How's the new diet going? What, you haven't started? C'mon, we're already into Week 2 of this "New Year, New You" thing. Here are some suggestions.
Diet No. 1: The Hollywood Diet. This is for young people who have to be desirable and thin, because they are this year's desirable and thin people; next year they will be converted to an organic paste and fed to the 2029 stars, who are currently incubating in glass boxes at the studio. But for now they're in demand.
It's easy! You are only allowed to consume cigarettes. If you pick up a fork with food on the end, or a fork that recently touched food, someone from the studio slaps it out of your hands and makes you run around the block. For protein, you sleep on a bed made of steak.
Diet No. 2: The Mesolithic Diet. You've heard of the Paleo diet? That's based on what hominids ate during the Paleolithic time. Basically, it was stuff that could run, but not fast enough. The Mesolithic Era came after that. So the Meso diet is the same as the Paleo, except you eat an hour later. Breakfast at 9, lunch at 1, supper at 8.
Advantages: it's easier to get a table. The Paleolithic cultures were always at war with each other, because they showed up at the restaurant at the same time and fights broke out when the Ogg Party of six was seated before the Brongo party of five, which insisted it was there first.
Diet No. 3: Atkins. This was popular for a while, and some people still swear by it, which is to say they shout "$*#(@#SON OF A #(@# I want a French fry!" You can't have carbs. That means very little bread, sugar, potatoes or any of the other things that give life meaning.
Downside: you will actually find yourself uttering strange things, like, "I am so incredibly sick of bacon." It seems unlikely anyone could utter those words in seriousness, but there you are, staring at another plate of bacon, and you realize you would pay $9 for a frozen Eggo, even though you suspect they are made out of wood pulp. You want bread so bad you go to the garage with a bag of croutons and huff the crumbs.
I did Atkins for a year and lost so much weight you could see my ribs. Mostly because I was always carrying around a plate of ribs, because that's what I ate: meat. Important lesson: it's one thing to lose so much weight your clothes hang loose, but when you shed so much that your socks don't stay up, it's time to hit the Häagen-Dazs.
Diet No. 4: The Häagen-Dazs diet. You can eat anything as long as the name doesn't have two consecutive vowels and a hyphen. Remarkably effective.
Diet No. 5: The Bat Diet. It's a regimen that requires commitment. You have to hang upside down for several hours before dinner, which uses gravity to keep your previous meal from being digested, and then you can leave the roost and eat anything, but you have to find it via sonar. Most people give it up after they've run into a wall chasing after a loose cheese puff.
Diet No. 6: The Moderation Diet. It's simple: Eat everything in moderation. Note: This approach will not work if you ever find yourself in a town named Moderation.
Diet No. 7: The Corned Beef Hashtag Diet. You can eat only the foods you see on the Instagram feeds of second-tier models. Between bites you have to recite all the hashtags on their pictures: #guava #guavajuice #loveguava #healthy #Bali #lovebali #livelovebalilife #cleansing #weightlose4life #norovirus #missingPurell #washyourfruit. And so on.
Diet No. 8: The Netflix Diet. This one requires you to eat at restaurants, where you treat the menu like the Netflix menu and spend 45 minutes looking for something that's not there, rejecting the new dishes, finally deciding to try a sample of the new dish, sending it back because you weren't into it on the first bite, then settling for a dish you've had before but are only eating half of because you're tired and want to go to bed.
I chose none of these. For lunch I have a Lean Cuisine, which technically is food, and it's a great source of fiber if you eat the box. For supper, I will do stir-fry once a week, and by "stir fry" I mean I use my finger to rearrange the potato sticks in a bag I get at the drive-through. When I get a craving for a snack, I take some baby carrots, and put them up my nose, which takes my mind off the hunger pangs.
I do not eat bread if it appears in a basket. And I avoid all sugary treats unless they're on a table at the office, in which case you can tell yourself you burned off the calories by walking up to the table and by walking away after you've selected some fudge.
Heck, you could probably burn off more calories by turning around and walking back to the table where the fudge is sitting. I could even jog back.
Nah, best to just saunter back. Don't want to go overboard. It would be nice if someone said, "You look great, you working out?" Yeah, I've started running back to the free office fudge. New year, new me. Delusional as ever, but in completely fresh ways.