Credit: America! We all did this together.
Out with the toxins and in with the toxouts.
It's a new year, and that means itemized self-loathing. It also means that after a month of effort, you're ready to quit your New Year's resolutions. Since you're reading this in English, I assume you resolved to lose weight, or possibly to learn good the spelling for make much big dollars in email schemes of confidence. Either way, I can help you, the same way I helped that Nigerian prince when he needed to lose weight.
Right now you're probably saying, "Dieting -- who has the time?" And it's true that healthy food takes longer to swallow because it's not lubricated with partially hydrogenitalized soybean-like oil product. Unless you're a celebrity with an army of asparagus-wielding personal trainers, you're probably an avalanche of lard. That doesn't mean you can't eat a more nutritious diet and grow fatter regardless.
But what is healthy eating? I've studied all the diets, and the only thing they all agree we should eat is half an avocado.
Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images
But I don't recognize your bullshit moderation.
There's one definite way to lose fat: eat fewer carbs and exercise. Unless it's eat high-carb and move moderately. But definitely avoid saturated fats ... unless you should pursue them? Or something. It's all very confusing. Also: trans fats. You should definitely know the term "trans fats."
Some people struggle with weight no matter how well they eat and exercise. They may find (short term?) success with high-protein, low-carb diets. Such plans either focus on meat (Atkins, Inuit, T. rex) or emphasize greens (Paleo, Ketosis, Soylent Green).
Intermittent fasting combined with hearty eating also produces good results. Wait, seriously? OK, our bodies are plainly screwing with us. Owning a human body is like dating a passive-aggressive control freak.
Leonardo da Vinci via Wikipedia
Just tell us what you want, Darren!
Along these guideposts, the path to weight loss is pretty well marked. The only reasons diet books are still being printed and promoted are:
1. People are stupid and lazy
2. Book publishers like easy money
3. News agencies like easy content
There are innumerable weight loss systems out there, most equating "weight loss" with "caloric deficiency" and "system" with "crap a person in Los Angeles made up." They're all basically the same diet, but one might starve you on a diet of carrots, while the next starves you on a diet of cabbage. And a third lets you have both, but you can only eat them while enduring tapes from the Jonestown massacre.
I'm not saying you won't lose weight on most of these regimens, since they all advocate exercise and most include better eating habits. I'm just saying you could eat nuts and fresh greens at 1/8 the cost of paying some hippie in a lab coat for placebos and bad advice. Let's examine these stupid but real diets and then propose our own meal plans that are more insane, and therefore more effective.
The Ice Cube Diet
Hungry? Curb those cravings with an ice cube! You won't actually trick your body into thinking it's food, but you may trick yourself into paying for hoodia gordonii ice cubes, even though there are scant data to suggest that those trigger weight loss or suppress appetite.
But hey, you're smarter than that -- you'll just eat plain ol' ice cubes and let your body heat them up to 98.6 degrees. Now you've switched to the Ice Diet, and the calories will literally melt away!
Sorry, but that's not going to happen, because of physics.
Crusher of all our dreams.
You'll never improve your life or health if your meal plan for the week only contains three ingredients, two of them are water, and all of them make you miserable. Remember why you went on a diet in the first place? To be happier with your life?
If you want to burn calories, go right to the fuel tank. Hyperventilate your way to a thinner you with Air-Tense x979! This patented system of forceful respiration oxygenates your blood beyond all reasonable levels, triggering a fat holocaust! Lungs are given an intense workout while fat cells are burned in an inferno of oxygen. Comes with paper bag and tank of oxygen, affordable at $199 per year. No smokers.
The Facial Analysis Diet
This one's brilliantly conceived, because it involves famous people's favorite activities of staring at themselves and pretending they're introspective. How can any discipline with "analysis" in its title be nutso?
Shame on you, Hermitage House
Also the basis of Scientology.
The facial analyst looks at your face to determine your deficiencies and invents a diet tailored to your personal gullibility. Like many other diets in this article, it was created by a naturopath, the career choice for people who find science too hard. But the real root of facial analysis is iridology, which in turn is based on the cackles of charlatans.
Iridology (from the Greek, meaning "Let's see if they fall for this one") says that by examining the colored portion of the eye, one can detect physical ailments in a holisti- LOOK OUT! Here comes proof that it's bullshit!
