How to Start a Diet

This post is not about the process of going from the weight you are now to something closer to your birth weight. Rather, it is about how to design a diet and convince other people that there is indeed a need for another weight-control method in 2014. If you find yourself at some point explaining it to Oprah then you have succeeded (is she still around?).

Some Guidelines

  1. It has to be dumb. Because what at first is dumb, can later can be labelled as counter-intuitive, which is a way of saying that the diet is smart and the dieter is dumb. You have crushed their spirit, good start.
  2. It’s needs to be either ridiculously complex or ridiculously simple. If you can explain it to a friend in anywhere between 10 and 60 seconds then this is a shit diet and you should be ashamed of yourself. The dieter must be thinking “it’s so beautiful in its simplicity, how could it not work!”, or “how could something this complex possibly not work?”
  3. It helps to have statistics. They don’t need to be based on anything, just use that top row of your keyboard and occasionally press shift. People that fact check aren’t fat.
  4. Insult and compliment at the same time. “Hey now, you’re not obese, you’re just excellent at being fat.”
  5. The diet must have a catchy name.


Good Diet Examples

The 9-1-1 Diet

9-1-1. Nine minus one minus one is seven. That’s how many days there are in the week. So the dieter must take their normal weekly diet, but spread out the caloric intake (sounds sciency, right?) over a theoretical nine days. They start the loop on a Wednesday, so by the end of next Tuesday would have only eaten 77.78% of their normal dietary intake.

Tuesday is the critical day in this diet because Tuesday is the day of the week that the Trade Centre Plane Crash things happened, on September 11 whatever year it happened. The 1 and 1 represent the towers. So on Tuesday you take the 1 and 1 days that are left over (because you split your calories out over nine days, but only used seven) and make however many apple crumbles are required to make up that calorie count (because the towers were in the Big Apple and they crumbled).

You then deliver the apple crumbles, on foot, to your nearest homeless person (this tricks the dieter into feeling altruistic, and gives them something tell their friends as the grand finale to what will have been a seven minute explanation of how they will be less-fat if everything works out well with this new diet). They must explain the diet to the homeless person so that they may benefit from it too and pass it on to their fat homeless friends.


The Rhyming Diet

The dieter must take any food that he or she would normally eat, and replace it with something obscure that rhymes. Spaghetti bolognese? No more for you my fat little friend, from now on it’s amaretti hollandaise. Peanut butter on toast? Out with ye! In with halibut cachaca in goat.

They will spend so much time trying to think of rhyming foods (trust me) and walking around the aisles of the local Thomas Dux/Whole Foods/Other Trendy Supermarket that they will be wasting away in no time.


Bad Diet Examples

Eat Less

Take the amount of food that you currently eat and reduce it.


Exercise More

Take the amount of exercise that you currently do and increase it.



Image Advice

A note to the thong-footed sleeveless male. I am impressed by your muscles, you are evidently quite adept at picking up some amount of weight and putting it back down.

And your grasp of physiology is impressive too – that you just know that if you pick up a weight up and put it down multiple times, your body will decide that this is an important task for you, and make sure you have the muscles required to perform this task again in the future.

This is not my point though. I also lift weights, you might be interested to know. I bet you were expecting a joke there about lifting dishes or the cat or my penis to get up onto it’s cleaning station. Sorry to disappoint.

My point is that you’re quite cool with your muscles and singlet and dark glasses and tattoos and manly strut. But not if you are pushing a stroller (pram/pushchair/كرسي يدفع باليد). Once you have decided that your task for the immediate future is to push a stroller, you may lose the shades, don some sleeves, and cease the ‘you looking at me?’ stare.

I hate to pick on just one sex, so to the corporate eye-candy ladies … I am impressed that your legs are a good shape, smooth and the same colour as when my toast is just right. It’s nice that I can see so much of them, too. I have no comment on equality in the workplace and whether dressing sexy enforces a stereotype to the ageing sexist male.

But if you’ve hurt yourself and are wearing a plaster cast up to your knee and walking with crutches, I think it’s time to temporarily abandon the corporate catwalk and maybe wear pants. Or at least something with a hemline down past the bit where the top of the cast is. You look silly.