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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory

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TortitSavyon, May 17 - Trendy Israelis have begun to embrace a new regimen for controlling food intake, inspired by the discipline of a prominent Palestinian prisoner, that only reckons calories from food not eaten on the toilet, in the closet, slouching down in the car, or otherwise concealed from view.

The Barghouti Diet, as it has become known, is gaining popularity among those who keep up with the latest in culture and fashion, according to social commentators, and appeals to a growing segment of the population looking for a way to balance nutritional and fitness needs with the fact that dieting sucks. Its source is Fatah terrorist Marwan Barghouti, currently serving five life sentences for his involvement in attacks that killed Israelis during the Second Intifada, and who was filmed consuming snacks in the toilet stall of his cell after announcing a hunger strike on the op-ed page of The New York Times.

Local Nutritionist Ivana Binge has noted numerous new inquiries from clients in the last two weeks regarding the Barghouti Diet, asking whether the regimen can be tailored to their lives. "It started about a week and a half ago," she recalled. "My clients were buzzing with talk of this new trend, and it turns out the eat-all-the-junk-food-you-want-as-long-as-you-think-nobody-is-looking diet is the latest thing."

Binge noted that variations of the Barghouti diet have existed for centuries, but have been dismissed as diets by most researchers, who tend to insist on some semblance of discipline in order to warrant the term. New research, however, points to a parallel between the diet and the political hunger strike, in which a Palestinian prisoner is still referred to by the news media as conducting such a strike even after repeated and consistent eating.

"I have advised my clients to adopt it gradually, as I do with any new diet," offered Hertzeliya-Pittuach dietitian Heidi Snackbeiter. "It's not healthy to go full-bore right away. You have to ease into it week by week. For the first week, only chocolate-covered-wafers and some cookies are to be eaten in the toilet stall, but within a month, I'm counseling my clients to mix it up, perhaps gorging on a pint of Ben and Jerry's ice cream in a back stairwell at work, or shoveling an entire can of sour cream and onion Pringles down their gullets in the coat closet while trying to muffle the sound of the crunching by rustling a newspaper."

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