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I think I've looked considered all of them, South Beach, Atkins, Forks over Knives, and even the Eat Nothing but Grass and Drink Nothing but Osmosiffied Water Until You Puke diet, and I think I've finally got things figured out.  They all have good, convincing arguments about some of their recommended foods, but each of them leads me to feel a little dissatisfied, or more accurately ... hungry. With that reality in mind, follow me below the scrambled eggy thing as I now propose - ta daa- The Combination Diet.

Here's how it works. On Sundays, which is usually the day of celebrations like Easter, family gatherings, the Super Bowl, and the nearest day off to a birthday, I follow the Spiderman Diet.  For other holidays like Christmas or Thanksgiving, I just pretend they are Sundays so I can follow the Spiderman Diet.  The Spiderman Diet, as professed by the actor who played Spidey, Tobey Maguire, consists of eating very little for six days, mostly restricted calories, no sugar, and mostly vegetables, except for one day a week - Sunday for me - in which he will eat anything he wants.  Often that is a trip to a restaurant with the best pizza, or Lombardino's fantastic pasta, or maybe even The Weary Traveler for Bob's Bad Breath Burger. After all, following a strict diet for six days per week and enjoying yourself one day a week can't be too harmful and doesn't make me feel so deprived that I slip and binge on a Wednesday.

On Mondays, I follow the South Beach diet, which cuts out sugar, most processed foods, but allows whole grains and fruit, provided they are not going to cause a spike on the glycemic index.  The diet's designer, Dr. A. (Not Atkins, but I can't spell his name correctly) has a soft spot for the German Oktoberfest, so he allows beer then.  Some have transferred that holiday to St. Patty's Day, which is absurd because St. Patty's Day is only one day, and Oktoberfest is a whole month.  I think drinking a lot of beer for a whole month could be harmful, so I've stretched it out to just Sundays and Mondays to allow a beer for family gatherings, the Bears vs. the Packers on Sunday, and any team that plays on Monday night. The Oktoberfest observation of this otherwise strict diet gives me 31 days of drinking a beer or two, enough to cover most of the NFL season.  A bonus is that on Sundays and Monday nights, I get to have hot buttered popcorn with my beer, since popcorn is an unprocessed whole grain.  I believe sea salt is unprocessed, so I can use that too. I use a little butter because I live in Wisconsin, and obviously if you live in Wisconsin, butter is its own food group. For breakfast I eat granola or oatmeal and think about popcorn.  For lunch or during a late afternoon game, I eat something lean like chili made with bison, beans, onions, salsa, and chili powder. I like the South Beach Diet because it works for me on Modays.

On Tuesdays, I follow the Forks Over Knives diet, which is vegetarian and frowns on anything dairy related. This day is sometimes difficult because the University of Wisconsin makes their own amazing ice cream in Babcock Hall, and their butter pecan – never mind, I can't even think about it now. The problem is that Babcock hall is almost right on the bike path near our house, and if I try to ride on another route, I pass either the Student Union South, or the Memorial Union on the Lake, and they both serve - you know what. Anyway, on Tuesdays, I eat oatmeal made with vanilla almond milk and put in a lot of maple syrup because that's vegetarian on the Forks Over Knives diet. Then I have a big salad for lunch with beans and olives, and mixed vegetables and spinach and lettuce, and I make a dressing with vegenaise and hot sauce and four or five other spices, usually whatever is in the front of our spice cabinet.  In the afternoon I eat a lot of pretzels or blue chips and red pepper hummus.  For dinner, my wife makes a great potato leek soup with almond milk and a bunch of other stuff I can't pronounce like tahiti seeds (or something like that) and seminolia (or something like that). On Tuesdays I eat a lot of stuff that I don't really know what it is.  No hot, buttered popcorn, but that's okay because there aren't many football games on Tuesdays.  Sometimes we'll have something like billyrubin pasta with tomato sauce and extra mushrooms, and something fake like tofu turkey sausages (which taste like chicken).  Usually I'll follow the dictum of an "apple a week" on Tuesdays and add some nuts, especially salted cashews.  I don’t like the Forks Over Knives Diet, but I can do it for one day.

