My tiny weight loss yesterday has galvanised me to try harder. A miserable two pounds can easily be attributed to normal fluctuations in weight. It’s entirely possible I haven’t really lost any weight at all in the last five weeks!
Quel disaster. After all that effort. So what’s to be done? Starvation is out. I’m not a believer in it and I don’t think it would work for me. Cutting calories back further won’t do it either. The normal way of dieting is to count and cut calories, keeping it low fat but high carb. I plan to do the very opposite of this. I plan to take the Keynesian approach.
Classical versus Keynesian
In classical economics, or neo-liberal, free-market economics, the model dictates that if an economy is floundering, as ours now is, you must cut workers’ wages. You must cut workers’ rights. You must cut benefits. You must cut cut cut. And that will stimulate the economy. How’s it going so far guys?
My all-time hero John Maynard Keynes said in a declining economy you should do the very opposite of this. You should spend. Or rather the government should spend. It can borrow money far more cheaply on the open markets than banks can. It should do so and spend this money to create jobs. That’s what Roosevelt did when he came to power in 1933 in America. He promised not to spend spend spend while campaigning. Then soon as he got into office he did the very opposite. Those really were the days. And happy days were here again.
Lessons of the 1930s
We didn’t learn this vital lesson until after the Second World War. And as a sidebar I really do urge you to see Ken Loach’s film The Spirit of ’45 about this. What happened in the 1930s in Britain as our economy declined thanks to unregulated bankers gambling with money they didn’t have (sound familiar?) is that millions of people were laid off. The government cut wages and it cut benefits. Much as it’s doing now.
The result? The economy got worse. The dogs in the street know that if you keep sucking money out of an economy, people won’t spend. They can’t spend. They either can’t afford to or they’re terrified of losing their jobs so they hoard whatever cash they have. And if people don’t spend, businesses go under. As is happening all around us.
The poor spend every penny they get. The rich do not. And before you say ah but the rich invest, yes they do. And how does investing in buy-to-let houses help the economy? Or buying shares in companies whose price goes up the more workers they fire? Truth is, if you want to save an economy, give more to the poor, take more from the rich. Our incredibly stupid government is doing the very opposite. Same as the British government did in the 30s. When a patient is dying, you don’t stab them to release more blood expecting this will revive them.
Keynes relevance to dieting
Keynes said pay people to dig holes in the road and then fill them in again. Their wages will be spent in shops and in local businesses. The economy will revive. Sooner or later, that’s what will happen. Has to happen. We can’t go on like this. It’s not working. I’m going to use the same philosophy with my diet. I won’t eat less. I won’t cut calories. I will in fact EAT MORE. But more of the right things and less of the wrong things.
I’ll have high-fat meals to fill me up quicker. I’ll have high-protein meals to keep me feeling full for longer. I’ll embrace Paleo eating far more completely. I’ll eat more fat to lose more weight. Don’t cut if you want to succeed. Do the very opposite. Just do it right and do it targeted.
Keynes I’m sure would approve. Have a great weekend.