Sunday, July 3, 2011

Abe's Seven Easy Days to Slightly Overweight Maintenance Freedom

Use these stretchy things if you want.
One of the most common questions I get from loved ones, unloved ones, well-fed soccer moms and hobos is: Abe you look terrific, just amazing! Your looks are an inspiration.  So tell me, how is it that you are able to have such half-chiseled, half-flabby arms while maintaining a stoic, dignified fifteen-pound-overweight look for all these years?

I can't tell you how many times I've been asked this question, and in those exact words as well.  It's like daily clockwork if I had any understanding of how clocks actually work.

So, as a gift to my readers and the other countless people that I have forgotten to give a "Secret Santa" gift to over the years, I have developed a strict diet plan.  When rigorously followed over a week long period, this plan is guaranteed to give you a body type just like mine. If you are a woman, it is guaranteed to give you a female version of my body, which is to say it will make you look like Ellen Degeneres with a slightly larger gut.

I have developed this diet and exercise plan over a three year period of trial and error and I can honestly say that since I have begun the program I have not gained a single pound. (Or lost a single pound.) Much to my chagrin (A "chagrin" is what I call my double chin when I smile), I have continued to be able to enjoy my noble, slightly portly look that drives all the ladies mad. ("Ladies" meaning my wife. "Mad" meaning likely annoyed.)

Now, without further ado (or further "adon't),  I give you "Abe's Seven Easy Days to Slightly Overweight Maintenance Freedom".



Given that it is Monday and you are having a hard time getting self started, I find that a 12 ounce can of regular Coca Cola and a chocolate chip granola bar are just the thing to give you the pep to get to work. You could go with a Diet Coke but that little extra sugar makes it taste good and since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it's important to drink the entire can.  

I find that eating breakfast while driving to my workplace works best.  In my car, I am free from extra temptations like a second can of Coca Cola or a Hostess Ding Dong.  Eating in your car also helps burn additional calories, especially if you turn the radio station a lot or spill your Coke and desperately try and use your glovebox napkins to wipe up the mess in traffic. (Up to 30 additional calories burned!)


If you're like me, you have very little time to eat lunch so going out is not always an option. I pack a lunch, which I delicately prepare before shoving off in the morning with my Coke and granola bar.  Packing a lunch also burns additional calories which will help you maintain that sleek look your spouse has come to secretly and begrudgingly accept. (Up to 36 additional calories burned!) 

That being said, I generally pack a nice sandwich, preferably turkey or other white meat, a few chips and  a Ding Dong.  Lunch is where you can make up for some of those extra calories you ate in the morning, so I suggest drinking just one additional 12 ounce Coke instead of two. You may want to go with Diet, but you've had a rough morning, so regular it is!


When I get home, I want to just roll up in a ball and nap in the corner until supper is served. Unfortunately, I live in a round house and what corners I do have are completely manufactured from rectangular shaped furniture.  Certainly, I don't want to be a sell out so I skip the nap.

My wife makes dinner, which is generally something fairly tasty.  I like to eat the things that she makes and depending on what she makes, I like to have two helpings.   

So here is my rule for dinner:  If it is good, go ahead and have two helpings.  If it is gross, save yourself those calories and use them as "bonus bucks" for something later in the evening. Bonus bucks come in handy if you are hungry right before bedtime.  All scientists agree that the best time to eat is 30 minutes before you hit the hay. Even scientists that study things such as fish biology agree that eating before bedtime helps you to make it through the night without having to get up for a snack. (I know this because my cousin is a fish biologist and avid eater.)

By skipping out on the extra helping of gross food, you are saving yourself as many as 40,000 calories!  (Depending on the food.)  Look, there is no way your evening snack is going to be 40,000 calories.  I use this magical and mystic logic when I tell my wife I am full after a gross meal.  (Few and far between.  She is a great cook.) 

A dinner soda strictly depends on what your spouse is drinking.  If they are drinking soda, go ahead and indulge.  If not, steer clear.  Save those calories for another occasion.  You may hear your spouse say things such as, "Is that your third soda today?  You are so addicted!" and this will make you feel guilt.  It is important to feel guilt free on this program.  Guilt makes you gain weight and we all know we simply want to maintain that little extra something in the middle. 


It's important to keep your snacks light and healthy. That is why I prefer the French Onion chips over the BBQ.  Hey, at least there is a vegetable in there!  And why not pack some celery?  Or how about WHY pack celery?  Have you tried those things? They taste like water combined with crunchy nothing!