On Wednesdays I follow the Atkins diet, which allows for lean meat, fish, eggs, and all the other stuff not on the other diets.  I don't ignore vegetables, but I'm okay with eating broccoli with melted cheddar on top, and next to that, a steak, or some chicken with some kind of sauce or spices on it. Since butter isn't okay, I tried using allowable oil like olive oil, but I don't recommend it.  Popcorn made with olive oil tastes like.... um... olives gone bad. Did I mention steak?

On Thursdays I follow the Caveman Diet.  It's also called the Paleo diet and consists of anything cavemen and cavewomen might eat, including meat, fish, eggs, and plants.  It's really hard to find dinosaur and mammoth steaks, so I substitute cousins like buffalo burgers, pheasants (as close as I can come to pterodactyl meat, which I hear tastes just like chicken), and real old species like catfish, shrimp, and lobster.  I usually start with scrambled eggs, and then move on to anything a caveman might find or hunt after breakfast.  I limit myself to drinking water on those days or maybe fermented grapes or accidentally distilled malt. Sometimes there is football on Thursdays, and I thought it would be okay to eat those little goldfish cracker things that taste like bad cheese, but my wife convinced me that eating something shaped like a fish was not as legitimate as eating the actual thing.  The caveman diet also allows for dried fruit like raisins, but I hate raisins because they're nothing but dead grapes, so I only eat one of them on Thursdays.  I know the cave people probably didn't have beer, but I think beer nuts are okay; they just called them something else like yum-yums.  I eat lots of yum-yums on Thursdays.

On Fridays I follow the Mediterranean Diet, which basically means I can eat anything the Eurpeans eat, meat, fish, pasta, olives, vegetables in season, and a little cheese for dessert (they say, "fromage or dessert"), but I have to eat it slowly, sort of like grazing all day long, and I have to take a siesta, and some long walks, usually to Babcock Hall.  It looks to me like the Mediterranean Diet isn't so much about what you eat as it is about how you eat it.  Sometimes I don't finish eating until after midnight.  I think the idea is to eat a little bit of everything, not a quarter-pounder, just a single White Castle, no wait, those are processed, just a single meat ball, and then very slowly another one, and then later on some pasta, and another meat ball, then maybe some salad, and another meat ball, and some olives, and then another meat ball, and just keep going throughout the day and night.  I love the French and Italians and Greeks.  They've existed for thousands of years eating this way.

On Saturdays, I follow the Macrobiotic Diet, which is a very old sort of zen diet, starting with brown rice, some "live" vegetables, sauces, and some fish. It's a lot like the Mediterranean Diet because you can eat a "balance" of almost anything like "a little brown rice and water" to be balanced by "a little spicy pepperoni pizza," and then some sauteed vegetables followed by file of sole a la Oscar.  In between, you have to meditate by counting breaths and then going to your "happy place," at least in your mind.  I usually go to Babcock Hall then. If you can't concentrate, just say "Om - e - lette" over and over again.  The other thing that's good about the Macrobiotic Diet, is that is matches college football days, so if your team scores, you can eat some jambalaya, which is mostly rice, and if the other team scores, you have to eat a piece of dried fruit, usually one raisin.  

So that's my weekly diet, and it works for me.  I don't recommend that you follow my plan, though, because it's so exacting, unforgiving, and as difficult to follow as preparing fried snark correctly, that's right, fried snark.

Originally posted to Flyfish100 on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 07:19 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Interesting... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Louisiana 1976, DamselleFly

    do it actually work - constantly switching up your diet every day?  As in, do you actually lose weight?

    I always thought you had to stick with a program for at least a month straight to see results.

    I've lost 40lbs in the past 8 months, although I did take a diet holiday from thxgiving to new years.  I'm still down net 40lbs.

  •  Hilarious! (18+ / 0-)

    Personally, I don't bother with the daily distinctions. I just pool them all together and have a little meat, couple of veggies or fruits, some grain based something every night. Lunch is yogurt with fresh fruit, and some of whatever was left from the night before that looks good. (Oh, and we generally reserve Saturdays for your kind of Sunday spree, except when we do it on Fridays)

    from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

    by Catte Nappe on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 09:28:52 AM PDT

  •  Yummmmm, good snark! (5+ / 0-)

    Although my father's cousin did follow a "candy only on Saturdays" rule most of her life.  

