It’s the most wonderful time of the year; ‘tis is the time for end-of-year lists. Soon we shall (whether we want to or not) know the top songs/movies/books/news stories of the year. TV hosts will interview the “Most Influential Celebrities.” In the past, publications have gone so far as to post a compilation of lists ranging from “Top Happiest Endings of the Decade” to “Worst Predictions” (which includes “A particle accelerator will end the world”). Therefore, in honor of the list spirit, I shall now bound confidently onto the bandwagon and provide - in no particular order - a compilation of some the most bizarre diets upon which I have the misfortune to stumble. (Yes, they are all real.)

Let us commence with the Cookie Diet. One eats one meal per day that must consist of six ounces of protein, as well as at least six of a unique type of cookie each day, for a grand total of 800 calories; about one-third the required intake to maintain a healthful body. Lose your weight and get rid of that pesky hale and hearty glow - all at once. But, mmm-mmm-mmm, sure tastes great! This proves that eating cookies to lose weight makes about as much sense as getting stabbed in the eye to forget about your earache.

After a long week, I plead guilty that a part of me welcomes the Sleeping Beauty Diet. The not-so-fantasy concept is: “If you aren’t awake, you aren’t eating.” (So, what explains the crumbs in my bed?) Followers take heavy sedation and sleep for days at a time so they won’t eat and will therefore whither away. Obviously one will be thinner from this approach, but this is not much healthier than the wicked-stepmother-poisoned-apple diet that never quite caught hold.

Yes, we have no bananas. That’s where they’re singing in Tokyo due to a shortage of the starchy fruit brought on by the popularity of the Japanese Morning-Banana Diet. People started “going bananas” after news spread of a gentleman losing approximately 25 pounds (and gaining his fiancée) while consuming only bananas and room-temperature water every morning. His story became the first of a series of banana-diet books, selling hundreds of thousands of copies.

Part of what makes this diet so attractive is its simplicity. In addition to the Spartan breakfast, eat dinner by 8 p.m., be in bed by midnight, and avoid alcohol and fatty foods. One might say that this diet has a huge “appeal” and it’s pretty easy to “slip up on it” (insert rimshot here...)

However, while still in the primate order, the Monkey Chow Diet consists of only ingesting - wait for it... can you guess? ... you got it - Monkey Chow morning, noon, and night! Honestly, no monkeying around (ah, come on, you had to expect that...).

Why its founder didn’t opt for a cuisine more easily accessible - such as cat food or even fish flakes - eludes me. After all, if it’s 2 a.m. and you’ve got a powerful hankering for a full up platter of monkey pellets, it’s not like you can scamper to the nearest convenience store and stock up. Anyway, on the positive side, the MCD does makes writing a shopping list, as well as food prep a snap. List: Monkey Chow. Preparation: Put in mouth.

Unfortunately, this program appears to have side effects, probably due to the high amount of crude fiber in the pellets. Delicately worded, one might experience “stopped-up plumbing” when visiting the restroom. (Of course, from what I know of bananas, the Japanese Morning-Banana Diet might help compensate.)

About the author: Scott “Q” Marcus is the CRP (Chief Recovering Perfectionist) of www.ThisTimeIMeanIt.com, a website to support folks frustrated with making promises and ready to make a change in a supportive environment. Sign up for his free newsletter at the site or at facebook.com/thistimeimeanit. Contact him for coaching, consulting, workshops, and speaking at (707) 442.6243 or scottq@scottqmarcus.com. His first six years of these columns are now available on Amazon at http://amzn.to/StrivingBooks.