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The Rubber Bag



What a piece of work is man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals!

--Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act II, Scene II  

Man is but a bubble, or bladder of the water.

--Desiderius Erasmus, Adagia (1508)  

The truth, I suspect, lies somewhere between these extremes. Nonetheless, when it comes to gaining and losing weight, the human body is remarkably akin to a rubber bag. Fad diets and gimmick nutritional plans obscure this simple yet essential fact of weight control: if you eat more calories than you burn, you gain weight; if you eat fewer calories than you burn, you lose weight.

Here's your body, reduced to a rubber bag.

By John Walker