Here’s a new one: Recipes make you fat.

Did you know recipes make you fat? Well, according to Dr John Tickell, at least:

Dr John Tickell – the nutrition and longevity expert that appeared on the TV show Celebrity Overhaul – reckons slavishly following recipes makes Australians fat.

“Take a look at people who are into recipes and they are either large or too thin. The more recipes people get involved with, the harder it is for them to lose weight,” says the author of The Great Australian Diet.

Umm, right. Why do I think this is somehow a gimmick to get people to buy his Great Australian Diet book? So they can learn how NOT to use a book to eat.

With the myriad of glossy foodie magazines in the newsagents, TV chefs like Nigella imploring us to lick our saucy fingers and cookbooks hitting the best-selling lists faster than Britney descending into celebrity hell, it’s fair to say food has become a kind of weird new pornography.

Ah yes. Clearly that fat, evil bitch, Nigella, who crams fatty, luxurious foods down out throats is to blame for the fatties. She’s tempting us with recipes (with a large side serve of sensuality). And tells us to be guilt free. That’s a sure sign that she’s the antichrist.

Dr Tickell – a former professional footballer and longevity and nutrition expert – says the healthiest people in the world do not rely on cookbooks or recipes and Australians would do well to copy them.

This is a nutrition expert who recommends what looks to be an extremely low-cal diet to people doing strenuous physical activity, e.g. Days 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7 of The Great Australian Diet. I get the feeling that you will have eaten so much Minestrone Soup by the end of the week you will not be able to look at another bowl of it ever again. Perhaps that is the diet’s secret? And is not Minestrone Soup a dish prepared using a (quelle horror!) recipe?

“Go to an Asian or Mediterranean village where people live forever and you won’t see a cookbook. Who needs a recipe to stir fry some vegies or grill a piece of fish?” he says. “The best food in the world needs little preparation. The more time people spend thinking about food, talking about food, reading about food and preparing food – these people are either too big (usually) or frightfully thin.”

Firstly, can you tell me who slavishly follows recipes, anyway? Where I come from, recipes are the step off point for creativity. And yes, sometimes it’s nice to get ideas for a new kind of fish dish. I don’t want to eat every single piece of fish I eat grilled. What about a nice marinade or sauce? Why not bake or steam or fry the fish?

Secondly, perhaps in Asian or Mediterranean villages, people don’t use recipe books. I don’t know how to verify that except by doing an extensive study of Asian and Mediterranean households and checking under beds for recipe books. But I am certain Asian and Mediterranean cooks use recipes, handed down from parent to child and either memorised or jotted down in a notebook. Does Dr Tickell really want us to believe that one recipe books in any Asian or Mediterraen kitchen? For a cook to make a Penang Curry, they have to have a recipe either in their head or elsewhere – or it wouldn’t exist as a replicatable dish. Same with Taramasalata. Or Pasta Marinara. Dr Tickell hasn’t really thought this through, has he?

Thirdly, you just can’t win with this guy, can you. People who spend time obessing about food (i.e. “thinking about food, talking about food, reading about food and preparing food”) are “either too big (usually) or frightfully thin.”

So remember kids, obsess over food just enough to lose weight, but not too much weight. And you can clearly do this by not looking using (shudder) RECIPES!

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22 Responses to “Here’s a new one: Recipes make you fat.”


  1. 1 Bri Tuesday, 12 February 2008 at 4:05 pm

    Geez, that man is a moron…

  2. 2 La di Da Tuesday, 12 February 2008 at 4:19 pm

    Hahahahahahahahahahaha. Publicity whore much, Tickell? Not selling enough diet shakes, eh mate?

    Well, at least the comments are appropriately cynical about that wanker, even if they do blame fast food and sitting on the couch for the entire existence of fat people.

  3. 3 AnnieMcPhee Tuesday, 12 February 2008 at 5:35 pm

    Hm. Why is it that so many of these diets have days or weeks of “detox”? What exactly am I “detox”ing from? Was the food I ate before “tox”? What IS that about?

