The Papaya Diet: A Guaranteed Loser

Search Yahoo for "papaya" and "kirstie" and you'll find at least a hundred sites that claim papaya is single-handedly responsible for melting literally dozens of pounds off the body of a popular actress.

I can recall, from my own quality-time spent in line at the grocery store, virtually every food known to man being touted as the key ingredient in a new "miracle diet." Grapefruit, broccoli, cabbage and even chocolate have been "scientifically proven" by a panel of seven-year-olds to "literally melt away the pounds" before your very eyes.

But what about the papaya? Is it the key ingredient, the silver bullet, the big kahuna and the magic potion all wrapped up in a low fat, gluten-free tortilla?

Searching the web for "papaya" and "diet" turns up some interesting results. Clicking from site to site one finds nearly identical copy on each site, as though there is one main "mother lode" of papaya information from which all papaya data flows.

A cursory scan of the available data shows that papaya is a great food that offers a good amount of benefit in a relatively small package. There are two varieties of papaya, one typically comes from Mexico and the other from Hawaii. The Mexican variety can grow to be rather large and the taste is more subtle than it's Hawaiian cousin, but otherwise they are very similar and available year-around at most grocery stores or produce shops.

Papaya are high in Vitamin C, a good source of fiber, and probably best known for the enzyme papain, which is used commercially as a meat tenderizer. The more educational sites report that the enzyme (papain) helps the body to break down protein, which explains its use as a meat tenderizer.

As you move from the academic to the commercial sites, papain seems to evolve into "Super Enzyme" capable of not only breaking down protein, but also increasing your metabolism, digesting fats, assimilating carbohydrates, and even repainting your house while you sleep. Now that's SUPER!

Don't get me wrong, I've got nothing against the papaya. In fact, I've been told I resemble one. It's just that if there were a "magic potion" that solved all of our health problems then there wouldn't be any overweight people and I wouldn't be writing this.

With that said, I have come up with a diet that is guaranteed to help ANYONE lose weight, and I'm calling my new diet "The Papaya Diet." Remember, when you read about this one as you wait your turn in line at the grocery store, you heard it from me first.

Follow the simple steps below and the pounds will begin to (slowly) melt away.

Step 1: Go to the grocery store and buy a nice papaya, about one pound in weight. Make sure that the papaya is not too ripe. When traveling to the store, it is preferable that you walk, as you'll burn calories and fire up your metabolism. If not possible, park far from the store and walk across the parking lot.

Step 2: Bring your papaya home and keep it with you at all times. The key to this fantastic diet is keeping the papaya healthy and happy. Be sure your papaya gets plenty of sleep. Seven and a half hours each day is recommended. Keep your papaya hydrated. It should drink a gallon of water each day. Since your papaya doesn't have a mouth, you'll need to drink the water yourself. You'll also have to eat for the papaya. When eating your papaya's meals, keep your portions small and choose only healthy foods with a good mix of fruits and vegetables. It's okay, the papaya will not be upset by this. Eat your food slowly and stop eating at the first sign of being full. Your papaya will become very agitated if you overeat. Skip desserts, as your papaya is most effective when you do not eat dessert.

Step 3: Be certain your papaya gets plenty of fresh air and exercise. The simplest and easiest way to accomplish this task is to set aside time to walk your papaya each day. Your papaya can be held in your bare hand or kept in a backpack/napsack. Purchase a pedometer and set a goal of carrying your papaya at least 10,000 steps each day. Doing so will almost ensure the success of the Papaya Diet.

Step 4: Eat the papaya and return to Step 1.

Most people think that the beauty of the Papaya Diet is its simplicity. I agree, and would add to that its accessibility. Those who can walk, shop and eat can participate in the Papaya Diet and will soon be the envy of their friends and family.

You don't like papaya, you say? Well, you might be interested in learning about my new "Watermelon Diet"...

Michael Callen is the author of the Weekly Weightloss Tips Newsletter and the Chief Technology Officer for Wellness Partners, an online retailer of dozens of health and wellness products.

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