I keep a box of wheat thins at work.  Low in calories and tasty, they fill me up so I will only eat one Twinkie rather than my normal two.  

It's best to just NOT BUY unhealthy snacks so you are NOT tempted to engorge.  That's why I have my wife buy them for me.  Less guilt.  They're there, what am I supposed to do?  But keep them to a minimum.  I like the old rule of thumb: "One snack for every meal, unless you are more hungry than that."  It's something we dietitians like to say. 


I don't have a lot of advice regarding desserts except to eat them, but sparingly.  Desserts can really pile up the calories in a hurry.  I find that if I am out at a restaurant, it is best to gorge myself with the main course, so that when the waiter brings the tray of plastic desserts to look at, I can be honest with him and say, "No thanks, I'm full."  

Rather than eat dessert, eat an extra Olive Garden breadstick or cheesy bread or take an additional trip to the salad bar and get some jello or chocolate pudding.  After all, pudding is not dessert.  It's at the salad bar for pete's sake! Salad is good for you. Which brings me to my next topic...

Eating out:

Inevitably, you will be doing just great on my seven day program when a friend will call you and say, "Do you guys want to go out to dinner tonight?"  Always, no matter what the circumstances, answer this question with a rambunctious, "YES!  HECK YEAH WE DO!"  But don't seem overly desperate.  No one likes a desperate eater. 

When eating out, I always skip the salad.  I always say, "they're just empty calories", which is true because you burn more calories chewing lettuce than it actually has in it.  It's like eating a hollow piece of air.  There is no truer form of empty calories than lettuce.  Skip it.  

You may want to get the soup, but only if there is cheese.  Cheese has milk in it and milk is one of the four major food groups.  As you have read through my plan, you may have noticed that there is not a lot of milk in it.  Now's your chance!  Get the soup, but make sure it has cheese.

If they ask you if you'd like mozzarella, say yes, but ALWAYS say "when" before the other people at your table say "when".  Tell the other people at the table that you are on a diet and don't want to overdo it. This will not only impress them, but you've already had your milk group in the soup so no need to beat a dead horse.  Besides, dead horse might be on the menu and then you'd be beating two dead horses in one meal. 

Finally, eat enough that you can skip dessert. (Saves up to 4,000 calories!)

Things to think about:

Mondays: Being the first day of the work week, Monday is going to present some challenges to stay faithful to the plan.  You may feel overwhelmed, stressed or even fat-tigued from your Sunday dinner of waffles and corn chowder.  Believe me, this is quite common for the unmotivated and it is something that needs to be overcome. 

Soda: Constantly talk about giving up soda.  Again, this gives others the impression that you are serious about this diet and if you talk about it enough, someday you just might do it.  We've all heard that common saying, "You talk a big game but you don't back it up until you talk about it enough to make everyone crazy and think it will never happen."  It's a fairly common saying.

Movies: When going to the movies, eat the popcorn, but ask if you can put on the butter yourself.  The theater workers tend to pile on the butter.  If you want to take control of your diet and make this work, it's important that you pile on the butter, not the movie theater workers.  Take control of your destiny people!

Water: Drink lots of water between sodas.  It will help you feel less guilty and it will dilute the soda.


Here is perhaps the most important part of my diet plan.  In order to maintain your sexy lifestyle and frontal curves (below the torso), it is important to burn off at least some of those calories.

Look, I run somewhere between 4-8 miles a day.  If you can't do this, you need not fear.  Just take my dietary recommendations and cut them in half.  Do exactly half of what I have suggested.  If you can run 4-8 miles a day, do it.  You will feel better and you will forever remain in "borderline overweight limbo".

Finally, if you do embark on my program, I ask that you do one thing.  I need some before and after shots.  I need absolute proof that people that take on my diet plan bodies stay exactly the same shape and size.  So if you could put on some spandex shorts and email me those photos in a PDF, that would be great.  Also, if you could find a giant scale like on the Biggest Loser and take your pictures while standing on it, that would be even better.

Client: Before
Client: After

- - Thank you and I wish you all the best of luck on the Abe's Seven Easy Days to Slightly Overweight Maintenance Freedom!!!

40 comments: said...

Girlfriend says: Let's have popcorn! It's light, low-cal, and yummy!

I'm ok with that.

30 minutes later, I return with caramel corn. She looks at me, looks at the sugar-drenched popcorn, and looks at me again...

She shrugs, smiles, and grabs a handful.