  •  There actually is such a thing (10+ / 0-)

    as "controlled cheating"...

    Larry "Fats" Goldberg, a friend of Calvin Trillin, lost almost two hundred pounds and kept it off for the remaining 40 years of his life. He wrote the above book based on his experiences. Trillin wrote about him frequently as Goldberg, an NYC pizza entrepreneur, was quite a character.

    It's not high concept... Two days at 1200 calories, two days at 1500, two days at 1800, and then a free day.

    If only donkeys could have elephant balls... Occupy!

    by chuckvw on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 10:54:51 AM PDT

    •  As I understand it from my own battles (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuckvw, Wee Mama, DamselleFly, rhubarb

      with weight loss, the days with different calorie loads work. Your body gets used to getting a set # of calories a day. When it gets too few, it sucker-punches you by storing fat because it thinks you're going to starve it. What you're doing by changing daily caloric load is trying to fool your body into not thinking it is about to be starved.

      Eating shouldn't be as difficult as we've made it!

      Inspiration is hard to come by. You have to take it where you find it. --- Bob Dylan.

      by figbash on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 01:29:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  speaking of Calvin Trillin (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I've been snickering for 20 years over something he told to Jean Feraca on Wisconsin Public Radio. Something about how, in the late 1960s chicken a la king was on the menu absolutely everywhere. Then, all of a sudden, you never saw it anymore. Which led Trillin to surmise that those nondescript silos you saw clustered around industrial parks surely must house all the unwanted chicken a la king.

      Sometimes a .sig is just a .sig

      by rhubarb on Sat Apr 14, 2012 at 02:22:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Diversity of foods that nourish the body (7+ / 0-)

    w/ all of the nutrients and energy it needs to function properly is the key to wellness, IMHO. Anything that asks you to "restrict" your variety of foods is not healthy. As someone who has dealt w/ eating disorders for awhile I can attest to why restriction based programs fail. When you take out carbohydrates, protein, or fats in the correct amounts we rob our bodies of vital nutrients. During my anorexic phase there were "safe foods" I'd allow myself to eat on a regular basis, and I cut out all of the "bad foods" that were "fattening" out.

    Interestingly enough many of these diet or exercise fads promote anorexic or even bulimic behavior. For example, exercise is considered good for us b/c it keeps the body toned and fit w/ regular movement. However, the instant gratification bent of our culture can lead to extremes that harm instead of help us. Too much exercise to lose weight or burn excess calories from over-eating or binges is really problematic. This is why shows like "The Biggest Loser" are awful and have no place on television. They promote extremes that are unhealthy for longterm good health which is most peoples ultimate goal.

    From the food perspective it is all about the individual. Each one of us has our metabolism, body type, and so on that call for different amounts of food for us to be healthy. Eating a variety of foods in the right portions will make us feel balanced, happy, and healthy too. We need to get away from the culture of over-eating yet not restrict our caloric intake for what we need individually. Having a connection to your health via food and exercise management by knowing when you feel best is what people should go by, IMO.

  •  What works (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina, HappyinNM

    Lots of vegetables and fruits
    Chicken and fish
    Carbs in moderation, preferably whole grain bread or brown rice
    No sugar products more than once/week
    No high fructose corn syrup in anything
    No high fat cheese
    No trans fats

    The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

    by raboof on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 11:26:32 AM PDT

  •  Ah, another "I'm built for comfort... (5+ / 0-)

    not for speed" diary. The quote is from a coworker to explain why he didn't bother dieting to lose some of his excess weight. What caught my eye was the complaint that dieting leaves you hungry. I have a solution to that: don't eat when you're hungry.

    Just as grocery shopping leads to impulse buying, dining when hungry leads to impulse eating, and we all know where impulse eating leads.

    So, how does this work? Isn't hunger the signal to eat? Here's a view of my diet plan:

    Yeah, I sleep in these days and get a late start, that's a retirement benefit. But I'd like to point out what makes this diet work: I eat something every few hours. Now, you probably can't see it, because the image is cut off, but the calorie total for the day is just over 2000. At my weight and level of activity, 2000 calories per day means I lose almost two pounds per week.

