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Cristina-Size Me: The INDEC Diet, Day 1

By | [email protected] | November 3, 2014 8:45pm


With the summer fast approaching, it seems like it’s as good a time as any to undertake a quick crash diet, in an attempt to shift some of that excess blubber before for the tanning season begins. And, as it happens, I’ve stumbled upon a fairytale diet that allows you to eat anything you want, ANYTHING, and still lose weight. This is what we’ve dubbed the INDEC diet, and it comes with just one simple rule: you can only spend 10 Argentine Pesos on food, per day.

We all love a good INDEC statistic, don’t we, those that range from the slightly far-fetched to those that are just outright ridiculous. One of their more intriguing statistics in recent years goes with their Precios Cuidados scheme, which maintains that you can “eat well”, for AR$10 a day. INDEC actually said in December 2013 that you only needed AR$8.49 to eat well, but with the inflation since then, you can round it up to AR$10.35 per day. So, we’ve decided to test this conjecture, to see if the government really understands the needs of the population.

The Rules

I can spend no more than AR$10.35 a day on food, for five days straight, to see if I can function as a fully fledging member of society. According to INDEC I should be able to eat well, so I’m going to see if I can incorporate a little je ne sais quoi into my diet as I go, but with AR$10 I’m somewhat skeptical. I’m going to be trying to use the Precios Cuidados scheme whenever possible, but unfortunately, not all of the products on the list are available everywhere in the city, and I don’t fancy using half of my daily budget to travel back and forth from the Central Market.

I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that luxury items such as Fernet, and my ceremonious daily empanada, will be scrapped for the five days. Curiously, Fernet is actually on the Precios Cuidados list, at a casual AR$51.50. But, I ask myself “Can a man survive for more than five days on Fernet alone?” I’m not so sure, and I’m certainly not about to test it. Maybe one of the experts at INDEC could have a go; maybe their stats would actually have an element of accuracy after a few days on nothing but Fernet.

Day 1:

photo 1 (1) Rice: $5.24

Tomato: $1.59

Onion: $1.19

Bread: $2.10

Total: $10.12




Well, what can I say; day one begins with this delicious lump of bread, coming in at a mere $2.10. And, what would a dry piece of bread be without a glass of water to wash it down with? A dry piece of bread without lubrication I suppose, but luckily I’ve got the luxury of some agua fresca courtesy of my tap. Tasty stuff to get me ready for the five days ahead.


For lunch, I’ve opted for some rice, thoughtfully prepared with a modest portion of onion, and a sprinkle of chopped tomato.

I’ve not been able to build up the excess capital to afford salt and pepper yet, so I’ll be replacing them with… well nothing actually. I suppose I’m unable to afford flavor as of yet.

I’ve also been unable to afford cooking oil, so I’ve had to go bareback through the frying.


photo 4 (2)After that tantalizing lunch, I just couldn’t resist having seconds for dinner. Actually, I don’t have any other food, so I don’t really have the choice. On evaluation, however, I decided that the tomato wasn’t bringing much to the party, so I omitted the second half of it from my dish. Plus, I think that it can be put to better use in the coming days.

So, at the end of day one I’ve still got half a packet of rice, and half a modest sized tomato. The possibilities remain endless. Sort of.

Day two has the distinct advantage of excess food, so maybe I’ll be able to elaborate on my menu.

Cooking Rating: 1.5/10.