And For Dessert, Maalox With A Pepto Chaser

February 23, 2015

How far would you go to prove a point? My knee-jerk response—and maybe yours, too—is, “As far as I need to.” After all, right is right. Right? And if you have to prove it educate along the way, so be it.

But let’s think about this. Rationally.

Suppose you believe fat people are fat because they eat too much and move too little. Sounds logical, right? Simple math.

Is it so logical and so simple you’d be willing to gain 43 pounds over the course of three months then attempt lose that weight over the next three months to prove your point?

Me neither.

But that’s what British TV personality Katie Hopkins did. Katie believes fat people are bankrupting the British healthcare system, and that any talk of genetics or endocrine issues is rubbish; they just need to eat less and move more. Period. And to prove it, she would intentionally gain weight and then lose it.

Hmm. Intriguing premise. Not the politics, or the losing-weight part—the idea of eating whatever I want. I began salivating at the thought, images of cartoon gumdrops and giant carnival suckers and drippy ice cream sandwiches floating through my head like a Candyland game.

Well, it was intriguing. Until I tallied the numbers. Quicker than you can say, “No thanks, I’m full,” the premise went from intriguing to plain nauseating.

Katie began her journey consuming 5000 calories a day. Poor baby—she couldn’t gain weight so she began “circuit eating” with a trainer, who bumped her calories up to 6500 a day.

6500 calories. A day. She averaged 400 calories an hour, 16 hours a day.

It wasn’t just hearing the daily calorie requirement that got me—it was the calorie count in context. I went on and put together a daily menu totalling close to 6500 calories. I can’t even say, “Here’s how the meals look” because there are no meals—just nonstop eating. So here’s how the day looks:

Breakfast: IHOP Belgian waffle with syrup

Eggs Benedict

Midmorning: 2 cups of Cap’n Crunch Cinnamon Roll Crunch

Lunch: 2 Big Macs

Medium fries


Afternoon: 2 slices sausage pizza

Dinner: Large Panera macaroni and cheese

Caeser salad

Chocolate chip cookie

Dessert: Slice of German chocolate cake

Midnight Snack: 1 cup of Baskin-Robbins Pralines n’ Cream ice cream

Now, eat that every day for three months. I’m salivating again, but this time it’s that weird behind-the-ears salivating, like just before you’re sick.

But Katie did it. And she proved her point about calories in/calories out by turning around and losing the weight in three months—except for 11 pounds because her family thought she’d been too thin.

This certainly wasn’t a controlled experiment; just one person’s way of proving her point, of putting her—ahem—money where her mouth was. And for that, I admire Katie’s moxie.

Maybe not her cholesterol reading, but her moxie.


  1. Kate Crimmins

    Couldn’t do it myself. Way too much food. I’d be barfing too. Then there is all that skin that never quite goes back….

  2. Linda Tharp

    I agree. It sounded like a dream come true at first, then the more I thought about it, the queasier I became. Kudos to Katies, though!

  3. ninamishkin

    Actually, she didn’t quite prove her point. Weight gained quickly and recently, as hers was, comes off quite quickly and fairly easily. Weight that’s settled in on the body for the long haul and permanently altered the metabolism becomes entrenched. After the early water-weight loss, it’s hard to lose — and the effort becomes discouraging. What’s more, the people who “are bankrupting the British healthcare system” aren’t mainly the ones “only” 33 pounds too heavy; it’s the ones who have 60, 70, 100, 200 and even 300 pounds to lose, and for them it must seem a heartbreaking slog through the next three or four years of strictly regimented spartan eating, especially when it’s so hard for them to move and burn up some calories. For such people, gastric bypass seems to work better. However, it must have been great for Katie Hopkins’s BBC career — did they follow her with a camera as she ate garbage to the throw-up point? — if she didn’t mind what she was doing to her arteries and her digestive tract.

  4. Linda Tharp

    I agree it’s not the 33-pounds-over people draining any healthcare system. And to conduct a valid experiment rather than a titillating documentary, she needed to go for the long haul and gain much, much more weight. But at least she attempted to prove her point, and whether or not she succeeded is a matter of opinion. That’s more than I’d be willing to do.


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