The latest thing in the world of fad diets, is to strongly deny that you are in fact selling a fad diet!
I read a lot of books, and they are not all good. I read all sorts of books in the name of learning, including diet books. I make it my business to read lots of diet books, just so that I am aware of what’s going on in the diet industry and I am constantly looking to learn, to pick up nuggets of information. In my experience, the great majority of fad diets actually do have some kind of science or common sense at their core, there is usually a good idea at the foundation, it’s just a shame that all too often it become lost in the commercialisation, or twisted all out of shape in the excessive detail.
And so it is this week, I am reading a diet book, it’s rather well known, so I shall not name the book, as I am not in the business of speaking ill of others, but the text has amused me, and I wanted to share it with you.
Throughout the book, from the very start, the text repeatedly states that this is not a fad diet, that “unlike most fad diets, this…” is different, and that ‘they don’t work’, but what’s in this book does. The book explains that “when you are on [this system] you are not on a constant treadmill, dieting all the time” but then in the very next sentence, it explains that you have ‘diet days’ and ‘non-diet days’ and so if you want a bar of chocolate, just have the will power to resist it one day and then… “You can have it tomorrow”!
Oh my word!
Throughout this best-selling book, and I must have read statements that “this is different, this is not a fad diet” at least twenty to twenty five times. Yet here are some of the other things I have read - quoted directly from the text:
“While you are doing it” [The diet, they mean.]
“Our regime of exercises”
The book states that “…in order to be effective, the method…needs to go on holiday with you…you need to be able to do it in the office…you need to be able to cope with Christmas” and then on those same pages, they spell out strict days counting calories, strict days checking your macros, balancing proteins and carbs, and they spell out meal timings and when you should eat.
The book is even called “The [X name] Diet” - surely that’s a sign of a diet???!!!??
“Unlike deprivation diets…on this plan…tomorrow there may be pancakes for breakfast, wine with supper, apple pie with cream.”
The text instructs you to “cut your calories on [this] day”…but tomorrow “you can eat as normal.”
“Tomorrow you can eat as normal” - is the very stereotypical wording of a fad diet! Modify your behaviour X way for a few days, massively cutting calories, then eat chocolate bars and apple pie tomorrow!! If that’s not a fad diet, I don’t know what is!
The book talks constantly of weight loss as the primary goal, and of cutting and counting calories as the principle method to achieve this weight loss, of severely calorie restricted days, it spells out low calorie recipes, daily meal plans for low calorie days, and then uses phrases like “Unlike full-time fad diets, you’ll still get pleasure from food, you’ll still have treats…” They are trying to distance themselves from the world of ‘slimming clubs’ which restrict calories but award ‘sin points’ or ‘red points’ to treats, allowing you ‘a little of what you fancy’ within a system of counting numbers - calories, macros, sins, sugar, etc. Yet in effect, this diet is exactly the same - caloric restriction some days, and ‘eat your treats’ on others.
The book describes the dangers of ‘hedonic eating’ and the text claims Read more