Why is it when people go on a diet, they feel compelled to share—in detail—with everyone within hearing range, everything that is allowed to pass through their lips?  There are so many diets out there, each with its own unique “rules” and complicated method of accounting for each consumed morsel.   Is there anything more tedious than having to listen to someone recite how she “juices” four carrots, a head of lettuce, three cloves of garlic, a pineapple, and a tomato every morning for breakfast?  Or how delicious it is?

All I can respond with is, “I had two crème-filled doughnuts from Krispy Kreme.  Talk about delicious!  But it’s okay because I ate them with a diet Coke, so the calories don’t count.”

I particularly dislike the diets which assign “points” to food.  The dieters become obsessed with numbers and feel the need to regale everyone around them with the math. “I had an egg for breakfast.  That was two points.  I had a grilled chicken breast for lunch.  That was five points, which means I can have a super-sized combo meal at Burger King with a Whopper, large fries, milkshake, and peanut butter pie for twelve-thousand, six hundred and fifty-nine points.  Of course I can’t have any points for the next two weeks, so I’ll just be having water.”

“I don’t see the point,” I admit. “All you have to do is eat from someone else’s plate.  There are no calories or points unless the food is actually consumed from your own plate.” Duh!  I thought everyone knew that.  Just like there are no calories in broken pieces, because when the cookie, candy bar, bread stick, etc., is broken, all the calories fall out.  There are also no calories in foods you eat which you don’t like.  Think how unfair that would be—to penalize a person with calories when she didn’t enjoy what she ate.

There are always “new and guaranteed to work” diets coming on the scene, which promise weight loss without effort.  “I’m on a new diet I saw on Oprah, which was developed by a naturopathic doctor.  I can’t have chicken, corn, wheat, carrots, peas, milk, or butter.”

“That’s too bad,” I say, “I brought chicken pot pie to share with everyone at lunch.  And a ‘death by chocolate cake.’ ”

“Oh, the cake I can have!”  Go figure.

“You know,” says another dieter, “you really should try the ‘Werewolf Diet.’ You fast during a full moon.”

“I generally fast during all moons,” I reply.  “I don’t eat when I’m sleeping.”

“The cabbage soup diet is the best,” insists still another dieter. “It fills you up so you don’t feel hungry.”  She goes on to describe in great detail how to make yummy cabbage soup, as if that were even possible.

Is  there a delicate way to suggest she may be contributing to Global Warming with that one?

Finally I heard of a diet that even I can sink my teeth into.  There are actually three variations of this diet,  Dr. Siegal’s Cookie Diet, The Hollywood Cookie Diet, and the Smart for Life Cookie Diet. All promise that eating cookies will help you drop pounds. On the surface it sounds too good to be true, which of course it is.  It seems you don’t actually get to sit down with an entire carton of Oreos and munch to your heart’s content.  You just eat high-fiber  (another term for “cardboard-tasting”) cookies for breakfast, lunch and snacks, with a healthy dinner.  If it doesn’t involve Oreos, I’ll pass.

Just let me say this.  Nobody really cares about what you are allowed to eat on your diet or what you actually ate.  If they do, they will ask.  If nobody asks, it’s a safe bet they don’t want to hear. However, if you want my professional advice on weight loss, here it is: Eat less—after the holidays, of course, because as everyone knows, the whole month of December is for pigging out.

So have a Christmas cookie (or a dozen) and forget about it.  Just be sure to break them first.