She's so supportive.

Kate said...

"One snack for every meal unless you are more hungry than that." Genius!! It seems that I'm already following your plan, which has ensured my success at exercising like a fiend while maintaining a soft and slightly flabby midsection. You'll have to take my word for it, though, because if you posted pictures I'd have to hunt you down and kill you...and the trek to Utah would likely burn off too many calories to maintain status quo. So, in the end, it would be a win for me...except for the jail time and loss of an entertaining read. Not necessarily in that order.

M-Cat said...

I could do this. You mentioned regular coke. I could completely and totally do this!

Cheryl said...

Abe, that is such a "doable" diet. Most aren't you know. I don't sense tons of deprivation so "in theory" everyone should be able to stick with it long term. Really, the only problem I see is if I start following it, I will need a larger wardrobe. (not as in more clothes but as in larger clothes)
By the way, I will be sure to pass on the ASEDTSOMF program to my friends that notice the changes in my weight. Just a quick disclaimer: Giving credit where credit is due can be both a good thing and a bad thing.

Jillybean said...

I drink Diet DrPepper (not addicted, I can stop anytime I want to, I just don't want to) and I pack lunch for my kids every day (4 of them!) so according to your program, I should be burning more calories than I eat, yet it doesn't seem to be making any difference.
I also type a lot) as does any normal person with a blog and a Facebook account) and I'm sure typing burns a buttload of calories.

I think this diet plan of yours actually has very different results for men and women.

My inlaws really do live in a round house.

I'm serious.

Siobhan said...

Hahaha! One of my fave parts were: "Rather than eat dessert, eat an extra Olive Garden breadstick or cheesy bread or take an additional trip to the salad bar and get some jello or chocolate pudding. After all, pudding is not dessert. It's at the salad bar for pete's sake! Salad is good for you." and "When eating out, I always skip the salad. I always say, "they're just empty calories", which is true because you burn more calories chewing lettuce than it actually has in it. It's like eating a hollow piece of air. There is no truer form of empty calories than lettuce. Skip it." Class!!

Saimi said...

With Diet Coke already stocked in the Fridge we are well on our way to a Cheeseboy diet plan!!

Just to add, movie popcorn is the BEST!!!

GrammyMouseTails said...

I already have a perfect shape... round is a perfect shape! I will save the colas for my hubby he drinks that stuff, I want my caffeine in coffee or sweet tea form, or even better dark chocolate milk shakes! And everyone knows it is physically impossible to go to a movie without having the ginormous tub of artificial buttered popcorn (squirts added after every scoop of popcorn) and ex-large soda of your choice. It is against the law not too! At least that is my story & I am sticking to it.
And no way in heck am I sending any pictures... your wife could become crazed with envy and hunt me down! I've heard that being married to 1st grade teachers of slightly portly size does that to women. It's true!

Emmy said...

This my friend will go down as one of your best posts ever. My parents are in town and I had to read it out loud to everyone as I was laughing so much.
Do you really run that much?

And yes the snack rule was one of my favorite rules

Alison@Mama Wants This said...

I see that my husband is already following your diet plan.

Except for the popcorn. We must have popcorn. For him, not me. I'm perfect. Perfectly round.

imbeingheldhostage said...

I've been following your diet for years! I didn't know you were the one who founded it, so now it's extra special to me.
I have made a couple of adjustments here and there that you may be interested in: Most important, if you stand on a scale while holding the food you are going to eat, you can see just how much weight you're going to add. An entire box of Ding Dongs (24 cakes) will only add 1 pound-- easily worked off while driving.
Thanks Abe!

Bossy Betty said...

I am going to give up the soda. Really I am.

Good thing you are here for us. Is it time for an informercial for your diet system? I think so!

Leighannn said...

God Bless you Sir.
Pudding is NOT a dessert.

MiMi said...

Can't. Stop. Laughing.

Elena @CiaoMom said...

Oh my goodness! So giggly right about now. I love the saying when before anyone else at the table and not beating two dead horses. Definitely a very do-able and easy to make into a lifestyle! Well done! :)

Pat said...

FINALLY! A diet program that I can follow AND stick to! Thanks! I'll be sending you those photos real soon!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Does this mean you buy your wife's snacks so she feels no guilt?

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

I am scared to admit how close I am to actually being like you...

Pedaling said...

constantly talking about giving up sugar, like soda pop, is the way to be taken seriously. I hear ya!

tammy said...

