A Novel Approach to Dieting

I needed a break from my own long-windedness and introspective posts.  Time for something short(er) and light.

This is not a book review.  This is not a “diet plan” review.  But it is about a diet plan in a book.  Hang in there… I’m getting to it.  (Not being verbose is almost as hard for me as not overeating!)

In Janet Evanovich’s latest novel, Sizzling Sixteen, one of the main characters, Lula, is on a diet.  This voluptuous ex-“ho” turned bounty hunter has decided her diet prayers will be answered with a simple plan:  the diet of “one.”  She can only eat one of anything.  Because she suspects, as do many, that moderation is the key to weight loss.  Except, like me, Lula manages to cheat quite a bit without really cheating per the terms of her eating plan.  Her one is a bit skewed in definition.  One donut becomes one of every kind in the shop.  One piece of pizza is really one whole pizza.  “The diet isn’t real specific about meaning one chip or one box of nachos.”  Get the idea?  And later, after inhaling her one serving of pot roast so fast that she forgot she ate it, she asks, “Do you think eating something counts if you don’t remember?”

I enjoyed having a laugh at a fictional character’s dieting antics for a change, rather than being bogged down in my own.  And I have to admire that this zaftig character, despite wanting to lose a little weight, is amazingly comfortable in her own skin and sex appeal.  You go Lula!

As for me, I already know that I can’t eat just one.  So this is one (bad pun intended) diet bandwagon I will not be jumping on.  And, in case you are wondering, Lula quit her diet midway through the book because “it don’t work.”

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44 responses to “A Novel Approach to Dieting

  1. I can’t have just one either. Some people can and they are perfectly happy with that. Not me. As I just blogged about this morning, gotta find what works for you. I know for me, I will not stop at one.

    Sounds like a great, light read! Love her name “Lula” 🙂

  2. “voluptuous ex-”ho” turned bounty hunter” That right there is intriguing enough.

    The joke in my family during my heavy days was that we always had to order two pizzas; the one for me, and the one for everyone else. But if mine didn’t get sliced, I would be having just one piece. I thought it was funny at the time. After a couple of years though, it wasn’t so funny.

  3. I used to eat & eat… not 1 brownie but 4 or 10 cookies or 4 pieces of toast.

    Now, I can stop at one if that is the plan.. it takes time to get there but it can be done! 🙂

  4. This is too funny!! I just put Jennifer Weiner and Elin Hilderbrand’s newest books on hold at my library. I’m headed back to add this one to that stash. Maybe I can get this one sooner – I’m about 300th on the waiting list for the other two!! LOL! Have a great day!

    • Karen

      I’ve got Jennifer’s reserved too but never heard of Elin. So many books, so little time. Or maybe I should now say “so many books, so much temptation to eat while I read.”

      This book may be on the bestseller’s list so you may not have much luck with it. But if you have not read her others, go back and start at the beginning. I think the best ones in her series are actually around 5, 6 and 7. This one was light, just okay. Sorry Janet.

      • I discovered Elin a few years ago when we vacationed on Nantucket. She lives and writes from there – all her books are set on Nantucket. She’d just released one when we were there and I met her at a book signing in the bookstore there which (of course!!) feature her books predominantly. My guess is that you’d like her stuff.

  5. Karen, as you know from reading my blog, I love verbose, long-windedness and introspective posts. Well, that stands to reason since I love Theodore Dreiser novels and other turn of the 19th century literature when writers were paid by the word so they tended to pad their novels and stories. Please do not abbreviate your posts…I love them!! Now I’m off to tread and think about creating my own next loquacious post.
    P.S. I think Janet Evanovich must have based Lula on the person I was up to a few years ago.

    • Post correction…..I meant of course, turn of the 20th century literature, not 19th.

      • Karen

        That made me laugh because I would not have known the difference:) And I appreciate you saying you don’t mind my long posts. I know it goes against conventional blogging wisdom. As does the fact that I rarely have photos.

        BTW – Someday I am going to look into adding a plugin that lets you go back and edit comments. I tend to leave a lot of typos in my wake.

  6. sunnydaze

    I’m also a person who can’t just have one of anything – but I’m learning and it’s getting easier. 😉

  7. I love it. I can do one helping of reasonable healthy foods. But turn me onto crack, I mean sugar/fat/salt, and I can’t stop.

  8. LOL, if I were on the diet of “one” I would fail as well, and find myself doing the same things that she did. 😀

  9. What a silly book. I bet it would make me laugh though. I can only eat 1 chip or 1 cookie, etc. I am impressed with the amount of will power I have when it comes to food. I am NOT the norm I know. Will have to check out that book. Smile.

  10. SO, I read this entry, and then right when I was about to comment, I got an email saying there were donuts in the kitchen. So I went down there and told myself “diet of one would totally work..right?”

    Meh. Like you, I have an issue with stopping at just one. One piece of salt water taffy would turn into one piece of every flavor.

    Alas, no donuts for me. But this entry was such a good reminder of that!

    • Karen

      LOL. And I can proudly say that with all of my struggles over the past months, I managed to not eat even one piece of the salt water taffy that my son and hubby got when at the lake. Where is that willpower hiding the rest of the time? Great job on the donuts Anna.

  11. I love how “one” donut turned into one of every kind. It sometimes happens like that.

    Most of the time, I am very good at listening to my cravings, at just appeasing and satisfying them, not going overboard. But I’ve had a few moments recently where I haven’t had the self-discipline and it just becomes mindless eating. I don’t even enjoy the food. The first few bites, sure, but everything else is just gorging.

