Life on the Uncle Sam Diet

The new dietary guidelines are a bit challenging. So one WebMD reporter lived the new diet to see if it's reality or absurdity.

By Paul Tatara
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic

Feb. 8, 2005 -- I have a confession to make -- I don't eat very well. I'm only about 8 or 9 pounds overweight, but my daily regimen too often consists of a round-robin of coffee, doughnut-like objects, sodas, chicken wings, burritos ... you name it.

Dinner is a sizeable portion of carefully prepared meat and some nice vegetables. Which I wash down with a Coke. Then I munch on whatever the snack cupboard holds until I go to sleep at night. The next morning I get up and start the process all over again. "Big wheel keep on turnin'," as Tina Turner used to say.

So now the government has come up with new daily nutritional guidelines, and WebMD has asked me to strictly follow them for four straight days. The mixed results surprised even me. Here's how it went:

Breakfast was a bit of a shock to my system, since a couple of apples, an orange, a bowl of high-grain cereal, and 1 1/2 cups of skim milk is about forty times more food than I'm used to ingesting straight out of bed. No pain, really, except for some bloating. But we'll get back to that. It occurred to me that I haven't had a glass of milk without a cookie or piece of cake to accompany it since Jimmy Walker was considered a big star.

I should also point out that here in Manhattan, you practically need underground connections to get your hands on a decent piece of fruit.

During the winter, it's even harder, so I did my part to keep the miniature Macintosh apple industry in business. Think golf balls with peels.