I'm doing the Fatkins diet
By Stanley Bing

(FORTUNE Magazine) – Everywhere you go these days, people are doing two things: getting fatter and dieting. One can only conclude that the more one diets, the fatter one gets. Now we hear of a brand-new regimen that may break that tragic chain. And as a service to you, I'm testing it out.

It's called the Fatkins Diet--it's Atkins plus carbs. It uses the very best insight available to us in modern dietary science. It's easy to live with. And best of all, it works at least as well as any other diet I've ever been on, enabling the practitioner to lose a significant amount of avoirdupois and then, slowly and inexorably, gain it all back until one achieves the optimal weight to begin the diet all over again.

Step One: Self-Awareness. As with any sensible diet, we begin with an assessment of our situation. For men that means taking a look at what your neck size is and what notch of your belt gets the most action. If more of your neck is outside your collar than in, it's time to go Fatkins. Women may regard their shoe size. Do the tops of your insteps spill over onto the sides of your footwear? Fatkins.

Step Two: Hit the Meat Bar. The Atkins Diet, which kept Dr. Atkins lean and mean (presumably even still, now that he's dead), is based on simple nutritional concepts, and it really works. First, as anyone who has not been on a Russian farm eating nothing but potatoes knows, protein is good and carbohydrates are bad. Fruits and vegetables are bad--they're loaded with stinky carbs. Distilled beverages and big, greasy hunks of cholesterol-loaded meats, however, may be taken in any quantity, no matter how outlandish. That leads to some odd conclusions that nevertheless pay off big in weight loss immediately. A small glass of orange juice is your enemy, for instance; a gallon of vodka, gin, or scotch is your friend. This may produce interesting results behavior-wise, particularly in the morning.

An Atkins day might look something like this.

Breakfast: Six eggs, two pounds of bacon, one large glass of Stoli. Net carbs: 0 grams.

Lunch: 48-ounce T-bone, lettuce wedge, bleu-cheese dressing, two bottles of Bombay Sapphire, six Tic-Tacs. Net carbs: two grams (from the Tic-Tacs).

Dinner: Eight pounds of cheese, six lambchops, one bottle Glenfiddich, one cigar. Net carbs: 0 grams.

Late night snack: Two eggs over easy, one six-pound ham. Large martini. Net carbs: 0.5 grams (from the olive).

The next morning you wake up a couple of pounds lighter but with a strange feeling in your head. That's the problem with Atkins. After several weeks on the diet, in which you bore everybody in the world to big, heaving tears with descriptions of what you ate that day, you're slimmer and, at the same time, feel like killing yourself or somebody else, possibly not in that order.

Of course, as Atkins goes on, one may introduce certain vegetables and crustaceae, which were denied you in the early going, while you were fooling your body into eating itself from the inside in search of carbs. Spinach, for example. Shrimp with globs of mayo, also. Eat hearty! Just stay away from fruits and juices, and keep up the heavy consumption of alcohol, except beer, unless you can drink the stuff that looks like beer but tastes like Alka Seltzer.

Step Three: True Fatkins. You're now on the verge of a nervous breakdown. The sight of bacon and eggs makes you want to run screaming naked through the salad bar, grabbing handfuls of verboten vegetables as you go.

Now it's time to introduce the dimension that I believe, with due modesty, I might have invented--selective carbohydrates in massive doses, taken while standing when no one is looking. The idea is to interject certain dietary events between meals: short, intense eating activities done in private--in a virtually parallel universe of ingestive behavior. Assume the existence of all the meals we discuss above, and simply add the following:

Post-breakfast--Two Krispy Kreme doughnuts.


Post-lunch--One low-carb candy bar. These come in a variety of inedible flavors and consistencies. My favorite has the feel of fine, hardening creosote and the subtle taste of mud.


Evening snacks--More "candy" bars, nuts, and some kind of flatbread, peanut butter--but no jelly. Jelly is bad!

With, of course, all meals taken as before. You don't want to fall off Atkins.

I'm about four weeks into Fatkins, and by Labor Day my neck should be back to 17 inches, my belt shrinking around my proud, swelling midsection. Then it's off to the store for some suits in time for fall.

There is a great and majestic rhythm to life, is there not?

Stanley Bing is an executive at a FORTUNE 500 company he'd rather not name. He is the author of two recent books: The Big Bing, a collection of essays, and You Look Nice Today, a novel. He can be reached at stanleybing@aol.com.