Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Reading romance novels aid weight loss?

I don't know where I read this, but I wonder if it's true. Can reading romance novels help keep you slim? And if so, how does this concept work?

The only thing I can think of that makes any sense, is that reading romance novels can give the reader a sense of well being. The Happy Ever After ending is the normal prerequisite in this type of novel, so consequently, this might make the reader feel more content with life which in turn stops them dipping into the biscuit barrel.

On the other hand, I suppose the reverse could happen. What if a woman is married to a couch potato who belches, scratches his balls and refuses to get off his backside as she serves him hand, foot and finger. What if the lady in question reads of this fantastic, have-a-go hero with rippling muscles and a well toned torso who f***s like a dynamo. She glances at the couch potato, realising she's spent her best years with a man who cares very little for her.

Does she do a * Shirley Valentine and go searching for her own hero or settle for what she's got, pull out a packet or two of potato chips, a box of chocolates, a bottle of Strongbow cider and join her Mr. Couch Potato [ala Wayne and Waynetta]?

I plan to give the * Romance Reader Diet a go. I intend to read as many romances as I can lay my sticky little fingers on over the next couple of weeks and I'll let you know if I end up like Waynetta Slob or Winona Riding.

Watch this space...


Edward Yates said...

Hey Lynnette,

Your theory of being happy while reading romance influencing eating habits is certainly plausible. Within the media people are constantly being told that 'people eat compulsively because they are unhappy'. I suppose the fact that a person is also occupied with something that they enjoy doing could also influence their eating patterns.

The skeptic within me though says it is about total calories consumed vs activity throughout day.

The Western diet is very calorie rich, whether it is chips or burgers or even meat and three veg. And also contains a lot of fine sugars in the form of processed carbohydrates, found in bread, white rice and chips.

I'm picking on the chips here. :P

You do need carbohydrates for muscle building and energy, but most of us simply do not do enough activity, so those carbs become sugar and go straight to be stored as fat.

This is why the Atkins diet works unfortunately. I say unfortunately as it is often carried to the extreme and I am not so convinced that red meat is that good for you, especially in the way that the Atkins diet uses it. As some studies suggest meat breaks down in the intestines becomes toxic and carcinogenic. Not good for people like me who have a history of bowel cancer in the family. But the idea behind Atkins is that you feel full from fat free protein (meat cooked to remove fat - baked in foil or grilled) so do not eat as much. In principle it works.

A number of women I know have used the Atkins diet to drop a number of sizes, usually from 16-14 down to 10 or 12 (don't know about UK sizing). Another friend has used the cavegirl diet - 200 grams of protein and large amounts of salad only. Some fruit for breakfast. Nuts and dried fruit for afternoon blood sugar. With good success.

I guess the thing is regardless a person usually has to change something to lose weight. I think sometimes the desire for change of body signifies a desire for greater change in a person's life. Whether it is job, place in the world or relationships with people around them.

Having said all that I think the Romance diet sounds fun! Nothing better than curling up with a good book.

best wishes

Lynette said...

Ed, you should have been a psychologist! You make so much sense. I think I am heading for a bit of change. I got my hair cut last week. I always change my hair when I want to change my life.

I'm reading a great book at the moment: "Count to Ten", it's written by Karen Rose. There is a thread of romance going on in the book, but it's mostly to do with a serial arsonist. It's more crime fiction than romance I would say, although Karen Rose is described as a romance author.

Catch you later!


Edward Yates said...

"Count to Ten" sounds fun. I think I've seen that advertised somewhere recently... Also aren't many romance writers (and others) combining genres now? Like you do?

I don't know about being a psych... I'm some sort of anthropologist/sociologist/historian first. I suppose some of the research work I did with Cambodian people had a therapeutic dimension, but...

Oh and I like the picture of Winona - my favorite hollywood badgirl and thief.

Apparently Johnny Depp had a tat saying "Winona Forever", then when they broke up he had it reworked to "Wino Forever"...

Hope you are good.

lacey kaye said...

OK, this made me laugh out loud. Tell me when you start looking like Winona. I might have to join you!