March 24, 2008

Celebrity Diet Secrets: Carnie Wilson

One of my favorite parts of flying is buying a pile of celebrity tabloids at the terminal's newsstand before boarding the plane.

This week's OK! is full of nutrition-related stories. Among them? Carnie Wilson's new weight loss struggle.

To recap: at her heaviest, the former Wilson Phillips member weighed 300 pounds.

In 2000, she underwent gastric bypass surgery and slimmed down to 146 pounds.

Now, eight years later, Carnie weighs 208 pounds.

I can't say I'm surprised. Most people who undergo gastric bypass are not addressing the real issue at hand.

Controlling one's weight isn't solely about shrinking stomach capacity.

Emotional eating, ingrained food patterns, and nutrition education also play a huge role in determining what, why, and how much we eat.

This is why once gastric bypass is completed, patients tend to regain weight.

Anyhow, in this interview, Carnie "vows" to shed the excess pounds she's accumulated over the past few years.

A sidebox details her new diet. The headline? "I'm not eating carbs." Sigh.

First of all, she IS eating carbs -- as she should! -- as evidenced by the fact that she consumes broccoli, asparagus, oranges, apples, and carrots.

"Carbs" are not just donuts, Wonder bread, and cookies.

In any case, Carnie goes on to say that if she "start[s] [her] morning with a piece of toast, [she's] doomed for the day. It's like, give me carbs," she explains.

And the problem with that would be, what, exactly?

If she were to start her day with whole -- or sprouted -- grain toast, accompany her lunch with a small side dish of whole wheat pasta, and then snack on a little popcorn in the afternoon, what horrible thing will befall her?

What's most interesting is that Carnie appears to blame her weight gain on carbs, yet she admits that what made her gain weight in the past was "go[ing] through McDonalds drive-throughs and hav[ing] a Big Mac, Super Size fries, a 20-piece Chicken McNuggets, a pie and a shake" for one meal.

She also points to being able to "eat a bag of M&M's in one day".

So, really -- and clearly -- the issue was excess calories, not excess carbs.

It always frustrates me to see people unnecessarily deny themselves nutritious and tasty food when they want to lose weight.

Carnie, if you're reading this, do me a favor: have some unsweetened oatmeal for breakfast, enjoy an open-faced sandwich on whole grain bread, and munch on two or three cups of air popped popcorn if your heart desires.

Just watch your calories, get plenty of fiber, cut down on added sugars, and above all, do not fear carbohydrates.

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