I've found it helps to always think of your spouse too. Like by eating the entire pan of brownies so he doesn't have to waste any calories on them.

Kelley said...

It was all so funny! I love how you clarify whether sayings are common or not. I REALLY loved the before and after pictures, too. So convincing!!!! I'm still laughing out loud at that!

The Stiffs said...

Plan to start immediately! Wait! I think I already have. said...

You are SO in the zone, Abe! Your writing keeps getting better and better, and you started off great as it was. I see you're putting more into each sentence. Keep running with it and congratulations on passing 700! You're beyond awesome.

PS Forgive my being MIA for another stint (I'm not mobile with my connection, and I'm going camping for 10 days). Also forgive the fact my posts aren't showing in the reader. I'll make sure to catch your Subway vlog, though! xo

Lazarus said...

Excellent post. I've never read one before that used the phrase "ding dong," that alone makes it worthwhile!

Jenn said...

Bonus bucks!!! LOL One snack for every meal!! LOL If it's good, have two helpings!!
This is some really good material... you should take this show on the road!! lol

Melinda said...

Definitely my kind of diet. It has reachable goals and I wouldn't want to strangle myself within a day of being on it. I think anything with vegetables in it is a completely healthy choice...pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, sour cream and onion chips, etc. I also consider anything with chocolate in it to be part of the vegetable group since chocolate comes from beans. I also think that any walking to and from the kitchen to obtain a greasy fatty food knocks off half the calories as does standing up when I eat it.

Jonah Gibson said...

Just a word of caution, because there is a surprise in store for you if you're not careful. You see, I have been on your diet plan for 40 some years. As a maintenance plan, it worked great for the first 37. That is up until I turned 60 I looked the same, weighed the same, had roughly the same stamina and vigor year to year and effortlessly, just as you have indicated. Then, suddenly at age 60, I started adding 10 lbs per year. It doesn't seem to matter what I do to modify the plan at this point. I mean I've tried everything. I even moved my martinis from the salad category (olives) to the fruit category (juniper berries and grapes) to no avail. I'm at my wits end.

baygirl32 said...

I could so do this

TrevnMe said...

Forget Atkins, HCG, South Beach, grapefruit and cabbage, I'm following the Abe Diet.
Stay tuned for instant results.
And when I say results, I mean absolutely no change at all.
Thanks, Abe. I always knew I could count on you.
PS: I haven't laughed that hard in a LONG time!

Ally said...

Regular Coke tastes so much better than Diet Coke. I started dieting today, bad day to read this post - I want a Ding Dong now :)

Kev D. said...

How did you know that I only TALK about stopping the soda intake?

It's like you're reading my mind.

Melinda said...

Just substitute Mt. Dew for Coke and I'm all for it!

("Frontal Curves". Heh heh.)

Sorry I haven't been around, still having computer issues. I had to say something because I know you were seriously missing me. Its okay to admit it.

Crystal Pistol said...

I'm sure your wife goes from "annoyed" to "mad" when she sees you have deemed one of her home cooked meals "gross".

You might want to edit that part out of your post before she reads it and discovers your system...

This post is HILARIOUS. I'm almost kinda mad about it. Because it is way too funny for one post. You have used your extra funny bucks and now you're just showin' off...

Connie said...

I don't know. Sounds like it takes more will power than I have!

Holly said...

WOW!!! The inspiration!! You should do circuit seminars in the summer when school is OUT!! LOL!!

However, since my body is in such great form (like a blown up jellyfish), I don't know that this is the program for me. BUT, I'll let others know about your generous offer to share! ;D

TisforTonya said...

I always thought that the rule of thumb for snack foods was to only eat snacks that are bigger than your thumb. Crunchy cheetos - no. Puffy cheetos - yes. Twinkies - yes.

Mindy said...

I think I laughed harder at this post than any so far! Love it!

Pat Tillett said...

I like this! I've noticed that the more I eat right before bedtime, the less likely I am to eat more than a half pound of bacon in the morning! Besides, what happens if you go to bed hungry and wake up to a world with a food shortage? It's not gonna happen to me! Now way...

Lourie said...

I like to go with Diet Coke as it will counter act any calories taken in. If you stand while eating you can even go negative.

Joann Mannix said...

Hey, you're writing novels like me these days. I like it.

Why even have celery on this planet? It's about as useful as Paris Hilton.

I like your meal plan except I'm more of a Star Crunch girl myself, instead of the Ding Dong. And who names a food group Ding Dong? Someone a little pervy, I'd say.