Seared ostrich, nuked food and gaying the fat away - the year's weirdest diets
January 16th, 2012
11:00 AM ET
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Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.

If your 2012 diet is off to a fantastic start (if you indeed embarked upon one), yay you. And continue whatever it is you’re doing. If, however, you haven't already lost your desired number of pounds (and really - we think you're gorgeous just the way you are), don't be hard on yourself.

Maybe it’s not you. It’s the diet. Consider, then, these plans could be exactly right for you.

The Chubster Diet
Here you have “Chubster: A Hipster’s Guide to Losing Weight While Staying Cool.” Martin Cizmar’s brand-new book notes two definitions of chubster: 1. someone who is proud to be fatty mcfatfat; and 2. the cool guy who is formerly fat.

Chapters include How to Work Out (without Looking Like a Tool); there are ratings - from awesome to awful - for Stuff You Can Nuke. Lean Cuisine Chicken with Lasagna Rollatini gets an awful. “Rollatini isn’t actually a type of pasta—it’s not even an Italian word,” notes Cizmar, who lost 100 pounds in eight months after something he refers to as “the Slurpee incident.”

Dukan Diet
Kate Middleton was on it. Jennifer Lopez and Gisele Bundchen reportedly lost their baby weight with it, too. If those three names don’t make you jump on Dr. Pierre Dukan’s diet, you have so much self-control you probably don’t need to lose weight anyway. The Dukan diet, which first came out in France in 2000, is basically a high-protein diet—there are days of pure protein, alternating with days of protein plus vegetables. Unfortunate side effects can include bad breath, constipation, dry mouth and fatigue.

Thrive Vegan Diet
If you’re looking for a diet that’s good for something besides yourself – like the earth – consider Thrive. Created by professional triathlete Brendan Brazier, Thrive focuses on vegan foods that help fuel your way to uber athleticism. Thrive Foods his newest book, includes 200 plant based recipes; if you want a 6-week workout plan, plus old-school-looking photos of Brazier working out, go for Thrive Fitness, and hope that Hugh Jackman, who’s been on the Thrive Vegan diet, will star in the next series of workout photos.

Paleoista Diet
First there was the Paleo diet. Better known as the Caveman diet, Paleo focuses on the diets of our very ancient ancestors with an emphasis on lean meats, seafood, fruits, nuts and vegetables. Some paleos take it to extremes and donate blood frequently to simulate caveman hunting injuries.

Paleoista does not go that far; instead this book by Nell Stephenson, which comes out in May, is paleo for girls: it means eliminating anything made with sugar, processed grains, legumes and dairy. Which presumably will change the morning Starbucks habits of a lot of wannabe paleoistas.

Gay Men Don’t Get Fat Diet
This is not the place to find a recipe for Seared Ostrich with Dandelion Greens (look to the Paleoista for that). In fact, there are no recipes. Instead author Simon Doonan, the creative ambassador at large for Barneys New York, divides foods into straight (the fattening ones) and gay (the healthy, good-looking ones) and then advises eating both for a healthy diet.

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© 2011 American Express Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved.

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Filed under: Bite • Content Partner • Diet Tools • Diets • Food and Wine • Health News

soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Babhaing Escandalhoxa Nie Ninetiien

    Eating healthy can easily stop certain illness. By causing modest adjustments on the approach we take to take, we can enhance each of our power, boost the anatomy's ability to struggle illness as well as ...Paleo Diet Review

    January 20, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
  2. Oh Please.

    Gotta love how "fatty mcfatfat" and "cool guy" are mutually exclusive. Gays and retards are officially scratched off the list, but it's still open season on fat people.

    January 16, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  3. larry5

    Actually, the Paleo diet works. It got me off BP meds and insulin for my diabetes. Before the diet my treated BP was 130/88 and after 3 months on the diet my untreated BP was 118/60 and no insulin at all. I also lost 50 pounds without any conscious effort to diet or lose weight, it just happened. I've lost my craving for french fries and ice cream and feel better and have more energy. The first month was tough, but after that I started feeling better and never looked back. This diet may not be for everyone because french fries, bread and ice cream might be more important than good health to you. If not it's worth a try because you'll never know until you invest some time and effort.

    January 16, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Karen

      I second this. I've been eating paleo for years. It cured so many weird things I took for granted as just being normal – like acne, head fog, seasonal depression. I could go on and on. Yeah, and since I've stayed in what Mark Sisson likes to call the carb "sweet spot," I actually look pretty dang good too. Plus, there is nothing more freeing than to truly not care about the junk food in the room.

