copious amounts of research will be required, which will be fun!)

Anyhow, I looked at the Facebook page for the event, and saw a couple of ads worth passing along:

I’m married, so I’m not commenting on that!  Moving along…

The way I understand the event, everyone who attends gets to sample cheese dip and vote for a People’s Choice Award.  So the last ad really does apply.  (Don’t tell my doctor!)

the ultimate BLT sandwich

I saw a commercial the other night for an “Ultimate BLT” from Arby’s.  It had my attention because of how often they said bacon (probably 7 times).  They used big grandiose terms like “monument to bacon”, etc.  So naturally I was expecting good things from this new food of theirs.

Then they actually shows the sandwich, which contains only 5 pieces of bacon.  I was suddenly disappointed.  And that’s with their commercial depiction.  Here’s a picture of one that someone purchased.

Arby’s “Ultimate BLT”. There might be 5 pieces of bacon, but not 5 full strips of bacon. This is so not the ultimate BLT.

I realize fast food often does not look like the commercials — I get that — but this is not an “Ultimate BLT” by any stretch!

So a question arises.  For something to be declared the ultimate BLT, how many slices of bacon are required?  And should any other ingredients be included?  (I realize there may be purists who say a BLT cannot have extra ingredients, but what if it makes it better?  Plus, we are talking about a modified title of “Ultimate BLT”, which implies it should be the best possible BLT.)

I’d like to hear your thoughts on this, because you might have ideas I haven’t thought of.  To get the discussion started, the Buffet o’ Blog staff talked about it around the virtual water cooler:

* I think anything to be declared the “ultimate” in bacon should have a minimum of 1/4 lbs of bacon… anything less and it just sounds a bit puny.  I’d laugh if I saw a commercial touting something like 1/8 a pound of bacon!

* Even if one cares about the other 2/3 of a BLT, you’d still need bacon to be prominent over the LT.  I’d say at least 1/4 lbs, but I’d recommend (and like to research) 1/2 lbs.

* To be “ultimate”, they’ve got to take it to the next level.  BAM!  For starters, add melted cheese to it, and Miracle Whip.  Some chipotle sauce would go well with it, too, I think.  For the cheese, could probably use cheese dip with Rotel to pour on it, just make it thick enough to stay in the sandwich.

* Add a fried egg to it!  Well, if you’re gonna call it ultimate, add several eggs and more bacon.  And cheese, of course.  Tell me this wouldn’t sell like hotcakes!  I would eat this for any meal of the day.

Any more ideas?

taking tacos where they’ve never been before

Taco Bell has a new commercial that says they’re “taking tacos where they’ve never been before”.  That sounds like a good figurative phrase, but they were actually using it literally — they used a helicopter to take a food delivery truck filled with 10,000 Doritos Locos Tacos to a town in Alaska, because of the prank/hoax someone had played on the entire town.

That’s a neat idea.  It also would’ve been cool if they had dropped 10,000 tacos over the town from an airplane.  That would be something to see!  (Well, I wouldn’t want that to happen in my area, because it would also create a huge mess.  But hey, free tacos.)

So, um, I’d like to start a rumor that a Taco Bell is coming soon to my house…  🙂

Let’s take the phrase more figuratively.  What would you do to make tacos better than ever?  One taco variation I’m waiting for is the chicken-bacon-ranch taco.  If you use quality ingredients, it would surely be most awesome.  (The Buffet o’ Blog staff are all huge fans of the chicken-bacon-ranch pizza at Larry’s Pizza.  Just put that in a taco shell and it would be great.)  I figure a pizza taco would be great, too — use pork sausage and pepperoni with pizza sauce and lots of cheese, inside a taco shell.

What ideas do you have to make the ultimate taco?