The Beat the Clock Diet

Our latest column from William Thomas

New diets and weight-loss scams are still popping up with the frequency of nasty presidential tweets. Unfortunately they have the same results – SAD.

There was the Wine & Egg Diet – one egg and one glass of white wine for breakfast. Two of the same for lunch. And four eggs plus a half bottle of white wine for dinner. This diet came with a warning to take a breathalyzer test before operating your walker on your way to bed. These dieters naturally graduated to the Drinking Man’s Diet which added martinis and mixed drinks to the white wine culminating in self-induced comas at nightfall.

The Blood Type Diet matched different food groups to different blood types. Although dieters were urged to “B Positive,” the results turned out to “B Negative.”

The Baby Food Diet had grownups eating the jars of baby food every day with the option of a real meal for supper. This diet resulted in considerable weight loss once 14 jars of partly digested baby food were deposited into the porcelain bowl at the end of each day. The Baby Food Diet was so disgusting, many eaters actually welcomed the WWII Rations Diet. The “F” Plan Diet was centered around fiber, but instead of weight loss, it wound up losing family and friends to excessive flatulence.

There were the perfunctory scams – the Cookie Diet, the Lemonade Diet, The Grapefruit Diet, the Water Diet and the Cigarette Diet. What? In the 1920s Lucky Stripe introduced the Cigarette Diet to the models and actresses who needed to stay slim for their jobs. The diet with the slogan “Reach For A Lucky Strike Instead Of A Sweet” claimed the more you smoked, the less appetite you would have for food. Results were inconclusive what with the dieters having lungs removed and hearts replaced all the time.

Then there was my diet. The Beat The clock Diet. It was written as a spoof on dieting decades ago but now that we live in the Age of Ridiculousness, I think it will actually work. On my Beat The Clock Diet, you can eat anything your little heart desires: pizza, chocolate fudge sundaes, back bacon sandwiches, Mars bars, shrimp crepes, cream puffs, lasagna, buttered popcorn washed down with eight-ounce glasses of Baileys or vodka jello shooters.

As a matter of fact, those ten items right there actually make up the essential nutritional food groups of the Beat The Clock Diet. In fact, that is the diet – those ten items three times a day for three weeks. Substitute anything for anything your heart desires.

But, as Bud Collier used to say on the game show Beat The Clock, you’ve got just two minutes to complete the task. Broken down, you have 20 seconds for breakfast, 40 seconds for lunch and a full minute for supper. It is recommended you prepare all items ahead of time and have them well-placed at arm’s length on the table in front of you. Organization is everything on this diet. Knock over a glass or get a kernel of popcorn stuck in your teeth and whoops! There goes breakfast.

Another member of the family, hopefully a fellow dieter stands on the end chair across from you with a whistle and a stop watch. If you live alone, hire a student to come in to play Bud Collier.

“On your mark … get set … (remember to unwrap those Mars bars) … go!”

Go after the softer foods first since they can pretty much be swallowed whole. Knives and forks will tend only to slow you down and in the final seconds could prove fatal. Rubber gloves are permitted and a beach towel draped down the front of you makes much more sense than a napkin. Food that gets accidentally rammed up your nose doesn’t count unless you can inhale it.

Remember, when the final whistle goes you must stop your intake of food, but you can continue to chew. The last 10 seconds of every meal of the Beat The Clock Diet are known as “the loading zone.” If you’ve paced yourself and finished with a flurry, when the whistle blows your face should look like that of a squirrel with a bad case of the mumps foraging under a walnut tree.

And of course, when you’ve completed your meal and are officially finished, the host hits you in the face with a banana cream pie just like the television show. On my diet, whatever you can trap with your tongue, that’s known as dessert.

It’s estimated you can lose up to 100 pounds in three weeks of the Beat The Clock Diet, not to mention teeth and those friends who watch you eat.

This diet is not for everybody. Slow eaters and people who talk with their mouths full, find it very restrictive. So do people not accustomed to belching out loud.

For those who like the Beat The Clock Diet, but find it a bit inflexible, I included a supplement diet plan that compliments and adds variety to a day’s meals. It’s called the “I Snuck-A-Snack” supplementary diet. First, you hide all ten essential food items in your bedroom clothes closet. When the phone rings or the doorbell goes off at any time of the day, you have until the ringing stops to run to the closet and gorge yourself. And Tums come with calories so, no, just suffer. “No chest pain, no weight gain” – that’s the slogan of the Beat The Clock Diet.

For comments, ideas and copies of The Legend of Zippy Chippy, go to



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