A Household Word: Confessions of a Carbohydriac

There is nothing more boring than someone talking about their diet. Except perhaps, someone writing about their diet. But I can’t help it. I am on one of those trendy, high-protein, weight-loss plans and all I can think about is pizza, beer and empty carbohydrates. It’s been three hours.

I chose the South Beach Diet because although it doesn’t have the caché of being named for a dead physician, it does conjure up images of poolside cabanas and buff guys bearing trays of delectable tidbits. In reality, this diet is a metabolic boot camp where, for the first two weeks, your body is coerced from burning glucose (which is sugar), into burning fat (which is your hips). That’s the theory, anyhow.

It had better work, because aside from giving birth to three kids (who are directly to blame for my current, miserable shape), eliminating all bread, wine, chocolate, pasta and pleasure from my life has been the most difficult thing I’ve ever done.

The quest for a new me began when I woke up this morning and weighed myself. Naked, with an empty bladder, I held firmly onto the bathroom towel rack – 140 pounds. Ugh. I cut my fingernails and weighed myself again. No change.

Disgusted, I threw on a sweatshirt and a pair of jeans. It was a miracle! The waistband was loose and the jeans hung on my hips. Hallelujah! The diet works! I stepped on the scale – 141 pounds. I examined the jeans. They were my husband’s. I pulled on sweatpants and headed downstairs to make breakfast for the kids.

I poured bowls of cereal and popped a few Frosted Flakes® into my mouth. Then I choked. Frosted Flakes are not allowed in Phase I of the South Beach Diet. They are made of corn, which is forbidden, and they are frosted with sugar, which is evil. They are also GRRRREEEEEAAAAT!  I spat them into the sink.

“Mommy, what’s wrong with the Frosted Flakes?” my son probed.

“Nothing,” I lied. “It’s just that they are loaded with carbohydrates and glucose and ...”

“Actually, I don’t think I want Frosted Flakes anymore,” he said. “Can I have an Eggo® instead?”

After the kids left for school, I ate the Eggo that was left floating in a pool of maple syrup and licked the plate clean. Hey, when I was a kid, it was a sin to waste food. I repented for the waffle by making myself a breakfast straight from the South Beach Diet book:

• 6 oz. of tomato juice – Ugh. Who’s going to know if I have orange juice instead?

• Scrambled eggs with fresh herbs and mushrooms – The only mushrooms I found were growing in the back of the fridge. I cracked an extra egg into the frying pan to compensate.

• 2 slices Canadian bacon – Didn’t I hear that you can eat unlimited bacon on this diet? I fried up four slices and didn’t check Oscar Meyer’s citizenship.

• Decaf coffee with nonfat milk – C’mon, I need caffeine to function. Half and half, too.

I arranged the bacon and eggs on my plate. They looked lonely. One slice of toast (with a little butter and jelly) couldn’t hurt.

I could almost feel the pounds melting away as I ate. I polished off the eggs, wiped the bacon grease off my lips and ran upstairs to check my progress – 142 pounds. Something must be wrong. I had already been on the diet for over an hour. I took off my clothes, tightened my grip on the towel rack and adjusted the scale until it read 137. That’s better. I slid back into my husband’s jeans. This diet really does work. By lunchtime, I’ll be able to celebrate the new me with a decent meal. 

Carol Band will share her recipe for beer-battered pasta. Write to her at