Let me be honest. This pandemic – where there’s literally nothing to do except eat, drink and surf Netflix – has not been kind to me. Combine that with worsening arthritis and the start of my mid-40s, and I can honestly say I’m in the worst shape of my life (excluding post-partum).

But as my age increases, it has failed to decrease my desire to maintain a certain physique, even at times, an unrealistic one. “I can totally have a body like Carrie Underwood…” This, for me, has resulted into a foray of fad diets that I will unceremoniously rate for you below. May this keep money in your wallets, and canisters or unused shake mix out of your pantries.

KETO DIET: Best for an Early Heart Attack

The Keto diet may be the most popular of all fad diets, at least if Pinterest is any indication. Its rise to popularity parallels that of bacon as an appetizer. The Keto diet is delicious. If you like drinking cream cheese and brushing with T-bones, it’s doable. Your grocery bill won’t be low, nor will your cholesterol. I managed to lose 5 lbs. on Keto and honestly never felt hungry. But after awhile, I just stopped wanting to eat. That sounds good for a diet, but it wasn’t that I wasn’t hungry. It was that I started to despise greasy pots of cheese and meat, and my stomach would turn at the insistence that I shove more fat and protein in my body.

Key Findings: Unhealthy, Expensive, Unsustainable and Greasy.

THE METABOLISM RESET DIET: Best if you want to spend 6 hours in the kitchen and love bland food

“Lose 14 pounds in 14 days.” This one got me excited.  Why a girl from Wisconsin thought she could stick to a diet that outlawed beer and cheese is beyond me. The red flag should have come when my husband complained for weeks about the shopping list I gave him. With ingredients like Coconut Aminos and ghee, I suppose I can understand. I was enthusiastic to start, after all. Along with weight loss, this diet promises to change your entire physiological make up. I planned all the meals, but as dinner time loomed, I found myself cooking separately for my kids, and slaving over ridiculously complex meals for my husband and I, which inevitably ended up being – sort of blah. No amount of salt could save them. There was no possible way to have a quick breakfast, so this diet quickly turned into one of two things for me: a starvation diet (exact opposite of what it preaches), or a failure, because by failing to prep approved meals in advance, I’d give in to Chipotle. I gained 3 pounds.

Key Findings: Unrealistic unless you are independently wealthy, don’t work and have no kids (and also never go out to eat)

ISAGENIX: Best if you like taking shake cups everywhere

I lost 13 lbs. on Isagenix in the span of six weeks. It was actually really easy, really portable, and effective for me. I was mostly not starving, except on fast days, when the goal is to literally be starving. I was able to work out and had the necessary energy to do so. Breakfast was on the go and simple. It was expensive, but not as bad as some diets that demand that you buy random food that inevitably goes rotten because you’ll never use it. You could actually be flexible with it around, say, a work lunch or a glass of wine or two with the girls, as long as you subtracted these luxuries from your 600 non-shake calories a day. My primary issue with Isogenix was fatigue. I just started wanting to chew my food.

Key Findings: A bit culty (it’s a multi-level marketing firm), short-term success, Lots of shake cups, fasting for two days can be dangerous to your relationships.

So there are my reviews.

Perhaps I’ll save you some time, money and effort. I’d like to say this completes my research into diets, but I doubt that’s true. Right now I seem to be working on something I’d name the “Leftover Christmas Candy Diet,” and I don’t have high hopes.

In case you’re still interested in dieting, here are a couple of posts by other writers at COSMC: