Food Negation Theory

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I have a theory. If you make spaghetti cacio e peppe for dinner, inspired by “Lidia’s Italy” on PBS–a dish of what is, essentially, spaghetti, pecorino cheese and pepper–you can undo whatever nutritional damage this does to your physique and/or health by eating a tub of green beans at the same time, as illustrated by the picture above.

This theory, which I’ll call Food Negation Theory, also applies to entire meals eaten in succession. For example, if you eat a braised pork belly for dinner on Tuesday night, you can undo its effects by eating sushi for lunch the next day. The sushi effectively negates the pork: this is Food Negation Theory.

I’ve yet to expose this theory to the rigor of full scientific exploration, but I am confident that my own personal application of this theory–an application that occurs on a daily, almost hourly basis (chocolate brownie 4:00; carrot stick 4:15: BROWNIE NEGATED)–should suffice to convince you of its merits.

May Food Negation Theory serve you well.

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42 comments

  1. Also any food eaten while walking or off a stick does not count as actual “food”.

    Love your blog BTW!

  2. Glad to hear someone else subscribes to this theory as well. Our version of it is simple: broccoli eaten alongside any nutritionally impaired meal negates any negative attributes therein. We have been known to broaden our vegetable choices to include cabbage, kale and broccoli rabe as well.

  3. My friend Edward has an even better theory: food color and texture theory. If the color of the food is blond then the calorie doesn’t stick. For example vanilla ice cream’s calorie will not stick to your body compared to Brussels sprouts. Similarly crumbly food like cookie vs. celery stick.

    Nevertheless, I have a great pork belly recipe for you.

  4. this is a great theory. i am going vegetarian for a week to make up for all the meat that i eat for the entire year. yea, my math is off, but no one is counting anyway.

  5. @Kian- I like your friend Edward! That means last night’s vanilla ice cream has vanished from my thighs tho the chocolate syrup might be hanging on….

    So far today I’ve had a bowl of whole grain cereal with dried cranberries and lo-fat milk and some pineapple. I may have a double cheeseburger for lunch. Hee!

  6. Love this. Simply stated, but oh so profound. Now it makes total sense how I’ve managed to maintain the same approx. weight for all of these years — oatmeal with nuts and dried fruits for breakfast and as much pasta, cheese, and butter as I want for dinner! Well done!

  7. I’m pretty much walking proof that the food negation theory doesn’t work, but I still apply it…the other night I made some amazing mac & cheese (my first from scratch), served with steamed mixed veggies to negate all the butter and cheese in the main dish. I’m so glad that I’m not the only one who has these crazy theories!

  8. I live by this theory, too! I firmly believe that eating an orange after dinner negates any bacon, butter, chocolate, or combination thereof that I may have consumed previously that day.

    It’s about time someone brought this Theory to the world!

  9. I live by this theory, too! I firmly believe that eating an orange after dinner negates any bacon, butter, chocolate, or combination thereof that I may have consumed previously that day.

  10. i love this theory. i do something similar to mary. i make fettuccine alfredo and put broccoli into it to negate the alfredo.

  11. Yes, yes, yes. And food taken from other people’s plates follows a similar logic I find. So it doesn’t matter how many french fries you steal from your friend’s plate, because they’re not ‘yours’ and you’ve been healthy and ordered a salad.

    Love your blog btw Adam, I’ve been reading it for a long while but never commented before – is there a UK release planned for that book of yours?

  12. Adam you are hilarious! You don’t stop and you won’t stop (rapping), wicka wicka wicka (record scratching)…

  13. Adam you are hilarious! You don’t stop and you won’t stop (rapping), wicka wicka wicka (record scratching)…

  14. Adam you are hilarious! You don’t stop and you won’t stop (rapping), wicka wicka wicka (record scratching)…

  15. I’m sure WW would balk at this but your negation theory kind of fits in with their plan. Increasing the fiber content effectively lowers the points value. So for example, if your pasta dish had 0 fiber grams, but then you added the tub of green beans (lots of fiber, no fat, little calories), you’d be lowering the points value of the dish. Borrow your mom’s points finder and check it out — I bet negation theory really works!

  16. Food Negation is a pretty awesome plan. I think this is the real reason my mom likes low-calorie food so much; however many calories she saves are that many calories she burns. If it says you saved 100 calories you really saved 200.

    “A calorie saved is a calorie lost”

  17. I can subscribe to this theory – I would also add that:

    – butter is better for you than margarine

    – sugar is better for you than nutrasweet

    The more you eat what you love, the happier you will be – the happier you are, the healthier you will be.

    Rock on AG!

  18. My mom used this theory — baby carrots at every meal! Take-out pizza? Noodles and butter? “HAVE SOME CARROT STICKS, GIRLS.” “TAKE ONE AND PASS THEM ON.” We ate fatty foods frequently but we had to pay the consequences by eating some baby carrots alongside.

  19. Adam,

    I guess I always thought FNT (Food Negation theory) was something that was issued along with XX chromosomes. Evidently not so much!

    Regardless, allow me to submit for your consideration the possibility that food consumed off disposable tableware also contains negative caloric load. So, a piece of wedding cake? Pshaw, no calorie load. Aunt Fred’s BBQ ribs, coleslaw, cornbread with honey butter and pecan pie a la mode? No calories if eaten off Chinet dishes. :)

  20. Ah, my brother. Speak the words of truth! We must join together and spread the gospel of food negation! I’ve been a practicing food negator for years.

    And one more thing…Lidia’s cacio et pepe is bad for you? Really? What can be so bad about olive oil and cheese? :)

  21. Angeline, I can indeed confirm that regarding the drinks, it is all true, no doubt about it.

    Also, remember the core axiom of Beerbong Physics: what goes down, must come up.

    Be careful kids, and stay fabulous.

  22. And all this time I thought I was so unique – if you drink a milkshake with only one straw you consume so many fewer calories. Not total negation but it all helps.

  23. And all this time I thought I was so unique – if you drink a milkshake with only one straw you consume so many fewer calories. Not total negation but it all helps.

  24. Mitch Hedberg died so you could steal his joke; it’s still funny, but not your joke:

    “It would be cool if you could eat a good food with a bad food, and then the good food would cover for the bad food when it got to your stomach. Like you could eat a carrot with an onion ring, and they would travel down to your stomach, then they would get there and the carrot would say, ‘It’s cool, he’s with me.'”

  25. I do this, but not to negate calories. I just always have to throw something with some fiber and nutrients in the mix because I never feel truly good about what I’m eating unless there are some veggies involved.

  26. my theories:

    -broken cookies have no calories

    -food purchased for charity has no calories