Updated: July 25, 2013

The other day on the radio I heard about Friendly's new Grilled Cheese Burger Melt - a burger with two grilled cheese sandwiches as the "bun." I'm still getting over KFC's Double Down (two fried chicken filets as the "bun" filled with two pieces of bacon, two slices of cheese and the Colonel's Sauce) and BK's Quad Stacker (an actual bun this time, filled with quadruple-stacked layers of beef and cheese, topped with bacon and sauce). These extreme menu items are definitely a trend and web sites like This is Why You're Fat seem to celebrate excessive concoctions, like the Country Breakfast Wrap (scrambled eggs, pork sausage, potatoes and American cheese rolled up inside a buttermilk pancake topped with maple syrup) and the Canadian Calzone (French fries, cheese and brown gravy inside a deep fried calzone). Meanwhile a new report finds that obesity rates in American adults have risen in 28 states over the past year and the number of states where adult obesity rates exceed 30% of the population doubled (in one year), from four to eight. And at the same time extreme detoxes, cleanses and fasts like Master Cleanse are also the top weight loss trend. So what's going on? Why does everything seem to be so all or nothing? Friendly's Grilled Cheese Burger Melt clocks in at 1,500 calories, about what you need for the entire day (by the way a side of fries adds 330 and a vanilla Fribble 620). On the flip side, Master Cleanse (which Demi & Ashton are supposedly following now) is less than 1,000 calories a day. I don't think either of the above would feel good or be choices your body would make. I know that the word balance seems boring and may conjure up thoughts of ho-hum "sensible" meals, but with my clients I often use the analogy of temperature to talk about balance (something most of us can really relate to now with this summer's extreme weather). Your body doesn't like to feel too hot or too cold. Both extremes result in physical signs and symptoms designed to warn you that you don't feel good (like sweating and flushing, or shivering and teeth chattering). Being out of balance with many things just doesn't feel right, including sleep and even exercise. In my experience letting go of flip-flopping between the extremes of undereating and overindulging is the best way to not only manage your weight, but also feel great. It really is (literally) having your cake and eating it too! How do you feel about the extreme trends? Please share your thoughts! P.S. I don't eat French fries very often, but when I really crave them, I eat them - "in balance." The ones in this photo were particularly good - hand cut potatoes fried in real oil (no fake trans fat stuff). One Saturday I split an order with my hubby (who has lost over 50 lbs and kept it off and still eats foods like fries sometimes) along with a salad topped with grilled tofu. We spent the rest of the day walking around the Lower East Side. Not only did I feel great, I didn't gain an ounce!



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