Eat like a French woman, eat like the Japanese, eat like a Canadian. If you've been worrying that you are running out of types of people to eat like, stop it! There's another diet on the market and it's made especially for you by the fancy willowy ladies of Manhattan, New York City!

The Manhattan Diet is actually not so bad — it favors exercise and portion control, which seems like a dieting method that ought to know no regional bounds. I will say, however, as a person who lives in New York, that it is slightly misleading as to how we all stay thin (and we are, every single one of us, thin). The real Manhattan Diet goes more like this: move to the city directly after college, thinking that everything is going to come easy to you. Discover quickly that this is not the case. Apply to 20 jobs via Craigslist per day. Only hear back from ones that are most assuredly scams (they will ask for your credit card number to do a "routine credit check," as is the policy with all of their employees). Because of stress, you will not only start losing your hair at a rapid rate, but you will also lose your appetite (a blessing because you can't afford food at this point anyway). Meet up with a childhood friend who also happens to live in the city. This friend will somehow be doing great and is probably working for Vogue or Dr. Oz — something brag-worthy. Go with that friend to a dinner you cannot afford. Convince them that all you want is a side salad for your entree. Heading home and feeling beaten, discover that the train to your neighborhood inexplicably cuts service at Times Square. While crying — and it is important that you cry to get rid of any salt still left in your body after days of subsisting on baby carrots and broken dreams — walk the remainder of the way (about 130 blocks) to your Washington Heights apartment. Please note that it's probably getting dark, so you better walk quick! Repeat steps until you are able to find a job that pays you well enough to eat (this ought to take at least 9 months if you're doing it right). Or until you become a bleached-out pile of bones.

Voila! You are now Manhattan skinny.