Can Poverty Make You Thin? Yes! But Not Unless You Follow Our Rules...

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A new and obvious story out of the U.K. today warns us that "just running errands and cleaning the house and going about your business as usual" is NOT enough to make you thin. But another story in the Times indicates that the whole errands/living everyday life thing is totally making people thin in Cuba! The difference reminded me of a little something the great writer Jeff Johnson let me in on a few years back called the "South of South Beach Diet." Put simply, if you are poor enough, you can lose weight effortlessly! As someone who has spent a lot of time being poor, I can vouch that it totally works as a weight-loss strategy, not that you will have any big Fashion Week galas at which to show off your new physique because you'll be too poor for that. How do you know if you're poor enough? Well, in Cuba the average caloric intake is 1,863 calories a day. Yours can be too, without even noticing/caring! A simple guide.


Signs your poverty could be making you thin:
1. You don't have enough money for beer that isn't watered-down. Unless it's Olde English, but that's totally like a meal.
2. You don't have enough money for public transportation. Bonus points if you live in Harlem.
3. You don't have enough money for Swiffer refills — duh — and are thereby forced to mop. This burns 75% more calories! It's been scientifically extracted from my ass!
4. You don't have enough money for food other than eggs, English muffins, onions, the odd Snickers bar. And you have to go to five different stores to use the right coupons. Calories, and your appetite will be a distant memory within five days of this.
5. You have to check out books from the library. And then remember to return them. Twice the calories burnt!
6. You are so isolated and despondent re the poverty thing that sometimes you just cry for an hour or two about the hopelessness of it all. Crying = totes burns calories!
7. You have to fucking get a job already. Seriously, there will be plenty of time when China is the world's superpower for us all to get thin. Ask them; it gets old.

No Pain, No Gain [Guardian]
Nutrition: An Upside To Hard Times [New York Times]



At 19 I went to study abroad for 3 months in Vienna, Austria and lost about 35 lbs. When I came back I was thrilled but I'm one of those people that gets told to eat a sandwich at 145 lbs (I'm kinda tall), so my family asked if I was sick and my little brother angrily asked if I had become a drug addict. At first the cafeteria kept closing before I could get there, my last class ended and gave me like 5 minutes to get over there and I rarely made it. I'd go back to the apartment and have a bunch of super sugary coke and a snickers bar for dinner. Eventually I totally ran out of money and just stopped eating. Real hunger...hurts. A lot. But I could buy really small pants when I got back to the USA and I thought it awesome as hell.