What 20 Diets Would Say If They Were Actually Being Honest


Listen, I am a woman living in America. So of course I have body image issues. I’ve had them since I was in second grade (SECOND GRADE! The time when the only worry a kid should have is how to make money selling Girl Scout Cookies or what to bring to your first slumber party.). Because of the infinite images of Victoria’s Secret models, tiny celebrity ingenues, and music video vixens, I obviously had to do something about my doughy stomach and tree trunk thighs. Here is a comprehensive biography of how I ate for the last two decades.

Home remedies

Eat nothing but frozen peas and carrots. Chew slowly. Savor every tiny orb of food. For reward days, add a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Binge eat

Eat a whole pan of brownies in one sitting. Feel guilt, shame, remorse. Vow to never eat anything ever again.

Magazine Diet

Ask your father to buy broccoli… and London Broil. And 2 tablespoons of red wine. It’s what the stars do.


Feel ashamed and gross and fat; eat nothing but apples to try and feel better.

Body Builder

Pineapple for breakfast, protein shakes for lunch and dinner. Eat protein bars like U-Turn that have as much calories and sugar as a Snickers, but take solace in the fact that it’s been personally recommended to you by a real body builder. (You don’t want a body-builder-body; you just want to lose 15 pounds.)

Medical help.

See a doctor. Tell him you fear obesity, cancer, diabetes. Get a prescription for a pill that makes your poop oily, stains your underwear.

Homeopathic help

See an alternative medicine specialist. Complain about Western Medicine. Get tiny Chinese medicine balls taped to your ear. Press on them any time you are hungry (read: 24 hours a day). Try to convince yourself it works, then tear them out in anger when you eat a hamburger.

Frozen foods

Eat nothing but pre-packaged frozen meals. Feel hungry after the five bites it takes you to finish your meal for the day.


Stop chewing! Liquids only— water, unsweetened tea, cayenne pepper drinks just like Beyonce. Be. Beyonce. Just 10 more pounds.

Pressed Juice

Purchase insanely overpriced liquified vegetables for $12 a bottle. Sip your way to a healthier, glowier you. Ignore your growing credit card debt.

Slim Fast.

Eat or drink a packaged bar or drink for two meal replacements. Eat a simple, moderate dinner. (Ignore that gnawing question in your head: If you could really eat in moderation, would you even need Slim Fast?)

Jenny Craig

Pay $150 a week for packaged sugary and salty foods; get a sticker for losing 0.4 pounds. Have JC expert tell you that, after extensive questionnaire, you are, sadly, an emotional eater.
Hydroxicut: Seeing makes you want to believe those before and after shots. Take pills as directed, then surely enough take them all the time. Feel jittery and crazed, bug-eyed and hyper, yet irritable. Lose 7 pounds, even if it’s just water weight. That’s still SEVEN POUNDS!

Weight Watchers

Get free reign to eat whatever you want, just as long as you stay in your range (but if you don’t, it’s okay, you have weekly banked bonus points). Count points not calories but really it’s just like calorie counting. Get weighed on a scale for livestock in front of strangers. Listen in on meetings with overweight people lamenting about running out of points and bingeing on sugar-free jello and Cool Whip.


Hear your coworker rave about these liquid hormones. Research immediately on your phone. Purchase. Wait on edge until Miracle Bottle arrives. Place droplets under your tongue. Follow rigid meal plan. Lose 3 pounds.

Skinny Bitch

Just THINK like a skinny bitch. Say no to everything. Accept only water when you’re a guest somewhere. Drink vodka sodas. Eat half of a greens-only salad with dressing on the side. Drink water. Envision Heidi

Klum legs

Drink water. Fake it till you make it. Hunger is fat leaving the body. Drink water.


A free program that just requires purchase of all required reading material, and heavily suggested donations of thrice-weekly required meetings, and your time, and possibly your soul. Lose your period; potentially harm your fertility and the health of your unborn children. But— lose 20 pounds! They’re just MELTING OFF and people actually start to worry about you; you’re TOO SKINNY!

Binge some more

Eat whatever the fuck you want, whenever the fuck you want. Settle into your new plus-size body. Consider becoming a plus-size model. Embrace your biggie-bigs self; hate fat-shamers; secretly shame self.

Nutritionist/ Dietician

Take advice about red light and green light foods from a not-so-recovered anorexic. Feel jipped for blowing $175 on a consultation (because insurance doesn’t cover eating disorder specialists) where you walked away with a Xeroxed list of “green light” foods; something you could have easily Googled for free.


Eat what you feel like eating when you feel like it and however much of it your body intuitively needs; enjoy life; food is necessity, used only for fuel and survival, and, occasionally, for enjoyment for special occasions. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Christina Berke: Educator. Writer. Aspiring Dog Walker.

Keep up with Christina on christinaberke.com

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