      January 16, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
      • John P.

        again and again, variations of this diet will work for anyone. Watch, Dr. Wahls on TED, or read Primal Body, or Primal Mind, as I'm sure many of you have. Also Food Matters offers up lots of fodder against the incidiously high carb diet running rampid in our society and taking the lives of hundreds of thousands every year. High carb diets are the root cause of so many diseases. Good luck all with the veggies and meat, don't forget the berries, nuts and seaweed for iodine!:)

        January 16, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
  4. lacinys

    Losing weight is simple, not easy, but simple. Expel more calories than you take in and there are 3500 calories in one pound of fat. Every successful diet ever created follows this principle. There is no "secret" just a simple input and output calculation. Try an online calorie counter, they're fantastic.

    January 16, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • John P.

      Counting Calories is a myth. Please pick up "Primal Body Primal Mind" a book culminating in decades of research that illuminates the many complexities of the body and its reaction to food. The idea that calories are the only thing that effect your body is like saying we are gas-powered engines that just require fuel and a little bit of oil. Our bodies are FAR more complex than that, but the weight loss solution is a simple one. Eat good fats found in grass fed meats and coconut oil, etc... and lots of veggies. Watch Dr. Wahl on TED, she'll explain more. Also FOOD MATTERS!

      January 16, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
      • Rob O

        I eat Paeleo and have for over a year now. I know it works, but be real...even paeleo is based on calories in<calories out as a prerequesite to weight loss. Accepting that doesn't mean that our bodies aren't complex. It just means they aren't magic i.e. it just means they don't violate the second law of thermodynamics.

        January 16, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
      • John P.

        It seems everyone who wants to lose weight becomes fixated on one common pastime: counting calories. It becomes an obsession for some. The whole principle behind the calories lies in the potential of a given food to generate energy or heat. Using this as a measure of which foods should and shouldn't be eaten presupposes, however, that the human body is mainly a "heat engine" and that we consume food solely for the purpose of producing energy or heat. This simply isn't so and makes for a deeply flawed approach, destined for bigger problems. The human body is, in fact, a complex "chemical factory." Different food substances are eaten, used, and processed in many different ways, and the use of different macronutrients is far from equal. Energy is far from the only thing extracted from what we eat. Protein, for instance, goes largely to building, rebuilding, or maintaining structures in the body, including skin, bones, hair, lean tissue, hormones... IN the case of dietary protein, it is only excess amounts that get significantly converted to sugar and stored as body fat or unwanted calories. etc. etc.. Nora T. Gedgaudas CNS, CNT, author of Primal Body Primal Mind. Please read more before you limit yourself to simplistic views of the body. Yes, calories go in and calories go out, this physical property is preserved even in diet, but A LOT happens in between, that's where the MAGIC is, and yes, it IS MAGIC! Do some more reading and you will see. Check out Apple Cider Vinegar, for instance. It has NO calories, yet, it does wonders for the body. Coconut oil too, can induce weight loss if eaten regularly, yet many people steer away from it because it has 'calories.' That's a misnomer that we are finally starting to get over.

        January 17, 2012 at 11:27 am |
  5. Soflo2012

    I'm surprised I've not come across it in other health articles or diet lists but I've tried the IDEAL PROTEIN diet, its really good. It's sort of like the Dukan diet, but instead of all meat protein, its the ideal protein (like bars, shakes, treats and cereal etc). The only downside to me (besides the strict no sugar, no carbs, no beans/nuts) is the no fruit rule.

    January 16, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  6. Mvegla

    Brendan's diet is great. And he has a meal delivery line of it now THRIVE Foods Direct

    January 16, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  7. Mvegla

    Brendan's diet is great. He has a meal delivery service too, so you don't even have to cook the food! THRIVE Foods Direct.

    January 16, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
  8. Bubba


    January 16, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • FKR95

      animals are part of the food chain and so are humans. deal with it. humans are omnivores by nature. don't like that? go gnaw on your grass and shut up.

      January 16, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
      • Gluteus Maximus

        Do you cook your meat? If so, you're not part of the food chain. If you want to talk about natural, meat can only count as natural if you go out, hunt and kill the animal with your own hands, and eat the meat without cooking it.

        January 16, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Jack

      Meat is murderously delicious. It's funny how anti-meat people are always so angry. I suspect they're cranky from the hunger - the hunger for fat, juicy, savory MEAT. I know I'd be angry if all I could eat was plants. All this talk of MEAT is making me hungry. I have a hankerin' for a murderlicious special: a sandwich with the maximum number of tasty animals represented. You know those animals are looking down from meat heaven, proud that they were able to feed the top of the food chain. Really makes me feel warm inside... well, maybe that's the warmth of the MEAT.

