Two years ago, we introduced you to Terry "Doc" Pundiak, an impressive Cheapster who managed to keep the same razor sharp for more than 30 months by brushing it backward over his forearm.
If you saw him today, you probably wouldn't recognize him. Terry lost about 50 pounds in nine weeks with a low-cost technique that he's even recommended to some of his patients. That's right, Cheapsters, we're about to give you free weight-loss advice from a doctor. No co-pay or anything.
We understand a lot of people get skeptical when it comes to weight loss, a huge industry bulging with marketing hype and unsubstantiated claims. We know Terry well enough to confidently say he is brilliant. But we wanted to tell you a little more about him so you could make your own conclusion before considering his advice.
Terry once duct-taped a bunch of those foam swim noodles together, strapped them to the front of his Lexus and drove into a concrete wall, proving that swim noodles make pretty good bumpers.
He also held a bunch of swim noodles up against his torso while his neighbor wailed away at him with a sledge hammer. Once again, he demonstrated additional protective properties of swim noodles.
Like we said, the man's a genius.
Terry discovered his weight-loss trick last year. A busy Easton doctor specializing in geriatrics, he would often rush through the day without eating and then overeat at night. He'd get a hunger pang and reach for some crackers, then some cheese, then some pickles, and if there was chocolate in the house, it disappeared.
Last year he started dieting to lose weight for a high school reunion. He took a store brand Metamucil, a psyllium fiber marketed as a laxative, while dieting and noticed something. Shortly after drinking a glass of water with a teaspoon of fiber, he wasn't hungry anymore. He kept taking it daily before meals, which controlled his appetite, and the weight melted away.
That got Terry theorizing about his new discovery, which he likes to call "Virtual Bypass Surgery." He thinks processed foods don't have enough fiber to turn off our hormones that regulate hunger, so we eat more than people used to before processed food became available.
"It's why we're fat," Terry said.
He takes 1 teaspoon of psyllium fiber in 16 ounces of water once or twice a day, about 30 to 45 minutes before meals. He was taking it up to four times daily when he started, but has curtailed it.
"The stomach is tricked into passing the liquid right through the stomach," Terry said. "The seed powder sticks to the glass, sticks to the water, sticks to the duodenum, which turns off hunger. And if you are not hungry, you have plenty of will power to not eat much."
Terry eats one or two small meals a day and is no longer reaching for snack food before bed.
"I overate at Musikfest and at the Hamburg Hamburger Festival, but that was because I wanted to, not because I had that terror hunger that usually dominated my decision-making on food," Terry said.
You can get more than 100 servings of generic brand psyllium fiber for about $10 or $11, so it works out to about 10 cents per serving. We did some number crunching in the On The Cheap lab and figure you'd save $6,660 over 10 years if you substituted two daily servings of psyllium fiber for a more expensive diet supplement. Of course, you should always consult with your doctor before starting any weight-loss plan.
Terry emphasized the savings are far greater if losing weight helps you avert hip replacements and other expensive surgeries commonly needed by the obese.
"I already have the razor blade industry against me," Terry said. "Now I'll have the food industry against me."
Facebook: Type "On The Cheap" in the Facebook search box and check under pages.
Gastric bypass, on the cheap
Cheapster: Terry Pundiak
Tip: Use a teaspoon of psyllium fiber to control hunger
Estimated savings: $6,660 over 10 years