Except that part where I diagnosed true beauty in your eyes, girl.
There are plenty of pseudosciences out there, but only iridiology's origin story involves a crankjob who broke an owl's leg and then compared its eyes to a human's several years later. And if you're the kind of iridologist who scoffs at that legend, that's even worse, because without it there's no reason to invent iridology. Your discipline just becomes something a guy created for fun back when doctors still scoffed at soap.
The advice in this diet might be right on, but that doesn't mean it has any relevance to your face beyond "Stop pile driving Cheetos into your mouth, you monstrosity." The truth is you can only diagnose someone's maladies by staring deeply into their eyes if they're suffering from jaundice or a broken heart.
Jochen Sands/Digital Vision/Getty Images
"My professional opinion is you've lost that lovin' feeling. Now it's gone, gone, gone."
Facial profiling is expensive, because only Julliard-trained actors can deduce a dietary profile from someone's face without bursting into laughter. Fortunately, there's one diet we're all equipped for in our BIOS settings, and that's the Thanks for the Mammaries Meal Plan. Eat anything you want in this dairy-based regimen, as long as it's made from human breast milk.
Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images
A wealth of cheeses and butters that taste like cigarettes await you!
You don't have to give up any of your favorite flavors; just ask your supplier to eat, say, liver and onions, then wait a day. You'll swear you were drinking real liver and onions in milk. From a human.
This is a great way for couples to lose weight as she struggles to produce enough milk for a full-grown human and her partner subsists on a baby-size serving of calories. The best part is it's barely dangerous to both parties at all!
The Blood Type Diet
You don't normally encounter this much blood and bullshit together outside of a slaughterhouse dumpster, so I'll try to explain: Supposedly your blood type dictates what kinds of foods you naturally prefer. But the only sustenance all four blood types are expected to swallow is this gigantic load.
George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images
Or don't eat anything. See if your blood cult god gives a shit.
It's not that the author, Peter D'Adamo, is wrong; it's that he's so wrong, he deserves his own show on the History Channel. People haven't been this mistaken about the influence of blood type since Japan decided it only had use for the branches of science that build panty-sniffing robots.
The words "doctor" and "blood type" automatically make people think there's science here they can't comprehend, but the good news is that your ignorance actually qualifies you to be the inventor of the Blood Type Diet. If real scientists hadn't discovered terminology for him to appropriate, D'Adamo's understanding of how blood works would sound no more legit than a witch telling you which of the four natural elements characterizes your soul.
"You're fireborn, so you're going to want to eat a lot of dried wood and coal."
And yes, he's is a doctor of naturopathic medicine, but since I'm writing this from New York, legally speaking, I think I am, too. The differences between us are that I don't claim that you can extract a genetics-based diet from fingerprints and jaw angle, whereas he is a rich man.
Since the Blood Type Diet is completely made up of properties your body doesn't actually possess, why not try twisting your spine to health? That's the principle of the Extenz E-Z W8 Loss System. It works by reeeeeeally stretching out that spinal column to extend the distance food must travel to reach its intended destination. Additionally, when vertebrae are sufficiently spaced, they'll release witherigestone, the hormone that causes skinny to happen.* Bonus: you'll be taller.
The Master Cleanse
The famous Master Cleanse instructs you to starve yourself for 10 to 40 days while drinking diluted acids and capsaicin to trigger metabolic change.
Yes, you will definitely lose weight if you stop eating food for a goddamn week. Of course, you could do that without paying anyone money, but then you'd have to make up your own nameless batch of "toxins" to pretend you were expelling from your body.
If you're going to spend money to give your anorexia a new name, you should have something to show for it. That's why my revolutionary new Medal of Horror Diet lets people know how committed you are to ... well, for legal purposes we can't call it healthy living.
First place in the Hunger Games.
Here's how it works: Eat nothing and wear a wafer-thin metal medallion around your neck at all times. When you can bear the thunderous pangs of famine no longer, take off the necklace and eat anything you want -- as long as it's served on your neck-wafer, which you must also eat.
While effective, this diet of precious soft metals is expensive. As such, it is very popular among rich people, who think cost equals quality and don't know any better, poor dears.