      January 16, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  9. t3chsupport

    First I gayed the fat away, then I had to pray the gay away, then I had to fat the pray away, and now I'm just fat again. What gives?

    January 16, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • Supporting t3chsupport

      You're trying to hard to be Canadian with all that "ay-ing.

      January 16, 2012 at 10:44 am |
      • teeleebee

        it's "EH"....

        from a proud Canadian ;)

        January 16, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
      • Fonzy

        I thought it was "Ayyyyyyyyy" from a French Canadian?

        January 16, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
      • teeleebee

        lol @ Fonzy....i dunno...i'm from B.C.....FAR from the majority of French Canadians... :)

        January 16, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • VL

      LOL! So funny!

      January 17, 2012 at 11:34 am |
  10. Really???

    Time to do the non fad diet. A varied diet with moderate meats & carbohydrates & lots of vegetables served on smaller plates to encourage portion control. Then add the most crucial ingredient of all...The push away. PUSH AWAY from the table. Use the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk for a hour each day. Your heart & lungs will thank you & you will live longer. The AMA studies found that vegans live the shortest amount of time followed by heavy meat consumers. A moderate varied diet produces the healthiest longest life when people exercise moderately. You do not have to be a gym rat just walk an hour a day. Fads are for gullible people.

    January 16, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • Roxanne

      Very well said!

      January 16, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • S

      Completely agree. Fad diets are for those who aren't willing to put in the work. I'm guessing most of those people now 100+ years and thriving have NOT followed Atkins/Paleo/Vegan/whatever is trendy this year.

      January 16, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
  11. PaleoRules

    I have been eating paleo for years now. This is hardly a new thing. What is new is that so many people are waking up to it. Am I strict about it? No. I do know how to have some birthday cake now and then. On the whole though, I would RATHER stick to it which is the part I initially found amazing. Once you have done it for a few months and have been strict, that slice of pie looks/sounds disgusting.

    Aim for health and the weight will usually follow.

    January 16, 2012 at 9:23 am |
  12. Chrissy

    15.4 since last Monday. Off to a good start! -and NOT starving!

    January 16, 2012 at 9:10 am |
  13. Wastrel

    Thinking that food makes you fat will kill you. Eat healthy food and get enough exercise.

    January 16, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • Really???

      All the diets in the world will not keep you from deteriorating heart & lung function if you do not exercise. Just an hour walk will do it. It relaxes people, drops their blood pressure, & causes them to have a leaner body mass. Walk together & socialize.

      January 16, 2012 at 9:49 am |
      • No rally.

        No rally.

        January 16, 2012 at 10:07 am |
  14. M

    No legumes?? What's wrong with legumes? Fad diets are ridiculous. Though, vegan diets has been around for ages, so I do not consider them fad diets. Eating a vegan diet is a lifestyle, not a fad (that helps many people, such as President Clinton and my coworker keep their blood pressure and cholesterol down, among many other benefits). I'm not saying it's easy; I couldn't do it! I love cheese and eggs too much.

    @scratchee – I hope you are able to keep the weight off after you get off the diet.

    January 16, 2012 at 8:05 am |
    • Tracey

      Vegan diets are fad when people only intend on using them to shed quick pounds and don't plan on sticking with them for life. As a dietitian, I get questions all the time as to how people can lose 10 lbs in a week or some ridiculous thing. The person who lost 13 pounds on the Dukan diet, has likely only lost water weight and lean muscle... Let's see how long it lasts...

      January 16, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • Really???

      Actually, eating vegan now counts as suicide. The AMA study results show they live shorter lives through malnutrition. It is also considered child abuse for children under a certain age because the lack of fats results in mental retardation & death. Parents have gone to jail for killing their kids with it. Sorry a varied diet including moderate consumption of meats with an emphasis on lots of fresh fruits & vegetables is the healthiest.You should consider vegan a death style! It worked so well for Jobs.

      January 16, 2012 at 9:29 am |
      • Horsefeathers

        Really? Site your source. Otherwise, congratulations on spreading internet lore.

        January 16, 2012 at 10:01 am |
  15. scratchee

    13 pounds so far on the Dukan, since New Years Day. So there. (5'10" / 168 right now, so it's not like I had a hundred to spare when I started.)

    January 16, 2012 at 6:52 am |
  16. Mr. Myxlptlkx

    Is this woman TRYING to sound like a retarded teenager desperately trying to impress everyone? Or is this the level of reader that CNN is trying to target?

    January 16, 2012 at 6:41 am |
    • Handle it.

      Neither. You're just stupid.

      January 16, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
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