Instructions: Pay seventy dollars a month to count calories in an app and receive daily reminders that celery is less calorie dense than cake frosting.

Pros: Fleeting sense of accomplishment from signing up and paying for a service.

Cons: Ruin brunch by assessing the calorie density of your friends’ meals; targeted ads for Noom for the rest of your life.

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French Women Don’t Get Fat

Instructions: Eat minuscule portions of your favorite foods with a vintage seafood fork. Serve poached pears at dinner parties. Start wearing scarves and smoking a pack of cigarettes a day; hiss at fat people.

Pros: A single tarte tatin from the farmers’ market can last up to five days.

Cons: Clarins anti-aging serum is no match for cigarettes. Also, you’re starving.

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Intermittent fasting

Instructions: Incorporate large intervals of not eating into your day and/or week (e.g., eat all meals within a window of six to eight hours).

Cons: Ruin brunch by skipping it in favor of a twenty-ounce buttered coffee and telling everyone about your new podcast. Hangry mood swings.

Pros: Unlike with other diets, hangry mood swings happen at predictable times.

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Keto diet

Instructions: Eat 70 percent fat by combining eggs, bacon, nut butters, and artificial sweeteners into uncanny valley analogs of real foods. Say, “I’m in ketosis,” to excuse a host of unpleasant interpersonal behaviors.

Pros: Finally put all those leftover mayonnaise packets to use; weekly grocery shopping can eventually be replaced by a single Arby’s party platter and a bag of almonds.

Cons: Excruciating bowel movements once every six days; scurvy.

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Grapefruit diet

Instructions: Add half a grapefruit to every low-fat, low-calorie meal. Add whole grapefruits in between meals to maintain homeostasis.

Pros: Generous bulk discount from Sunkist; no more scurvy.

Cons: Ruin brunch by explaining how grapefruit’s interaction with Zoloft has sent you to the ER multiple times; soft teeth; diarrhea.

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Costco diet

Instructions: Practice portion control by eating only free samples. Get upward of 15,000 steps per day by walking laps through a cavernous warehouse.

Pros: Discovery of Kirkland Signature Cashew Clusters.

Cons: High risk of derailing diet and over-drafting checking account from regularly purchasing Kirkland Signature Cashew Clusters; Wednesday samples are mostly Tide Pods and flavored seltzers.

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Raw vegan diet (“rabbit food”)

Instructions: Consume only uncooked, plant-based foods (e.g., fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds soaked in water). Maintain unblinking eye contact with anyone eating bacon.

Pros: God-like sense of superiority.

Cons: Impossible to talk about “eating nut cheese” with a straight face; blood transfusion for iron deficiency not covered by insurance; targeted ads for the ASPCA; ruin brunch with horror stories about concentrated animal feeding operations.

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Purina Complete Pellets (rabbit food)

Instructions: Before your Costco membership expires, order a fifty-pound bag of Purina Complete Rabbit Pellets. Eat them like popcorn. Drink a gallon of water a day from a bottle with a ball bearing at the end of an angled metal spout.

Pros: Simplest meal planning of any diet; siblings estranged during raw vegan phase may reconcile during rabbit pellet intervention.

Cons: The level of vitamin A in rabbit pellets causes blurred vision and hair loss in humans in an order of magnitude worse than from a weekly Tide Pod washed down with mango-lime seltzer.

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Jordan Peterson’s all-meat diet

Instructions: Eat only prime, organic, grass-fed beef and drink only water. Hiss at French women.

Pros: Diseases you were never diagnosed with have magically disappeared.

Cons: Excruciating bowel movements once every ten days; meat sweats; ruin brunch by talking about Jordan Peterson.

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Paleo diet

Instructions: Emulate our paleolithic ancestors by eating only foods that could be obtained by hunting and gathering.

Pros: Local cave system maintains baseline temperature of 50°F year round (expedient housing option after going bankrupt from all that Jordan Peterson beef); new bow-hunting skills useful in the event of societal collapse.

Cons: Local cave system inhabited by Burning Man enthusiasts; no electrical outlets for your podcasting equipment; ruin brunch by trying to take a sponge bath in the First Watch bathroom.

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Black market Ozempic alternative
(compounded semaglutide from
illegal online pharmacy)

Instructions: Once a week, inject your abdomen, upper arm, or thigh with the contents of an unlabeled syringe delivered by mail.

Pros: No targeted ads on the dark web.

Cons: Semaglutide takes twenty years off your body and adds them straight to your face; DEA watchlist; pancreatitis; you are no longer invited to brunch.

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Not dieting

Instructions: Eat what appeals to you when you are hungry. Stop when satisfied (or not).

Pros: Regained hours of time and attention.