    This diet rests on a couple of supports. One is a spreadsheet to do the calculations. I have another sheet with individual line items listed, along with recipes and nutrition breakdown. You do have a spreadsheet, don't you? You're on a computer, connected to the Internet... of course you do!

    The second support is a food scale, on the counter in the kitchen and plugged in, ready to go. This, along with a handy note pad and pencil lets me keep track of how much of what ingredients are in the things I eat.

    Setting this up takes some time, I admit. Lots of food label reading or visits to the USDA food database (currently unavailable, for some reason.) But once the set up is done (and you can do it bit by bit, as you do the diet plan for the first several weeks) cutting and pasting makes it fairly simple to maintain and update.  

    One of the major benefits is that I eat things I like to eat. Sometimes breakfast is an omelet, or banana pancakes. Sometimes the beer is a shot of Irish Cream in my cappuccino, or a glass of wine with tagliolini al fresco. I've worked this plan around a Cold Stone's Sundae, an all you can eat sushi bar, eating popcorn and watching movies... I haven't really given up anything.

    Well, what I have given up is eating too much because I'm 'hungry.' And that's the point, isn't it?

    "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

    by Orinoco on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 11:35:59 AM PDT

    •  If you keep a record of what you eat (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Orinoco, bluedust

      it helps a lot. Especially when you see from that where the poison is coming from.

      I still eat too much bread, for instance. I'm not sure what to do about that yet.

      The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

      by raboof on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 06:03:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, this is a plan, not a log (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raboof, ladybug53

        although it turns into a log after the fact. For example: I made some eggplant dip yesterday, and decided to have some of that with a couple pieces of flat bread instead of the avocado. I will also swap out the rice and beans at 10pm for some kefir, to keep calories under 2000.

        But I think the key to not eating too much of anything is to eat before you get hungry, which translates into eating mini meals five or six times per day.

        As to bread, I stopped buying loaves, and only get rolls and flat bread. I also don't stress about eating it before it goes stale, because I make croûtons, breadcrumbs or bread pudding out of the stale stuff.

        The eat before you're hungry trick, though, works better for me than the don't buy loaves trick.

        "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

        by Orinoco on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 07:02:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Pancakes are Satan on a fork!! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I had no idea until I started recording what I ate and tracking calories.

        •  But they are soooo gooood... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Especially my favorite banana pancakes, with warm maple syrup.

          I've gone from making a regular recipe to making half a recipe, which makes four pancakes. That's workable, but is still too many calories for a single meal. The rest of the day after a pancake breakfast is nothing but snacks.

          My current plan is to make batter without the banana, save half the batter for another day, and add the banana to the batter just before making, hopefully, only two pancakes. That should bring the calorie count down to something in line with my oatmeal or omelet breakfasts.  

          Satan in a bottle, though, is salad dressing. Before I got my food scale, I had no idea I was adding 500 calories to a simple lettuce and tomato salad by pouring on some creamy blue cheese dressing.

          "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

          by Orinoco on Sat Apr 14, 2012 at 07:58:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Glad I skipped ahead to the snark part (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Man, I was going to say how insane that was.  This could really simplify somebody's life.

    Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

    by yet another liberal on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 12:11:43 PM PDT

  •  Eat less (6+ / 0-)

    Excerice more.

    Don't give up.

    Live long and prosper.

    Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

    by yet another liberal on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 12:14:08 PM PDT

  •  When you write a snarky diary, (0+ / 0-)

    it's hard to tell what you're trying to say. If you just wanted to say that diets are stupid, I guess it didn't require a whole diary. If you wanted to exhibit your capacity for humor, ya did good.

    Your left is my right---Mort Sahl

    by HappyinNM on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 12:45:15 PM PDT

  •  I think I've figured out the trick (0+ / 0-)

    At least for me.  Fermented and probiotic foods.  Obviously this wouldn't work for alcoholics.  I finally figured out my gut bacteria is all messed up.

    So it's more a case of making yourself eat certain foods than not eating certain foods.

