Home Diet Plan Long Island town told to go on a diet — but residents say 'fat chance' – New York Post

Long Island town told to go on a diet — but residents say 'fat chance' – New York Post

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Uncle Sam wants you to lose weight.

Lawmakers in the Long Island town of Huntington rolled out a shocking new initiative on Wednesday to combat citizen’s weight gain during the coronavirus lockdown. Officials insist the voluntary program will help Huntington residents stay fit and sane throughout quarantine.

But the very suggestion that they should start working on their post-lockdown beach body went over about as well as you’d expect with residents like Joanne Meyers.

The Huntington native calls the town-wide diet “ridiculous.” The 52-year-old paralegal adds that she didn’t quite believe that the government would try to institute a fat camp.

“I thought, ‘It’s not a gimmick? It’s real?’ ”

Town officials say yes, the recommendations are real — but they deny the new program is anything like a fat camp.

“We’re not limiting anyone’s soft-drink size,” Legislator William Spencer tells The Post, calling to mind the triggering New York City soda ban.

Spencer says he gained about 10 pounds himself since entering quarantine, and as a physician, he worries about the connection between COVID-19 and weight.

“One of the trends that we saw among the people who were being intubated and having trouble recovering were comorbidities like diabetes, asthma and obesity,” says Spencer, the chair of the local Legislature’s Health Committee and the chief of otolaryngology at Huntington Hospital.

He adds that Suffolk County has been a hotspot for COVID-19, and the area has 35,275 confirmed cases.

Spencer tapped his colleague Dr. David Buchin, who heads up bariatric surgery at the hospital, to put together a diet plan to rein in snacking in Huntington.

But Meyers isn’t biting. “My weight loss is my own business,” she says, although she cops to gaining the so-called “Quarantine 15.”

“I’m working from home, and it’s getting ridiculous,” says Meyers, who set up an office in her kitchen and says it’s led to unwanted mini-meals. “My clothes don’t fit anymore. I’ve been wearing sweatpants and yoga pants, and it’s not cute.”

Meyers decided about a week ago to take up the low carb, high-fat keto diet — “It’s worked for me in the past,” she says — but adds that part of her weight gain is due to the “stressed and depressed times,” brought about by the pandemic. “Food can be very comforting,” she says.

Buchin hopes to cover stress-eating in his Facebook Live events, which start on May 11. There, people like Meyers will be able ask questions about shedding pounds in real time.

“I’ll be giving advice on how to control emotional eating and how to avoid comfort foods and high carbohydrate-rich foods,” says Buchin in a press conference on Wednesday enlisting locals for “the fight against the battle of the bulge.”

Bunchin will also be offering virtual counseling and nutritional advice — including healthy grocery lists — through his website where clients can sign up to track their diet progress, too. Free exercise classes on Zoom through Intelligent Fitness, of East Northport, and Blue Lotus Center for Yoga and the Arts, of Huntington, will also be available to Huntington residents.

Spencer says he’s even working to get gym equipment delivered to constituents.

“There are some gym owners who are saying, ‘If you want to maintain your membership, I’ll deliver an elliptical to your house and I can coach you via Zoom,’ ” says Spencer, who’s quick to deny that the healthy lifestyle guide is a mandate. “I’ve had a few people who have called up asking if the town is putting us on a diet, but I explain to them it’s just resources.”

He won’t be intercepting any pizza deliveries, either. “Food provides comfort, and I don’t want to take that away from people.”

Meyers plans to stick to grilled chicken, salmon, and spinach omelettes to get her body back in fighting shape, and thinks politicians should stick to bigger issues than ballooning waistlines.

“I would think there are better or more important things they should be doing,” she says.

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