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Diet-Book Breakdown

A taste of the lean season’s new titles. Plus: Do they work in New York?

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The Rice Diet Solution
By Kitty Gurkin Rosati, M.S., R.D., L.D.N., and Robert Rosati, M.D. (Simon & Schuster).
Think of It As
Slimming secrets of the sub-Sahara.
What You Can Eat
Anything brown and bland. Snacks include no-salt matzos and rice cakes.
What You Can’t Eat
All but the sparest spices. “Topping your oatmeal with cinnamon can be a wonderful treat,” the book points out. But beware: “You might eat more.”
Typical Dinner
Meager servings of brown rice, mixed berries, and melon.
Best For
Those suffering from aguesia (taste loss); the elderly.
Can I Follow It in New York?
No. Not enough public toilets.
What to Tell the Waiter
“I’ll have Sichuan chicken with brown rice, hold the Sichuan chicken.”
Outlandish Weight-Loss Claim
In four weeks, men can lose 30 pounds; women, 19 pounds.
How It Works
You get only 6,800 calories a week.
Deprivation Level
Near famine.


How the Rich Get Thin
By Jana Klauer, M.D. (St. Martin’s Press).
Think of It As
Lunchtime at La Goulue.
What You Can Eat
Fish, salads, vegetables, plus four glasses of skim milk (or some other calcium source) a day. Caviar.
What You Can’t Eat Anything that comes in a can, a plastic bag, or from a Stop & Shop.
Typical Dinner
Skip it and go right for “Le SocialLite”: a fluffy peach, white cheese, and Splenda dessert molded into a fleur-de-lis.
Best For
Social X-ray wannabes.
Can I Follow It in New York?
Yes. Chefs here are used to being bossed around by dietary neurotics.
What to Tell the Waiter
“Oh, nothing for me. I ate on Thursday.”
Outlandish Weight-Loss Claim
Drop one dress size in three days (about eight pounds).
How It Works
Low calories, high protein, high calcium (cited in studies as aiding weight loss). Walk everywhere.
Deprivation Level
Nothing a new Balenciaga suit can’t cure.


The Sonoma Diet
By Connie Guttersen, R.D., Ph.D. (Meredith Books).
Think of It As
A nice coffee-table book.
What You Can Eat
Pretty much anything, including steak, bittersweet chocolate, and a glass of wine every night (after an initial wave of sobriety).
What You Can’t Eat
The usual diet no-nos: fried food, fruit juices, white rice, bacon.
Typical Dinner
Latin-spiced pork tenderloin, toasted-quinoa pilaf, roasted zucchini, cantaloupe, a glass of Pinot Noir.
Best For
Sideways fans.
Can I Follow It in New York?
Yes. Can be followed at any Mario Batali restaurant.
What to Tell the Waiter
“I’ll have steak, sautéed vegetables and goat cheese, Merlot, and a new diet book, because I’ve already gained six pounds.”
Outlandish Weight-Loss Claim
None.
How It Works
Small plates. Portions are confined to seven- to nine-inch plates and two-cup bowls. Loophole: There’s no height limit.
Deprivation Level
You’ll be too buzzed to care.


Good Housekeeping’s The Supermarket Diet
By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D. (Hearst Books).
Think of It As
The White Trash Diet.
What You Can Eat
Almost anything canned, frozen, or in a box, as long as it’s labeled low fat.
What You Can’t Eat
Dinner out.
Typical Dinner
Lean Cuisine.
Best For
The frozen-food industry.
Can I Follow It in New York?
You could . . . but why would you?
What to Tell the Waiter
What waiter?
Outlandish Weight-Loss Claim
One-half to three pounds the first week; one-half to two pounds a week after that.
How It Works
Calorie limits: 1,200 to 1,800 for women; vague for men.
Deprivation Level
You might be deprived of nutrients.


Eat, Drink, and Weigh Less
By Mollie Katzen and Walter Willett, M.D. (Hyperion; April 11).
Think of It As
An excuse to blow $300 at Whole Foods.
What You Can Eat
Is it crunchy and brown? Leafy and green? Not widely available? Does it require two hours to prepare? You’re in!
What You Can’t Eat
Anything on the Supermarket Diet.
Typical Dinner
Roasted chicken, “Baby Zucchini Boats With Parmesan Crust,” “Quick Marinated White Beans,” “Pickled Red Onions,” “Mixed Grains With Cashews,” a sliced peach with yogurt.
Best For
The hippie with a Sub-Zero fridge.
Can I Follow It in New York?
Yes. As long as you are severely underemployed.
What to Tell the Waiter
Ask for a fork, then discreetly smuggle some homemade sunflower-seed-flecked quinoa onto your plate.
Outlandish Weight-Loss Claim
None. It aims to get you to the right height-weight proportion.
How It Works
You’ll be cooking so much, you won’t have time to eat between meals.
Deprivation Level
Low. Maintenance level: high.


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