Mar 202011
Authors: Johnathan Kastner

Weight gain is a serious issue in America –– economically speaking. Our health industry spends a good deal, let’s say more than 20 dollars, each year dealing with obesity. Money can also be made selling delicious, high-calorie treats, or their low-calorie counterparts for the shame-filled aftermath. There’s even a market for sham diets that offer quick solutions.

I’m not a doctor, a deliveryman or a magician that can make zero calorie cardboard taste like chocolate. Which means that if I want to get on the diet gravy train, I need to author myself a complicated diet full of high promises and low results. I’ll also make it impossible to follow, so that when you inevitably fail one of my rigid and inane rules, you won’t be able to blame the diet on your giggly peers.

My plan is to start the diet with a name that sounds fun, like a combination spa and fancy bar drink. I’m leaning towards Rosey Heights Diet, as trees are about the only logo I can draw, and I’ll need to slap that logo on a bunch of things that would otherwise sell for pennies.

The Rosey Heights Diet would be based on research I’ve done on ancient cultures. Specifically, I’ll pick one we’ve romanticized into being healthy and pure, instead of what they were more likely to be, which is plague filled and short lived. I’m thinking Atlantis, because I’ve never seen a fat merman. In a display of contempt for my readers, I’ll actually quote that like it’s an important fact.

Since Atlantis likely never existed, I don’t have to worry about anyone contradicting me when I talk about how their all-fish diet and consistent submersion in saltwater gave them the power to cause fat to radiate out of their cells. The fish, of course, can’t be cooked –– how would mer-people start a fire to roast them? And all fish must be eaten in order, chronologically, from the time they were hatched. Again, the goal is to make it too complex to succeed.

The saltwater will have to be flown in, of course. It was the special water that was around their mythical island that gave them their legendary health. Well, that and the water I’d bottle in my backyard using only peeled brand-name water bottles and rock salt.

Pricing will be very important, as I want to trick you into spending more money while pretending that you’re saving money. That’s why I’d offer a single day’s supply for five dollars and a year’s supply for a thousand –– a savings of nearly 50 percent! Granted, you won’t stay on the diet for a full year, but admitting that would be like giving up on losing weight forever.

My diet won’t be just about financial suffering –– it will also include a heady component of physical suffering. Immersion in icy-cold salt water must immediately be followed by a light scalding with near boiling water, to allow the fat to escape through the cell walls.

See, exercise, which actual works, has a component of pain followed by endorphins, or a “runner’s high.” To best simulate this, the Rosey Heights diet is designed with the lazy masochist in mind.

Because, like all fad diets, the Rosey Heights diet is based on the notion that there’s a magic formula that makes weight go away. The fact that mine involves actual magic only makes it the more convincing. See, eating less, and healthier, along with getting up and walking every once in a while, will actually cause you to lose weight.

But I can’t sell that, and as a writer, I don’t have many other marketable skills. So, it’s either a cushy lie, that will let you diet through Rose Colored Glasses™ (my logo), or the truth, where I stay poor and you get healthy. And like all fad diet experts, I’ve made my choice.

Johnathan Kastner is in his second year of his second bachelor degree, majoring in computer science. His column appears Mondays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to

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