To those who are confused, my hosting company changed servers and so this post was stuck on the old server. That is why I am reposting it. I have not gone nuts....well....I guess that is hard to say at the top of this post.... *************
Hey there gang. Hold on to your hats/hairpieces as we do another installment of "Ask Dr. Rob."
Let me just say before I get started that the well is starting to run dry of questions for me to answer. Some folks have sent some real medical questions to me (which means they obviously don't read the blog), but I haven't gotten any good questions. PLEASE, if you would like me to entertain your question about whatever you like to know about, send it to dr.rob.questions(at)gmail(dot)com.
So I went back and rummaged through my mailbag (in a cyber-sort of way) and came upon this previously unanswered question from G. Xavier:
I'm eating a South Beach Diet meal replacement bar. The trouble is... I'm not on the south beach diet. What's going to happen to me?
I would first like to comment your name, G. Xavier. Why the G? Did you have seven choices for names, the seventh of which was Xavier?
What name do you want:
A. Puffy B. George W. C. Retractable landing gear D. Zoinks E. Bob F. Llama Breath G. Xavier
Personally, I would have chosen C.
Regardless of how you came upon your name, typing G. Xavier is a pain in the gluteus maximus, so I will instead call you Puffy.
So what about Puffy's question? What does science tell us about diet meal replacement bars? What does science tell us about this important subject?
A Brief History of the Diet Meal Replacement Bar
To really understand the question, we must first delve back into the historical phenomenon known as DMRB (which is the scientific notation for the Diet Meal Replacement Bar).
On the left is what scientists believe to be the first known reference to a DMRB. It is a cave drawing found in southern Turkey and believed to be over 5,000 years old. The pictures around it show an overweight man running after an antelope and a thin man looking at this object. Archeologists believe that the little things coming up on the top are box tops and the scribble in the middle is a UPC symbol.
Jump ahead a few thousand years to ancient Greece, where the DMRB became a widespread phenomenon. It is said that Alexander the Great had a real problem keeping off the pounds, and became obsessed with finding the ultimate DMRB. He scoured the known world in search of a way to lose weight and keep the pounds off, but was unable to ever regain his boyish figure. He died in 323 BC from either malaria, typhoid, encephalitis, or a dangerously high LDL cholesterol level.
This is tragic, because a few years after Alexander's death, Demosthenes discovered a way to mix olive oil, dates, and wheat flax in a way that not only tasted terrific, but also was low in trans-fat. He is known to many as the father of DMRB, and is pictured below carrying a DMRB in his right hand.
The Middle-Ages and Renaissance
Like many classical inventions, much of the knowledge of DMRB's was lost after the fall of the Roman Empire. Not only did the barbarians' sacking of Rome cause many scientific and cultural advances of the classical period to be lost for over a thousand years, but it also doomed people to an endless struggle with bulging love-handles.
The biggest tragedy of the middle ages was the loss of a huge segment of the population to the plague, or black death. This horrible disease is caused by a bacteria infesting the flea that lives on rats. Many have theorized as to why the plague spread so rapidly during this period, but not at other times. The latest research points to the fact that the high BMI that predominated made it difficult for people to run from rats and easy for fleas to hide in fat folds.
Despite repeated attempts by alchemists to turn goat livers into DMRB's, the middle ages is felt to be a truly dark time for dietary supplements.
During the renaissance there was a veritable explosion of scientific discovery. The Medici family of Florence sponsored much of that work. But did they have influence on the development of weight-loss bars? The evidence is unclear, but some art historians believe that Michelangelo's famous statue of David is holding a DMRB in his left hand. This would explain is amazing physique, but is still a subject of debate.
Even though the years between the Renaissance and today are filled with references to DMRB's (the most famous of which was the one Napoleon Bonaparte hid under his lapel), very little progress was made until the birth of Dr. Robert Atkins, the founder of the famous Atkins Diet.
Dr. Atkins' beliefs regarding diet flew in the face of the scientific thoughts of his day. At that time scientists felt that to lose weight, a diet of predominantly low-fat foods should be consumed. The low-fat diet works like this: the person consumes as much food tasting like cardboard that the very idea of food is repulsive and the person loses weight. This is a diet popular with goats (as pictured below), which is why you don't see many fat goats.
Dr. Atkins, however, thought that food should taste better than cardboard, and so invented the low-carbohydrate diet. The foundation of this diet is the breakfast favorite, bacon. This diet works like this: the dieter eats so much food containing bacon that the idea of eating becomes repulsive and the person loses weight. This diet is very popular at hospital cafeterias.
A strong anti-bacon sentiment developed, and a new diet was invented: the South Beach Diet, with it's revolutionary use of the DMRB. The idea is to eat only DMRB's so that the very idea of food is repulsive and the person loses weight.
To Answer Your Question...
So, Puffy, what if you eat a DMRB and are not on the South Beach diet?
First off, doing this on a regular basis will cause weight loss. It has been shown scientifically that a person's wallet gets significantly thinner when a person regularly eats DMRB's.
Second, if you happen to live in the town of North Beach, this food will change your personal polarity. This is very dangerous. Your personal polarity is determined in your DNA, which gets really annoyed when the polarity reverses. Your polarity determines all sorts of personality traits, such as: sense of humor, compassion, favorite color, and whether or not you put ketchup on your Taco. Personal polarity is not to be toyed with.
Third, occasional consumption of the South Beach DMRB will have some benefits: your skin will become a nicely-tanned hue, you will become much better at dancing to salsa music, and you will start hanging out with hot chicks in bathing suits. This has been my experience.
But despite the improvement to your social life, Puffy, I would not recommend eating South Beach DMRB's when not on the diet.
I think you should do the Dr. Rob Diet.
The Dr. Rob Diet has absolutely no restrictions to what and how much you eat. You can have steak, cookies, jelly beans, and Little Debbie's as much as you want. But, you have to read this blog every day.
The nausea-inducing effect of this blog is guaranteed to make you lose weight.
Thanks for the question, Puff-daddy.
PLEASE send me more material questions at dr.rob.questions(at)gmail(dot)com.