    And what’s with the damn bowls of nuts? I can’t chew nuts; I don’t even have upper teeth.

    I also physically couldn’t do any of the exercises he mentions. I can’t run, I can’t do “high-impact” anything, I certainly can’t do squats or lunges. I guess I’m not only an evil fatty, I’m a *doomed* evil fatty.

    Recipes are springboards. What a dope he is.

  4. 4 AnnieMcPhee Tuesday, 12 February 2008 at 5:37 pm

    I take it back, I can do one of the exercises – fishing. Fishing is an exercise? That’s a brand new one on me.

  5. 5 Wogglebug Tuesday, 12 February 2008 at 6:16 pm

    Sounds to me like he’s in the pay of the restaurant industry.

  6. 6 vesta44 Tuesday, 12 February 2008 at 8:23 pm

    Does that mean if I have the recipe in my head and not written down anywhere, it’s not fattening and that it’s good for me? I mean, most of the time, when I cook, I don’t use a recipe from a book. And my grandmother’s peanut butter cookie recipe isn’t written down anywhere either so that also must be good for us and not fattening, right? This guy must not ever cook anything himself, or he relies on tv dinners and pre-packaged ready foods that all he has to do is nuke them. Yeah, that’s the way to go, folks, none of that uses a recipe. What a moron.

  7. 7 vesta44 Tuesday, 12 February 2008 at 8:27 pm

    Oh yeah, Tickell is the guy who bitched about having to pay extra for his golf clubs on a flight, and got pissed because the fat passenger ahead of him didn’t have to pay extra for his added fat. I thought that name looked familiar. No credibility, dude, none, nada, zip, zilch, zero.

  8. 8 Fatadelic Tuesday, 12 February 2008 at 11:38 pm

    Bri:
    He’s a twat, isn’t he.

    La di Da:
    That’s something, at least.

    AnnieMcPhee:
    I don’t know what the whole detox thing is either. The only thing I’ve been able to figure out, its people who binge drink or use recreational drugs and try and convince themselves they are ‘healthy’ because they exercise some sort of control over their food intake. Like, eesh. Whatever.

    Wogglebug:
    Not sure about that. I think he’s just convinced that if we steam everything and/or eat nothing but his (non-recipe) minestrone soup (which, incidently Santiarium have canned and are marketing!!) no-one would be fat. I personally think he just wants to generate book sales, speaking engagement and diet club memberships.

    Vesta:
    Yep, that’s him alright. He’s a real publicity hound and a real fat hater.

  9. 9 adlawrence Tuesday, 12 February 2008 at 11:45 pm

    Okay I am a little confused here. What exactly is NOT a recipe? I sure can’t think of one. Written down or not, it seems creating something that would be exempt from this title, one would have to grab, blindly at the items in an unfamiliar kitchen, heat them in some way and then toss them on a plate…. What is this guy talking about??

  10. 10 Marste Wednesday, 13 February 2008 at 12:04 am

    Um, what about the French? Low heart disease, low cholesterol, blah, blah, blah – but I GUARANTEE you need some sort of a recipe, either in your head or in a book, to fix many French foods. Hollandaise sauce, anyone? Vegetables en croute? Potatoes au gratin (or any other kind of gratinee)? Oooooookay then. But I notice he leaves the French out of his (short) list of “good” diets: can’t have their statistics messing up his opinions!

    And since everyone else already said it so well, I won’t even get into whether or not recipes in your head count as “recipes.”

    What a tool.

  11. 11 BigLiberty Wednesday, 13 February 2008 at 12:12 am

    Annie:

    The “detox” thing comes from some hocus-pocusy notions derived from how fasting “cleanses” the body, both physically and spiritually. It’s used in diet programs as a less harsh synonym for semi-to-outright starvation.

