The following are copied straight from a nice article by Philip Greenspun which does not deal with diets.
In the 1980s Steve Ward, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT, described a sure-fire dieting scheme. “All that you need for my diet is graph paper, a ruler, and a pencil,” Steve would explain. “The horizontal axis is time, one line per day. The vertical axis is weight in lbs. You plot your current weight on the left side of the paper. You plot your desired weight on a desired date towards the right side, making sure that you’ve left the correct number of lines in between (one per day). You draw a line from the current weight/date to the desired weight/date. Every morning you weigh yourself and plot the result. If the point is below the line, you eat whatever you want all day. If the point is above the line, you eat nothing but broccoli or some other low-calorie food.”
Harry Greenspun, M.D., one of America’s most brilliant doctors, offers his own diet: “Don’t eat anything that a Caveman wouldn’t have eaten; humans have not had enough time to adapt biologically to the agricultural revolution.” What does that mean? “You can eat meat, vegetables that you pick up from the ground and fruits that you pick out of a tree. Don’t eat pasta, bread, corn, potatoes, and other products of modern agriculture.”