Do and Diet #2: Carbs and the amazing

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    calorie-cutback

    Malibu Way of Life

    By Jody Stump

    In my last column, I embarked on a challenge: I would lose 10 pounds, 10 years and 10 inches in six weeks. Now at week two, I’m down 5 pounds, a visible year or two and 2 inches, accumulated in quarter-inch snippets across an expanse of human geography. I do look better and, as witness, friends have made the kind of remarks reserved for “I know she looks better, but I cannot imagine why.” They say, “Your hair is so becoming longer … or, lighter.” Or, “That color looks wonderful on you,” or, my favorite, “Wow! Your sex life must be great!”

    In truth, I backslid a bit on the personal improvement campaign I undertook. I slipped up more than once with a party here, a batch of cookies there. In fact, my new diet mantra is: party today, protein tomorrow, since I discovered that an occasional carb-loaded meal acts like a toggle switch when I hit a weight-loss plateau. It may bump a notch on the next morning’s scale but it triggers a measurable dip after a few protein-pure meals. Apparently, there is solid science behind this phenomenon as Cynthia Graff, CEO of Lindora, told me. They start patients with a three-day carb blowout that stimulates a big, drop-and motivational boost-during the first few days of the program.

    My trendiest friends assure me that the best-selling South Beach Diet employs this same trick of body chemistry to stimulate first few-week impressive weight loss results-and I would tell you its principles-but the book is sold out all over L.A. Dieting is big business in America (no pun), and no surprise, given that 28 percent of the population is classified as obese and a hefty 70 percent of us are at least 15 percent overweight. That scary statistic has created a $75 billion industry dedicated to getting Americans to trade dollars for pounds and inches.

    As a fat statistic, I am borderline, but I contribute to the U.S. government’s tally of ameliorative spending. Now I have found a Web-based ally that is free. Weight-loss gurus counsel their disciples to document every morsel ingested; calculate every calorie spent, but journaling is a chore that even the most committed slough after a day or two. Fitday.com makes it almost effortless and so rewarding that even slackers might do it. The site is intuitively simple. When you click on some basic like scrambled eggs, it is charted instantly as calories, carbs and vitamins. The feedback is a great way to begin behavioral adjustments in the way one eats. Also, on Fitday, I discovered the true trick of the Atkins Diet-it cuts calories.

    Years ago, I read in Vogue that a woman needs to eat 13 times her ideal weight in calories every day in order to stay there-any less, and she’ll lose. By that count, Fitday shows that I have significantly cut that which puts on pounds despite a bountiful breakfast of bacon and eggs and a delicious dinner of fish and copiously sauced vegetables. Even when I wrap up the day with a chocolate truffle and a glass of Merlot, I have consumed a mere 1,400 calories.

    Atkins is not for everyone, but, for me, it is a comfortable way of life and the losses are rewarding. One thing that keeps it simple is seafood. Last week, I had a party to throw-and the downside of my avocation threatened to blowup my backside-how could I feed multitudes without the benefit of cheap carbohydrates? My solution started with this modern, low-carb alternative to chips and dip:

    SEA FOAM

    (This easy party dip springs from the fertile imaginations of two great chefs -Marcella Hazan, “The Essentials of Italian Cooking,” and Malibu’s own Bibi Mays. Serve it with endive leaves as dippers or flour tortilla chips.)

    2, 7.1 ounce packages salmon

    1/4 cup fruity olive oil

    1/2 tsp. liquid smoke

    2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

    Sea salt and black pepper

    1 1/2 cup very cold heavy cream

    3 fresh oysters, minced to a paste (optional)

    1. Whip the first four ingredients until well blended. Season to taste.

    2. Whip the cream to stiff peaks and add oysters, if desired. Gently fold in the salmon mixture and chill at least two hours for the flavors to meld. It is delicious served with Nicoise olives.