    Breakfast--banana and highfat Brown Cow yogurt, some dark chocolate and organic bacon.  Oolong tea.

    Lunch--some kind of free-range meat, naturally fermented sauerkraut, and white rice.  Maybe ginger beer, fermented the old-fashioned way.

    Snack--good quality organic kefir (I add some sugar).

    Dinner--more meat, and organic fruits and vegetables (homemade olive oil, vinegar and tahini dressing).  Red wine with meal, at least one glass.  The wine must be drunk with the meal.

  •  Losing weight: (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    QDMacaw, figbash, asterkitty, bluedust

    I was close to the right for several  years, but maybe 5-10 pounds high. I did a lot of stress eating, so even when I was getting "enough" exercise (or at least regular exercise) I was slowly gaining or just maintaining.

    That weight is gone now. My brother-in-law asked recently if I was on a special diet and I said no, I eat what I want. He asked how I'd lost weight. I told him I eat less and move more.

    It worked for me. But I do know for people with a lot of weight to lose, while the equation still works, the proportions are completely different.

  •  The Omnivore's Smorgasborg Diet Dilemna? Good one! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    With about 2/3 of us either overweight or obese , myself included, it is a frustrating issue.  First to get duped and gouged by the mega diet industry is bad enough.  Then you find out your food has pink slime in it or trans-fats or it is genetically modified, etc.  Drop dead, if you are one of those people who, like my Doc, says, 'it is as simple as balancing calories in versus calories out.'  Yeah, right. ;))

  •  This was most entertaining and made me (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, rhubarb

    smile, so I thank you for that.  I wish you good eating. :)

    "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy

    by helpImdrowning on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 01:46:11 PM PDT

  •  I have a friend who (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Flyfish100, raboof, DamselleFly

    sets a reasonable goal, say 10 pounds in 10 weeks. then he vows to donate $100 to a worthy cause if he meets the goal. If he fails, the $ goes to the RNC. He doesn't fail.

    Santorum's OK. On a Saturday night. But on a Tuesday? Yecch.

    by Van Buren on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 01:49:58 PM PDT

  •  Fun snark. (0+ / 0-)

    But it brings to mind the latest serious diet breakthrough I ran down from some science research:

    The Leptin Diet.

    Turns out, the trick is to eat certain foods at breakfast -- then you're good to go.

    I'm only looking at the science side, but you can Google it. I think there are some books out there making it as complicated as possible to make money on Amazon.

    Experience keeps a dear school, but a fool will learn in no other.

    by Pluto on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 02:35:54 PM PDT

  •  Copy what works ? (0+ / 0-)

    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

    by indycam on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 03:13:38 PM PDT

  •  I like the advice a nutritionist figured out for (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Flyfish100, DamselleFly, bluedust, QDMacaw

    an art student who was having trouble following all the biochemistry and numbers:

    Eat colorful food.

    Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Wee Mama on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 04:18:36 PM PDT

  •  Have you considered the Alphabet diet? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Flyfish100, bluedust, rhubarb

    So you start by eating only things that start with "A" for a day:
    animal crackers
    andouille sausage
    Absolut vodka...

    Then the next day move to "B"
    baked beans
    birds nest soup
    balsamic vinegar...

    and so on.

    There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why...
    I dream of things that never were, and ask why not? ~ Robert Kennedy

    by Reality Bites Back on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 06:42:53 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for the laughs! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I laughed my a off - you have quite a gift for humor writing. As someone who has switched to paleo eating I can appreciate a good sense of humor about the diet wars.  Thanks for writing and sharing this.

  •  One of the funniest diaries (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rhubarb, Flyfish100

    I've read here :)

    As a quasi-Atkins/Protein Power/Sugar Busters combo diet (made up by myself after much tweaking) follower (since 5/17/99!) I found your diary really entertaining :)

    My only notation is that you don't need to avoid butter on Wednesdays; it's allowable on Atkins ;)

    "What would you think me if I were capable of seating myself at a table and gorging myself with food and saw about me the children of my fellow beings starving to death." - Eugene Victor Debs

    by DianeNYS on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 09:54:42 PM PDT

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