Ever notice how many, if not most of the diet books that hit the market and become best sellers, promise huge amounts of weight loss in short periods of time? That’s precisely what makes them huge financial windfalls for the author and publishing house. Consumers want big payoffs for their efforts, and they want these payoffs in record time. When it comes to weight loss, a quick fix that provides significant weight loss is simply too good a promise to pass on. So most people figure it’s worth the bucks and the misery (since most of these quick fix plans remove entire food groups) to get the results – in record time. And with the summer breathing down our necks, or a special upcoming event providing unrelenting body image pressures, how can you possibly pass on this amazing remedy?
Jorge Cruise is a well-known personal trainer and fitness expert and his latest book, The 100: Count ONLY Sugar Calories and Lose Up to 18 Lbs. in 2 Weeks, promises a chunk of weight off in a really short period of time. The premise is one that we’ve heard before- counting calories alone is not the answer. Sugar has become its own food group, not the healthy grains we should be eating (though all grains get grouped into "no go"), but rather processed foods driven by large amounts of refined sugar. Mr. Cruise wants us to shun all carbs and live off fat (mostly healthy but saturated fat is obviously even in the leanest cuts of meat) and protein, meat and non-meat based. You are allowed 100 calories of sugar daily but if you want or need pastas and grains, then we're guided to special flours like coconut flour. You can fry foods, eat cheese, nuts and lots of eggs and meat…..and lose weight. Just keep Mary Poppins and her spoonful of sugar away!!
My first thought is that the author can extoll the virtues of no carbs,or the significant virtues of his diet versus Atkins or Paleo, but I still see this diet as a short term fix that may result in significant weight loss, and then a yo-yo bounce right back to where you were before, with the chance you will pack on even more pounds because of the carb binge that is likely to happen. Then there’s the fact that this personal trainer suggests exercise won’t help a whole lot – it’s still good for health, however, it is not crucial for weight loss. Say what???? I’m the first to agree that diet is probably 80% of the formula for weight loss, and exercise about 20% of the equation, but why, oh why, would a fitness professional suggest it doesn’t really help at all? In 25 years of Health Coaching, I can tell you it is crucial to weight loss, weight maintenance (for sure) and certainly to reducing risk factors of certain diseases as well as supporting health.
My real issue with these trendy books is this notion that somehow the author has figured out some magical solution to the disease called obesity. Sometimes these authors themselves have struggled with weight, as I have, and I can tell you that in most cases, these books are not the product of their struggle with weight loss, or even their clients struggle with weight loss. yes we need to eat less processed foods and less refined sugar. These crazy diets actually have you thinking about food 24/7. And despite using some common tools and techniques with most of my clients, weight loss that is sustained is very complicated and very personal. And my client success stories have never been driven by drastic, cut out food groups, don’t bother to exercise, approaches.
So the next time you’re tempted to grab the latest “diet book thriller,” ask yourself a simple question- “Do you see yourself on this eating program one year from now?” If not, spend some time looking for a weight loss book that offers information, a solid eating plan, exercise recommendations and sensible support. …or maybe on one visit with a qualified professional.
Amy Hendel is a health professional, journalist and host of Food Rescue, Simple Smoothies and What’s for Lunch? Author of Fat Families, Thin Families and The 4 Habits of Healthy Families, she tweets health headlines daily @HealthGal1103. Catch her guest appearances on Marie! on Hallmark and other local and national news and talk shows.
Published On: June 10, 2013