In our media-obsessed culture, the emphasis on having a trim figure is constant and overwhelming. Almost all of us have been frustrated, at some point, by not being able to achieve the perfect (or, let’s face it, just slightly improved) body, but nobody remains more stubbornly committed to winnowing away those extra pounds than Luke “LB” Burbank. Christy and Ann are ready to do a run-down of many (but certainly not all!) of the fad diets, kooky nutrition ideas, and far-out strategies he’s employed over the years in an effort to build his beef castle. From extreme calorie restriction, to cheeseburgers and booze-ahol, to part-time veganism, he’s willing to try just about anything, although his enthusiasm usually outpaces his preparation. Along the way, we remind ourselves that it’s a “cheat meal,” not a “cheat day,” get annoyed by Bridget Jones’s Diary, and wonder exactly what Luke was doing with those pickles.
If you’re interested in reading about the truth of dieting, why it doesn’t actually work, and what you can realistically do to be happy with your body, here’s the book Ann mentioned: Secrets from the Eating Lab, by Traci Mann, PH.D.
This show contains clips from the following TBTL episodes: 11/12/2013 (This American Life, things not to talk about); 10/7/2009 (South Beach, turkey pickle coffee diet); 1/4/2010 (Paleo, cave people, Cross-fit, Susan Powter); 11/8/2010 (junk food diet, missing the point); 3/28/2011 (900 calories per day, no follow-through, Jen is not Luke’s mom); 3/22/2012 (Frank Bruni, gout, slow carb); 1/2/2013 (juice diet, Breville juicer, juice bar employee, wearing a suit); 1/15/2016 (Mark Bittman, VB6, veganism); 2/22/2008 (Mr Show, hundreds of pounds).