Well, I tried the low-carb thing and the gluten-free thing. I tried it because I thought it might help me obliterate my mummy tummy, this abdominal goitre I've been carrying around for about about eight years and five months now.
It didn't work: I didn't lose any weight.
Let me stress that there are millions of people out there who need to avoid gluten for health reasons. Those with celiac disease, IBS, and other chronic conditions have found great relief by cutting out that single ingredient.
But I just thought I could jump in the band wagon and take off a few pounds. And after several months of avoiding bread, toast, bagels, croissants, and pasta, dammit, I'm having a sandwich for lunch. (I also enjoyed my garlicky lemon-basil spaghettini last night, recipe courtesy Rachel Ray, along with some tender halibut).
It's important to realize that cutting out gluten or carbs is not a sure-fire way to shed pounds, especially given how wildly popular the whole craze has become.
And even though you can buy gluten-free everything these days, some experts are calling into question the benefits of the so-called Wheat Belly diet.
Time magazine recently published a story called the "The dangers of going gluten-free", and I covered the issue in the Georgia Straight in an article called "Gluten-free movement growing amid controversy".
If you do approach the diet as a means to lose weight, be careful. Avoid overeating things like almonds and cheese. And be sure you're getting enough fibre and nutrients.
Of course, it's not a good idea to overload on the carbs, either. If you're having a sandwich, try it open-faced. If you love pasta with or for dinner, cut back the portions. Have a single piece of toast for breakfast instead of two, a half rather than a full bagel.
Everything in moderation, even moderation, right?