Ask Calorie Ken: Magic Remedy for Tubby Tummy?

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Nancy in Tennessee writes, "Dear Calorie Ken, Can you magically find the remedy for the tubby tummy?"

Well, Nancy, once upon a time, a woman magically removed tubby tummy with something called "foundations," and no one knew her foundations or her priorities better than Katherine Blaylock Brooks, my Big Mother.

Back in 1959, when QEII was only a queen and not yet a ship, but Charles was already thinking about Camilla, lawnmowers didn't have grass deflectors, and for some reason known only to God, Big Mother was mowing the gully by the house at the farm when a piece of metal shot into her chest. Big Daddy rushed her to Dr. Brint's, and, as she lay bleeding to death, he started to cut off her bra, but she said, "No, Doc! Don't cut my bra. It's a Bali."  Death be damned, but the girls would still be pointing the way to heaven, and no one would see a tubby tummy!

The Playtex Living Long Line Bra "vanished midriff bulge with comfortable elastic control," and Jane Russell sold us 18-hour Playtex Cross Your Heart bras, girdles, and something that looked like Mormon underwear and had to be designed by a man called an "all-in-one." Playtex also invented the "I can't believe it's a girdle" girdle, but now, we have something much better, and that Calorie Ken loves and highly recommends: I can't believe it's not butter.

Nancy, there is no magic remedy to tubby tummy, but you can discover your inner swank with regular exercise and a commitment to making calorie-conscious food and drink choices. Calorie Ken suggests FREE online tools like the Calorie Count Food Log at to help you log every calorie that crosses your lips.  Do it for a week, and you will find all kinds of hidden calories that can be easily expunged.

And, while you are tackling tubby tummy from the inside, pay homage to Johannah Letz, who invented the uplift bra in 1934, and wrote in her 1966 book, A Youthful Figure is Forever,  "Good figures are made, not born," by taming it from the outside with designed-by-a-woman body shapers from Spanx.

Ms. Letz also wrote (and Calorie Ken concurs): "It is up to you to make the most of your body's contour as well as condition." So, go forth and terminate tubby tummy, Nancy. Make your own magic as you remake yourself.


Swanky reader, Calorie Ken wants to hear from you!  Post your comments below, and send your questions to  And, tell others!  Post on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn...everywhere, and share with your e-mail distribution lists. We hope to make Calorie Ken the Dear Abby of good health and nutrition, and we need your help.  Cheers! 

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For two years, Ken Brooks (Calorie Ken) was a volunteer in the Tufts University CALERIE Study. He is now a nutrition evangelist. Send your nutrition, weight management, general health and exercise questions to

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