The Phyne Dyner weighs in on “The Dukan Diet”

In Lifestyle on June 7, 2011 at 9:20 am

Where are all the fat kids? (Des Moines Register Photo)

The Des Moines Register runs a regular feature as “The Old Time Photo”.  It is a bit unnerving to the Phyne Dyner to see that many of the “old time photos” date from the late 1950s to the early 1960s.

My usual reaction to these photographic shuffles back in time is, “Where the heck are the fat people?”

Those were the heady days of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour and The Jackie Gleason Show.  Most kids of the day saw both men to be “fat beyond all human comprehension”.  Unable to sleep a few weeks ago, I turned on the television and watched a classic episode of McHale’s Navy.

Ernest Borgnine looked incredibly svelte.

Today, most junior high school girls weigh more than I did when I graduated high school.

In the mid-1970s, I was keeping time with a young woman of noble, Russian parentage.  She depreciated herself by saying she was “fat” when she was actually, to use the Russian language of love, “Strong, like bull.”

She, of course, hurried out to buy a copy of Dr. Adkins’ Diet Revolution because it was fashionable to do so.

Today, Adkins’ is passe.  Dr. Dukan is the new guru of girth.  Predictably, and on cue, as interest began to wane and Dukan’s book sales began to slip a bit, controversy erupted when another nutrition expert declared Dukan’s diet “unsafe”.  Dukan is suing for libel and the case will be decided by twelve cast members from The Biggest Loser.

To be perfectly honest, the Phyne Dyner is hardly Adonis-like.  I tip the scales at a hefty two hundred and forty-five (this morning).  This is, according to actuarial charts composed by starving insurance company accountants, more than fifty pounds more than my “ideal” weight.  I lift freeweights daily and walk six miles every other day.  Dropping that fifty pounds would probably be attainable if I would simply shut my pie hole.

And, therein, is the lesson.  In a calorie-deficient environment, there are no fat people.  The evidence is as close as a photograph of a war-torn country or of a fly-blown worker’s paradise somewhere across a distant ocean.  Poke around the Internet for a few hours and look for the site that photographically compares the amount of food consumed by an American family to that consumed by families around the world.

The conclusion?  Body mass is not determined by what a person eats.  It is determined by how much a person eats.

It is a matter of thermodynamics, since fat cannot be created from “nothingness”.  Eat 6000 calories/day consisting of Ho-Hoes or Weight-Watcher Bars and you will get fatter.  It is a basic principle of the Universe.

"You gonna eat that?"

I am not saying that a person who buys the latest diet book will not lose weight.  Once a person spends $29.95 on Dukan’s book, he or she will have $29.95 less with which to buy food.  Less food equals weight loss.

A solution to the American obesity epidemic would be a presidential edict that every American buy the Phyne Dyner’s diet book(let), Shut yer Pie Hole ($3,499, and enclose a SASE).  Once you have parted with several thousand dollars from your annual food budget, those pounds will simply melt off.

At a recent gathering, a companion regaled us with her revelation that gluten was responsible for her being overweight.  “I simply eliminated gluten from my diet and I began to lose weight”, she crowed as she twirled in front of us.

Translation:  “I lost weight because I no longer eat five pounds of pasta in one sitting.”  Sweetie, it was not gluten that was responsible for your girth…it was gluttony.

In all seriousness, Dukan’s diet works by resetting the dieter’s eating “thermostat”.  Fats contain more calories than protein.  Substituting protein for all fats causes a calorie deficit…less calories…less weight.

Fat contains 9 calories/gram and protein contains 4 calories/gram.  Substituting grams of protein for grams of fat will cut daily calorie intake by nearly 50%.  To make up for the loss of bulk, Dukan recommends making up the bulk difference by adding water-absorbent fiber.  Stick with the Dukan program through its early phases, and the body’s food “thermostat” resets to the new (lower) caloric intake level.


Here is what nearly all diet gurus omit from their “revolutionary” diet dictum:  The sensation of hunger is normal.

Read that again!

It entirely normal to be hungry.  It is abnormal to eat in response to that normal sensation.  This is the sum total of the wisdom I divulge in my $3,499 book(let).

You will not heed it.  You deny universal thermodynamics and human physiology because it just seems too simple.

The human body has amazing survival mechanisms.  As soon as the body senses a decrease in calorie intake, it does everything possible to conserve energy reserves.  This amazing mechanism is responsible for most dieters giving up on simply cutting back on food intake.  They lose a few pounds rapidly (as lost water) and then the needle on the bathroom scale seems glued in place.

“What’s the use” we say.  “Where’s that coupon for a free Whopper?”

It gets worse if we combine calorie restriction with exercise.

Not only does the bathroom scale seem frozen at a specific number, it actually begins to creep upward.  In a cruel twist of fate, this phenomenon occurs at exactly the same time most exercise programs hit a wall…six weeks.


Muscle tissue is more dense than fat.  The more (dense) muscle you add in equal proportion to fat lost, the more you weigh.  It also occurs because Valentine’s Day is precisely six weeks after most people make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight…sales of second-hand exercise equipment peaks at this time as the chocolate-starved struggle to feed their jones.

It is hardly fair.

I know.  None of this is stuff you wanted to read.  You wanted to be reassured that Dukan had hit on a no-pain sure fix for the catastrophe of the thighs of denim jeans spontaneously bursting into flames during the Iowa State Fair.

For those who skipped the boring stuff, I will repeat the take home message:  “For the Phyne Dyner’s proven weight-loss program, send him a cashier’s check in the amount of $3,499 for his soon to be best seller, Shut yer Pie Hole.”

And, do not forget to enclose the self-addressed, stamped envelope for shipping.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: