Migrant Worker Diet craze causing a stir

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By ZOU MIAO
Fashion & Style correspondent

Deng’s workout group sit eating for 10 hours before a mine collapse kills three

BEIJING (China Daily Show) – “A police officer chased me half way around the city and then beat me mercilessly,” says Mia Xin. “I’m down 20 pounds!”

So run adverts popping up all over popular microblogging websites such as Weibo in recent weeks, sparking a new feeding fad: the Migrant Worker Diet.

Mia is one of millions of young Chinese particpating in the new diet-and-exercise regimen that is taking China’s urban centers by storm.

The thousands of illegal coalmines outside of Beijing are packed to the brim with tracksuits.

“They say inspectors are going to come in with baseball bats and shut this coal mine down, maybe maim a few people,” said Deng Liubao, a lumber exporter from Kaixian county, Chongqing municipality. “I’ll need to find a new gym.”

Under the extensive rules of the regime, practitioners can only spend 10 yuan a day on box meals, are forced to kneel for pay cheques and must  hitchhike to another city at weekends or whenever they see an authority figure. Practitioners are all but forbidden from enjoying any kind of sex life.

Deng intends to hitchhike to Yiwu, Zhejiang Province to crack bricks on a building site and will continue doing so until he can fit back into his high-school jeans.

The diet is the latest brainchild of mung-bean farmer and dietitian Professor Jin Xiaoxin, who is said to have come up with the revolutionary regimen after closely observing migrant workers naked.

“With my diet, anyone can have a physique rippling with pure muscle,” said Jin. “Minus the vacant, soul-crushing stare, of course.”

Migrant workers are said to comprise 1 in 4 residents of first-tier cities such as Shanghai, Guangzhou and Beijing. Many may consider this 200 million-strong army of labor a poorly treated, highly disposal workforce that is often sidelined for political and economic expediency – for others though, they may be the perfect way to fit into that wedding dress at the last minute.

Even foreigners are getting into the mix. Jennifer Pepper from Des Moines, Iowa and a teacher in Shanghai, says that she lost over 12 pounds in one week after she started moonlighting at a building site.

“I can’t really leave the city. So, I’ll have to turn to other, more domestic options here in Shanghai,” she said, stripped to the waist and soaked in sweat and brick dust on a Pudong construction site. She added that after the Spring Festival, dietary options often dry up in the city. “But there is a hairdresser on my way home from school that should do until I find another building project.”

Professor Jin’s diet is also an appealing change to the office grind familiar to China’s legions of urban white-collar workers. When news of his next fashionable food habit leaked onto the Internet – dubbed the “Dissident Diet” – the Jin Company’s servers crashed under the demand.

But Professor Jin is keeping the Dissident Diet close to his chest. When asked by China Daily Show, all he would reveal is that hopeful dieters should stock up on jump suits.

Tylenol  contributed to this story

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