By Judy Gruen
It’s December, the season of holiday parties and the inevitable New Year’s diet resolutions. I keep my resolutions secret, since if I blab about them to my friends I actually have to take my diet seriously. This is no fun at all.
This year, I’ve boned up on the latest spate of diet books so you don’t have to. Here’s what I found for you to choose from:
“The Pineapple Principle” –Every meal begins with a pineapple starter and ends with a hot chile pepper and mustard chaser. These “thermogenic” foods will scare the metabolism nearly to death, which makes it burn fat quickly. (Not recommended for people with acid reflux.)
“South Beach Diet XII –In Case the First 11 Books Weren’t Enough” – If you can live without any carbs for two weeks, then slowly work in moderate portions of broccoli or cantaloupe, you’d lose weight, too. By phase 3, you can have a half cup of rice during a full moon.
“Hollywood Celeb Special Effects Diet Beverage” – For those who won’t miss chewing, this diet requires guzzling a concentrated, glow-in-the-dark vitamin-enriched drink that substitutes for a meal. Time saved by not eating allows more time to work out.
“Don’t You Wish You Had My Body?” – Written by a college dropout, this plan calls for eight small snacks a day that keep the metabolism humming at a steady pace. The catch: each snack must contain 42.7 percent protein, 39.1 percent carbohydrates, and 18.2 percent fat. Fortunately, the author sells shake mixes and protein bars that take the guesswork out of eating and any available discretionary income out of the wallet.
“Writer’s Cramp Your Way To Thinness” – If you have time to write in a journal for five hours a day about what you plan to eat, when you plan to eat it, emotional “triggers” for eating, and emotional reactions you have to each mastication cycle, this diet’s for you. The theory: devoting all this time to writing leaves time for only one meal a day.
“If You Lived On Okinawa, You’d Be Thin, Too” –Based on research of centenarians living on Okinawa who only drink tea, garden, and repeat the mantra, “Hara hachi bu,” which means, “Stop eating and go out for Tai Chi!” I tried saying “Hara hachi bu!” at dinner but all that happened was the kids said “Gesundtheit!” at regular intervals while handing me tissues.
“Bad Carbohydrates and the Women Who Love Them” –Another carbo-shunning diet that explains why women who allow carbohydrates to control their lives may never marry or have emotionally healthy relationships. Includes success stories from women who found freedom from rice and grains. At their weddings, the guests threw quinoa instead.
“The Happy Hour Scarfsdale Diet” – This plan allows dieters to eat as many carbohydrates as they wish, provided they are all eaten in one hour or less a day. I know a married couple who tried this diet as a tag team. But when I invited them over one night for what I hoped would be a leisurely dinner with us, they kept looking at their watches, asking impatiently when dessert would be served. Entertaining is hard enough without this added pressure.
“Eat Your Blood Type or Else!” – Why people with blood type “O” should avoid oat fiber and buffalo, or else they’ll get bloated, while type blood type “A” should eat yogurt but never, ever, kidney beans or goose pate. My question is: how do you cook for a family with more than one blood type?
I don’t know about you, but I’m rejecting each of these regimens. Not only do I find Tai Chi fatally boring, but I hate hot chile pepper and mustard chasers. I’m devising my own plan, called “Chew Less, Move More.” If my plan succeeds, I’ll work on stretching these four words into a 250-page book, and finally move that annoying Dr. Atkins off the bestseller list.