Originally created 06/14/05

The Sitcom Diet



Might the latest weight-loss fad be the Sitcom Diet?

It's no laughing matter that laughing can help you lose weight. And it certainly beats running, cycling or pumping iron as a way to slim down.

According to Reuters, a scientific study by Tennessee's Vanderbilt University Medical Center reports that laughing out loud for 10 to 15 minutes a day burns up to 40 calories, about what's in a small piece of chocolate, depending on one's body weight.

This comes to about 4.4 pounds a year if done every day, the scientist who led the Vanderbilt study told an obesity conference in Athens, Greece, this week.

Laughter also produces energy, said Dr. Maciej Buchowski, and is great medicine because it makes people feel good. No joke.

Too bad science can't put laughter in a pill and bottle it. In lieu of that, however, the next best thing is to find something to make one laugh out loud for a quarter of an hour every day - hence the Sitcom Diet.

But doesn't that beg the question: What sitcom is so funny it can make one laugh that long that often? There are few sitcoms capable of making a person laugh 10 or 15 seconds, much less 10 or 15 minutes.

So how about tickling? Tickling can make an individual laugh out loud indefinitely. Find a good tickler, and you could lose 10 to 15 pounds or more a year, if you can stand it.

On second thought, maybe running, cycling and pumping iron is the best way to burn calories after all.