“The lemonade diet? Do people really follow this stuff?”, you think to yourself as you walk through the neighborhood bookstore.
Yep. They sure do, and they’re going to continue doing so as well.
If you wanna make some money, spend a little bit of time personal training, getting an MD, losing weight yourself, or whatever else, and then sit down and write an absolutely ridiculous diet plan based on crappy science.
People do it all the time, and people fall for it all the time as well.
Why? Well, I’ve done a fair amount of thinking on the subject, and as far as I can tell, these are the reasons people keep getting duped time and time again.
- Fad diets are strict – This may not make sense at first, but think about it. Not only do we as humans like to have something to brag about to our friends, but we like to push ourselves as well. We want and need something bigger than ourselves to work towards (which is why I would argue that sports are such an attractive outlet to people), and enduring a super strict diet can act as that method of release for us.
- Fad diets are easy – Yeah, I just said they were strict, which generally means hard, but I’ll show you what I mean. “The Rice Diet”, “The Lemonade Diet”, “The OJ Diet”, all of these are real things that are easy to remember and implement. You don’t have to learn any new recipes, or acquire new cooking skills, all you have to do is remember to indulge in that one certain food a certain number of times per day. Anybody can drink lemonade 5x/day. It’s not hard at all.
3. A quick fix – We want instantaneous gratification, and fad diets promise that. They’ll often guarantee you’ll lose X amount of pounds in X amount of days or your money back. They’re advertised as being the long lost secret to truly getting your life back on track and becoming the person that you want to be. Fad diets market themselves as the key to getting where you want to be, and as a result, they sell.
- 4. They’re spelled out – Try this for yourself. Go up to any nutritionist or other fitness-y person, and ask them for diet advice. 9 times out of 10 they’re going to say really generalized answers such as to just not eat junk, or to eat more vegetables, or something along those lines. While this is true, this is not what people want. People don’t want to do all of the thinking and learning here. That’s why they go to people for help! And when these people only give broad answers, they’re really not saying anything new.
People want it to be spelled out for them. They want to know that if they follow this food list to a tee, that they’ll lose weight. Diet book writers know this, and capitalize on it as well. They give people what they want, and as a result, they make a lot of money.
Like it or not (I don’t), fad diets are here to stay. However, if you know a thing or two behind the philosophy that the author is incorporating into the book, then you’ll be able to cipher through the garbage that’s out there a lot more efficiently, and save yourself a lot of trouble (and weight!).