I Lost 50 lbs. by Eating Cardboard, & You Can Too!*

* Results not typical
I know that this may come as a shock to some, but those prepackaged, Lean Cuisine®-Nutrisystem®-Jenny Craig®-style meals are not food. They’re simply not meant for human consumption. Lean Cuisine® is hardly cuisine in any traditional sense of the word, Nutrisystem® has a negligible number of natural nutrients, and I’m willing to bet that Jenny Craig’s curriculum vitae doesn’t contain any kind of culinary career.
Each cellophane-film-covered plastic tray contains a chemically-enhanced food-like product (and maybe a few extra hyphens). The colorful photo on the box fools us into thinking that the contents are appealing (and only 300 calories!), but once we open that box, we’re dealt the harsh hand of reality, and we find that it’s full of jokers.
Advertisements for these “foods” feature B-list celebrity endorsers standing in front of the camera and striking three-quarter poses in their new Vogue-worthy bodies. They sneer at their ghastly “before” photos snapped by sneaky paparazzi, and treat their old selves with the same disdain reserved for the fat girl in gym class. They wordlessly admit that they’ve given into the shame of being caught fat in public. And damn, if they aren’t going to do something about it! [Enter cape-wearing diet program.]
These celebrities stand there claiming they lost weight by eating delicious treats like pizza and chocolate! OMG! But that sounds crazy, because we all know that pizza and chocolate aren’t diet foods. Duh! ... But wait! Sometimes they are! And if Kirstie Alley and Marie Osmond can drop 50 pounds indulging in such “treats,” then you can too! (Be sure to note the “Results not typical” message in tiny print at the bottom of EVERY one of these ads: Go on and check … I’ll wait.)

Have you ever tried frozen diet pizza? (Choking down a microwaved frozen diet pizza in a cubicle is a sure-fire way to kick off an existential crisis in anyone.) Have you peeled off the cellophane and folded the box over to reveal the advanced science of a crisping tray? Have you stuck it in the microwave, all the while talking yourself into how it’s really not that bad, and you wouldn’t SO rather have the giant carne asada burrito from that delicious Mexican take-out place that your co-worker is devouring (BTW -- she's devouring the burrito, not the place)? Have you bitten into said pizza, burning the roof of your mouth and adding more misery to an already miserable meal? Oh you have? Well, then you most assuredly know that these “pizzas” taste like they smeared a dab of Prego sauce on a slice of cardboard and dusted on a pinch of waxy cheese product. In fact, the box could even double as seconds!
You might as well be eating this:

In other words, it’s delicious!
Look – it even has stuffed crust!

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