    Do I know why? Hm, not really. But I’m finally out of that phase. Not completely, but I’m about 90% now.

    Things take time. It just takes a lot of listening, and learning, to your body’s signals and what it needs. It’s tough.

    • Karen

      Oh I have done that – eaten and realized that I was not even enjoying the food any longer. Sigh. Glad to hear that you have conquered that. I am hopeful (most days) for myself.

  12. I have heard the saying that: one is too many and the whole bag is never enough.

  13. The next thing you know someone will be selling that diet!

    Have you ever read anything by the author Jennifer Weiner? Nearly all of her main characters have weight issues, based on her own struggles with weight. In the most recent of her books, she also discusses how the character became overweight and how swimming and diet helped her lose.

    • Karen

      I have. And I have her new on reserved at the library. I forgot to mention earlier that Janet Evanovich’s series is somehow going to be made into a movie. Which disappoints me because I like to visualize the characters the way I see them and not as Hollywood portrays them.

  14. Sounds good to me lol.

    I love that word zaftig- this one comedian (Margaret Cho) did a show and she said she got a review that said “sexy, funny, zaftig…” and she was like “is that german for big fat pig?! LOL! I thought it was a riot 🙂

    • Karen

      I think zaftig is a great word because, at least to me, it is a positive way to look at one’s less than thin body.

  15. That sounds like a fun book!

    My book club picked a book about a cooking class called The School of Essential Ingredients when I first started my eating plan – it about killed me to read about cakes and polenta and all these amazing meals they were cooking in prosaic detail when I was just gritting my teeth to hold myself together! But I made it through!!

    There is another fun book of short stories about women and eating and aging and family and other stuff by Elizabeth Berg called The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted.

  16. I don’t think the diet of “one” would work so well for me either. I would want two because I was told I could only have one. Amazing how reading about a fictional character brings out the automatic rebel in me to even think that.

    Plus one cheesburger could be a huge one…which I would cheat it into being. One piece of cheesecake would have to be the 1400 calorie one at cheesecake factory. Yep…I’m with you and Lulu…no diet of “one” for me 😉

    • Karen

      Oh the Cheesecake Factory is the worst!!! But I will admit that we have put “one” into practice there, buying one piece of Linda’s Fudge Cake one year for hubby’s bday rather than baking a whole cake.

  17. This cracks me up! Sure, a diet of one would work great for something like broccoli or squash, but when it comes to chocolate and other sweets, it’s too easy for me to get into the double-digits. Will definitely not be following Lulu’s lead!

  18. I read the book a few weeks ago and knew Lula’s Diet of One would make a good post. So glad to see someone brought it to the forefront! (And am thankful that I don’t have to write the post. I love crossing things off my list when I don’t have to do them. :))

    I go hot and cold on Lula, but I do love that she sees herself as a sexy, vibrant woman and DEMANDS to be treated with respect.

    • Karen

      What did you think about the book? I have to say that I was a bit disappointed in this one. I most liked her writing about midway through the series when there was lots of tension between Stephanie, Ranger, and Morelli. Did you know that they are making a movie with Katherine Heigl? Both my mom and husband (who is reading the book now) commented on that diet plan.

  19. I can eat one carrot.

    • Karen

      LOL. Once upon a time I would have agreed. But now that I discovered my yummy maple roasted carrots, no can do.

  20. I knew I always liked her in the steph plumm books

  21. I didn’t realize the series was still going on. I think I got to 13. I love the ex Ho. :D. As for one, I do that occasionally except I am a bit more legal as I say I can have one serving. Whatever the box says a serving is… When I used to count servings of food groups I would say I couldn’t have another ____ until I had my 5 fruits n veggies, my dairy, my lean protein, my water. By the time I did all that I was full. Lol.

  22. Sounds like a perfect book for vacation! I can do the just one thing with some foods, but if its got sugar in it, forget it. I will make myself sick before I’ll just have one. Crazy crazy crazy.

  23. haha – oh I love it! That is so funny. The book must have been written by a true diet bandwagoner … all of us justify what our “one” means! Very funny (and frusterating)!!

  24. Genie@dietof51

    That sounds like a fun book! I’m a zaftig fan, too. Of the word, I mean!

  25. I’m a secret eater… If no one sees me eat it, it doesn’t count. I’ll have to check out the books, they sound like fun!

  26. Even now there are some things I don’t even try to eat one of – like Oreos. I just refuse to buy them because I know I’d eat way too many. Other things that I used to have problems with I am now able to control my cravings for – it’s a good thing!

    • Karen

      So despite all my cravings and overeating, I can actually resist Oreos at this point in my life. They are just too far off my plan. It is the stuff “on plan” like healthy bread that is still killing me. Sigh. Did you used to take them apart when you ate them?

  27. I think that’s one of the biggest problems with diets. They have hard and fast “rules” you need to follow and most of the time you just try to figure out all the sneaky ways you can cheat without cheating. I think the more rules we are given (by ourselves or someone else) the more we really want to break them.

    The book sounds cute. I really need to get back into reading…

  28. I missed this post earlier, but sure am glad I found it today! I’m headed to the bookstore… this is tooooo funny! Thanks!

  29. LOL! I had to track this one down after you mentioned posting about Lula’s diet. I love your review and how you related it to your own dieting woes. Very insightful. I actually liked this one better than I’ve been liking the Stephanie Plum series lately. I loved the series in the beginning and then thought it had become too much a parody of itself as time went on but this one brought back the magic, at least for me. I loved it and I love this post!

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