Well, it’s the new year. The holiday party is over. I’ll tell you what I’m over; over eating. Don’t get me wrong, I still crave those cookies, but wow, did I want salad as soon as I slid the last big holiday dinner leftovers into the fridge.
Let’s face it, many of us have been putting this weight loss thing off as long as possible. After Halloween. After Thanksgiving. After Christmas. Oh hell, I’ve come this far, why not just throw in New Years so I can have the champagne and the pigs in a blanket.
Now is the day of reckoning people. But how to begin? I’ll tell you where not to begin…
1. The Ramen Diet. My 15 year old loves ramen. Come to think of it, so do I. But did you realize that ramen noodles are packed with sodium? Up to 3,000 mg! And they’re high in fat. Besides, there’s plenty of time to binge on those babies in college.
2. The TV Dinner Diet. We’re not talking about Lean Cuisine here either. I guess the concept is portion control combined with ease of preparation. But again, fat and sodium are the culprits. Nice try, but put that Hungry Man back into the frozen food case and back away slowly.
3. Fruitarianism. What could be so bad about eating only fruit? Besides the fact that you’re not getting a well rounded diet, although fruit contains natural sugars, it’s still a lot of sugar if that’s all you’re consuming. And the diet itself restricts dieters from eating anything that while being picked, contributed to the damage of the plant or tree, or seeds, since they will become a new plant. Some fruitarians won’t even eat fruit picked from a tree or plant; it must fall from the tree itself. At that rate you could become very, very hungry my friend.
4. The Cookie Diet. Sounds amazing! Sign me up! Snacking only on cookies which are high in fiber, delicious and so very capable of staving off hunger until that next meal? Sounds like a plan. Until you realize you’re eating most of your calories at snack time and getting very few essential nutrients. What a let down. I had such hopes for that one.
5. The Air Food Diet. The french swear by the “L’Air” diet. Here’s what you do: cut your food into tiny bite size pieces, then pick it up with your fork and pretend to eat it. Then eat your soup instead. What’s in the soup? Water and salt, silly. Oh, don’t worry, it’s supposedly full of minerals (is that only from the non-purified water?), quenches your thirst, and think about the money you’ll save on groceries!
6. Blood Type Diet. Type O? You’re a hunter, so you should eat only meat. Type A’s are vegetarians. It all depends on your blood type. But as with most fad diets, there’s little scientific research to back up the claims that it really works.
7. Cabbage Soup Diet. Remember when Charlie Bucket’s family was so poor in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory that they had to live on a steady diet of cabbage soup? I’ll tell you what. If that were true, Charlie and his grandpa wouldn’t have had to rely on fizzy lifting drinks to summon the flatulence needed to become airborne; the soup would’ve done the trick. I have to admit, I thought for a moment about maybe, possibly trying this. After all, I live in a house full of males – what’s a little more flatulence? But this diet is rife with sodium, low in nutrients, especially protein, meaning you’ll feel weak. Claims have been made that the diet will help you lose 10 pounds in a week. But that’s unlikely, not to mention unhealthy. You’ll lose weight, but it’ll be all that water. And you know what will happen when you start eating solids again. *sigh*
8. The Cereal Diet. What could be bad about this? After all, didn’t Jerry Seinfeld eat a lot of cereal? For starters, it’s full of sugar. And as with any fad diet, if you’re required to eat only one type of food, what do you do when the diet is over? How do you acclimate to a diet filled with other foods? Not to mention that cereal portions are always measured, right? A quarter cup of this one, a half cup of that one. Hey! I have an idea! How about measuring other foods? You know, like fruits, vegetables and lean meats? What? “But the cereal can be measured too?” Never mind. You’re hopeless.
9. The Master Cleanse. I’m not sure which cleanse Gwyneth is doing, but this one sounds miserable. It’s lemon water with cayenne pepper and maple syrup. You still with me? You’re not eating anything. The question is not how much you want to bet me the weight will come back, but how fast.
10. The Russian Air Force Diet. Feeling tough as nails? How about the Russian Air Force diet? Breakfast is coffee, lunch is two eggs and a tomato, and dinner is a salad with a tiny portion of meat. You in? What do you mean, “Nyet!”? Yeah, I was hoping it was vodka too.
Believe me, I could go on. There are seemingly endless possibilities in the ridiculous diet category. But we all know that moderation, portion control, eating healthy foods and exercising are all key to success when it comes to weight loss. So don’t worry, you can still have that cake, those cookies, that muffin for breakfast. Enjoy it! Just make sure you get in some exercise and balance it with healthy foods. Kick those fad diets to the curb as you jug alongside it.
Photo by Thrice 18/3 / CC BY