There are lots of people trying to lose weight and there are lots of people who love reenacting historical battles, but usually the two don't intersect — that is, until Alexander Siry, a documentary filmmaker, proposed his diet based on how Russian soldiers ate during the Siege of Leningrad in World War II.
As far as diet plans go, it's quite simple: Siry advises people follow the strict rations given to Russian soldiers during that time of 400 grams of bread and 100 grams of vodka per day. That's about 14 pieces of bread and a 1/2 cup of booze. The only rule is that you can't eat them together — the vodka has to be drunk solo. One can only presume that's to help you get drunk faster so you can forget that you're either a) being besieged by one of the most brutal armies in history or b) following a really stupid diet.
For people interested in even greater authenticity, Siry encourages people to make their own "blockade bread" out of "offal, grist, wood shavings and cat food." You can stick with plain brown bread if you want to be a modern wuss though.
On the scale of iffy diet products, bread made out of wood dust doesn't seem like the healthiest option.
Still the controversial diet guru, who officially calls the diet "Get Thin Like Me" (points for straightforwardness?), credits his plan with helping him lose half his body weight and is surprised people are upset by the historical allusions. "You won’t only get a jump start on your figure and health — you’ll also get a charge from the energy of a unified team and recall the triumph of Leningraders during the fascist Blockade," he wrote in the Facebook group dedicated to the diet.
The comparison is a dubious one as while the people of Leningrad did indeed withstand the 900-day siege by German forces, over 670,000 of them died... of starvation. They definitely lost weight I suppose, but they also lost their lives.
Siry concluded, "I wish you the same strength of will and spirit that the residents of blockaded Leningrad showed. Let’s do it together!"
Or... let's not.
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