    From what I recall, it takes three days to get your body to start living on itself, right? I mean, three days of semi-starvation after a long span of normal eating. But that might be wildly inaccurate. I think, however, it’s safe to say that detox means “getting your body to a point where it starts living off itself.”

    I know, it’s pretty sick. Sigh.

  12. 12 KarenElhyam Wednesday, 13 February 2008 at 12:23 am

    The people in “Asian and Mediterranean villages” live FOREVER? Really? Holy crap, I better buy me some plane tickets (or two, you know, for my fat ass) and move there, they’ve clearly discovered the fountain of youth…

    …oh wait. What’s that you say? Even those people eventually DIE? Well, shit. I guess I’m just stuck being mortal then, huh?

  13. 13 Fatadelic Wednesday, 13 February 2008 at 12:35 am

    Marste:

    Um, what about the French?

    KarenElhyam:

    The people in “Asian and Mediterranean villages” live FOREVER?

    Yeah, he does an awful lot of generalising. Asian cuisine varies dramatically from Indian food, Japanese, Chinese, Indonesian – and varies wildy according to variety, method of cooking, use of fat. And by Mediterranean he seems to mean Greek seafood or something. Forget French, Spanish, Italian or anything else.

    Big Liberty:

    From what I recall, it takes three days to get your body to start living on itself, right? I mean, three days of semi-starvation after a long span of normal eating. But that might be wildly inaccurate. I think, however, it’s safe to say that detox means “getting your body to a point where it starts living off itself.”

    Good point.

  14. 14 hotsauce Wednesday, 13 February 2008 at 1:02 am

    GAH, quit trying to compete with THINspeak. i can see clearly enough through your clever taking of creative license to know satire when i see it. i’m right, right?

  15. 15 Godless Heathen Wednesday, 13 February 2008 at 1:07 am

    And here I thought the reason we were all fat was because we’re all to stupid to know how to cook so we have to rely on fast food. Now I see that the mere knowledge of how to prepare food is what’s preventing us from being acceptably thin (but not too thin!) This is the very definition of a now-win mindset.

  16. 16 Godless Heathen Wednesday, 13 February 2008 at 1:08 am

    Goodness gracious, “a no-win mindset” even.

  17. 17 bookwyrm Wednesday, 13 February 2008 at 2:04 am

    Books are fattening because you have to sit down to read them. See, skinny people don’t read.

    And a recipe is simply instructions on how to prepare food. Following instructions makes you fat, because fat people watch commercials that tell them to buy food and they do. And they are told to lose weight and end up regaining the loss +10%. Skinny people don’t do what people tell them to do.

    /sarcasm

    But seriously, by the end of that week you won’t have had a BM, but your urine will smell like minestrone. And how do you know that no doctor in their right mind would suggest this plan to anyone? High impact exercise. High impact exercise damages your joints by definition.

  18. 18 Mike Wednesday, 13 February 2008 at 2:10 am

    *blinks* Seriously, did you make this guy up?

  19. 19 JeanC Wednesday, 13 February 2008 at 4:24 am

    But he also says many people who are really into recipes are too thin:

    “Take a look at people who are into recipes and they are either large or too thin.”

    So does this mean you can get skinny getting into recipes? If getting into recipes makes you fat, then those too thin people can’t be thin, they must be fat. He needs to make up his mind.

    This guy is an idiot.

  20. 20 James Nealon Wednesday, 20 February 2008 at 2:14 am

    Well Dear, it takes all kinds of people to run the planet as me mother would say to me when I would mouth off about a bigot or the like.

    Then again…

    Do we really want a person who honestly believes the stupidity coming from his mouth to be a part of a ruling system.

    I vote no.


  1. 1 Top Posts « WordPress.com Trackback on Wednesday, 13 February 2008 at 10:01 am
  2. 2 The Recipe Rebellion « Set & Link Trackback on Wednesday, 13 February 2008 at 1:46 pm

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