The Very Best Diet, Part I

You have probably read by now that our country has been getting dramatically more obese for twenty years now. Most people I know seem to want to lose weight and be more lean and fit. Diets, though, are famous for non-lasting results and nasty backlash effects.

My philosophy of the diamond-cut life naturally has a different take on weight loss and dieting than the mainstream culture does. (I’m not making any money on any of this after all, which can help with objectivity.) The little-publicized fact is that our body-weight is rising in conjunction with the miles we drive in our cars and the hours we spend in them. Incidentally our carbon emissions are on the same upward trajectory.

Think about it. Sit in a car more, gain more weight. Use your body to get yourself around, lose weight. Too simple, huh.

My conclusion: it is the car-use that needs the diet, not the well-meaning person. (You may think the car is well-meaning, but I like to give people the benefit of the doubt over inanimate objects).

photo by Jill Greenseth

photo by Jill Greenseth

Here is the very best diet I know. I would call it the Low-Car Diet except that my nice pals at the car-share company Zipcar already use that name for their fun summer program.) I subscribe to the diet below and am often asked how I stay so slim. (I don’t talk much about the time back in college when I got really fat, it’s too embarrassing.)

  • Use stairs instead of elevators and escalators
  • Bicycle for trips and errands of five miles and less
  • Walk for trips and errands of up to two miles
  • Use transit whenever possible (entails more walking than cars)
  • Pick a church or other steady destination that’s within walking distance
  • Use the car only when nothing else will work for the purpose at hand

Next week I’ll write about the other very best diet I know. It’s almost as fun and carbon-reducing as this one!

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4 Responses to “The Very Best Diet, Part I”


  1. 1 Crafty Green Poet April 16, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    you’re so very right, our love affair with cars has got to stop for so many reasons. I walk or take the bus or train everywhere (shamefully I can’t ride a bike!).

    Interesting blog you’ve got here. I found it via Best Green Blogs, which listed my blog too recently.

  2. 2 matt April 17, 2008 at 4:37 am

    You’re so right! I’d add:
    Pick a parking spot far enough from your destination to get a short walk in (assuming safety and good weather).

    Interesting that (anecdotally) it seems that weight is gained when teenagers get into the car-driving/riding range. And then there is the college weight-gain stereotype.

    Getting out of the car as much as possible is certainly good advice!


  1. 1 The Very Best Diet, Part II « Diamond-Cut Life Trackback on April 19, 2008 at 2:29 am
  2. 2 Sustainability Round-Up « Diamond-Cut Life Trackback on April 19, 2008 at 8:12 pm
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