The unfortunate reality of the 24-hour news/hypochondria cycle is that fad diets have been crowded out by celebrity endorsements and single-use culinary gadgets. It used to be that every tabloid had its own clinically-tested 100% effective diet. You couldn’t fan yourself with your broad-brimmed hat without smacking a rail-thin Saturday Evening Post Dieter, meekly eating scraps of newsprint out of the palm of their hand.
But now, there’s only enough room in the MSDM (Mainstream Diet Media) to talk about one fad diet at a time. While everyone loves the Paleo Diet, pretending to be a caveman or cavelady is not for everyone. Maybe you look bad in buffalo-hide loincloths. Maybe you are allergic to flipping tires, and can’t do CrossFit. No matter what your individual needs, we’ve pulled together a list of effective, easy, and incredibly tasty diets just for you.
Astro Diet – Only eat things astronauts eat. Dippin’ Dots. Liquid pizza that comes in plastic tubes. Heaping piles of dry Tang. Some nutritionists criticize the Astro Diet for not including zero gravity space walks as part of its regimen, but adherents have found that even without the traditional astronaut exercise they are able to lose up to 40% of their weight in bone mass. If you have the time and the will, however, consider spending several hours a day in a sensory deprivation tank to simulate the effect.
Monte Carlo Diet – Only eat things that you can get for free in a casino. Note that the more you spend at a casino, the better the food they’ll serve you, so be sure to bring your entire life savings before beginning. The house always wins, which means you’ll lose your shirt – and inches off your pants when you’re broke and scavenging for food underneath the slot machine stools. In certain mega-casinos, it can be difficult to tell the difference between food IN the casino and food ADJACENT to the casino – we recommend you err on the side of eating it and tipping very well. It will speed up the important “cash burn” phase of Monte Carloing.
Arachno Diet – Only eat spiders and also things spiders would eat. It’s important to remember that lobsters, crabs, shrimps, etc. are not spiders, and are not a part of a balanced and healthy Arachno Diet. Surprisingly, even the humble daddy longlegs is not really a spider. DO NOT EAT A DADDY LONGLEGS.
Australopitheco Diet – Only eat the fossilized bones of pre-human hominids. While not the most legally advisable diet, the scarcity of food and the incredible physical lengths needed to find the fossils (whether through excavation or outright theft) serves to slim the figure while strengthening the forearms. For an added cardio component, consider crushing the skulls of your rivals with their own bones while standing overawed beneath a black monolith.
Yo-Yo Diet – While easy to confuse for the on-again off-again weight gain and loss associated with other, inferior fad diets, this Yo-Yo Diet is based on the nutritionist-approved premise that humanity evolved only to eat food prepared by world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma. He has like twenty Grammys – I think we all see the invisible hand of evolution in action. Mr. Ma is a private man, so dieticians recommend sifting through his garbage for any leftovers he threw away. Bring your brass knuckles – you’ll probably have to fight off other Yo-Yo Dieters for the elusive food.
Hallow Diet – Only eat Halloween candy. Not candy generally – treats that were received, for free, on Halloween. You’ll have to make your supply last all year, so don’t be afraid to hustle. A good costume will go a long way here. Has the added advantage of giving you less and less caloric intake as you age, forcing your diet to adapt to your slowing metabolism. Guaranteed at least 5 pounds of weight loss in teeth alone!
O Diet – Only eat circular food. If there’s no hole in the center, it’s not a circle – just ROUND. Everyone knows the Roundo Diet is bullshit, since Roundo isn’t even a word. Donuts: Great. Cronuts: That’s like eating sixteen layered up circles, totally good for you. JELLY donut? Get out of here. There’s no hole in the middle! Needless sugars and salts that will make you as soft and unloveable as a Boston cream pie. There are two warring factions within the O Diet. One claims that it is unacceptable to take a round food and cut a circle into the middle. The other side is fine with it, but admittedly is mostly comprised of infomercial salesmen trying to offload specialty hole punches for pies.
Alpo™ Diet – Only eat Alpo™-brand dog food. Have you ever seen a dog that is uncomfortable in its tankini? Or a dog that cries when it sees a mirror (for self-esteem reasons, not mirror-terror reasons)? No. Dogs are constantly happy, and constantly loved by everyone around them. The clearest way to achieve a dog’s confidence and popularity is by sharing their diet. And Alpo™ is the only dog food endorsed by both the Food and Drug AND Social Security Administrations as “acceptable human food replacement in a federally-declared emergency zone.” Be sure to get plenty of exercise by chasing tennis balls, vigorously humping the legs of strangers, and trying to jump over a fence. Hiding under furniture during storms can be used to help squeeze that waistline down to a manageable size.
Atmo Diet – Only consume gases. If a food can be boiled and wafted gently into the nostrils, it’s probably good for you. Has several specific benefits – most gassified food is lighter than air, making YOU a bit lighter than air. Like a balloon, or the Hindenburg. Most toxins are actually bright green-colored liquids, so boiling your soup before eating it guarantees no toxins will enter your precious body. Some cutting-edge restaurants have started mixing drinks with liquid nitrogen to create an alcoholic smoke you can inhale – while fun, this is kind of cheating, since nothing is actually boiled. Maybe heat up a glass of wine and hold your nose over it instead.
GoPro Diet – Eat anything you want, but only while wearing a helmet-mounted fisheye lens. Awareness of how extreme you look tends to push the GoPro Dieter to ever-greater feats of strength, speed, and adrenaline. The intense fear of skydiving while recording a video of your fall has been shown to cut 5 pounds of weight in the time it takes you to hit the ground! But this isn’t just another terror-based weight loss program – the accountability of recording every meal in a wide-angle lens and uploading it to YouTube will shame you into shedding the pounds.
Christian Brown is an animator based out of Los Angeles who doesn't let that stop him from making up dumb detective names.