One thing you probably don’t know about me is that I earn a little extra cash on the side by going to local libraries, buying their discarded books, and selling them on Amazon.com. I don’t make a lot of money this way but then again I don’t put that much time into it. I currently have over 500 books in my inventory.
But I’m not here to talk about my book-selling hobby. After starting this hobby a few years ago, over time I began to get a sense of what kinds of books sell for a lot of money and what kind aren’t worth buying at all because they’re a million copies on Amazon being sold for a penny, and thus next to worthless. One example of these books likely to cost me more money than they’ll make are bestsellers from a few years ago. What happens is that once everyone owns the books, most of them are going to put it on sale. And as with everything, competition brings down the price. And since bestsellers have so many copies being resold, the price has dropped to a penny.
But another type of book that I know to avoid are books selling a new diet plan…from several years back. That’s right. The library discarded shelves are the nearly final resting places for these failed miracle diet plans that have been marketed by “experts” for decades, and which were once trumpeted by a gullible mainstream culture as the answer to weight loss until they finally gave up.
So it occurs to me seeing all these diet miracle plans of the past now collecting dust in libraries across America that I’ve grown pretty cynical of contemporary diet plans, which largely employ the same marketing tactics of testimonials from satisfied customers, etc.
It seems to me that in at least one way diet plans work similarly to cults. For instance, when someone in $cientology isn’t seeing the results they were promised, the officials at “the church” have an easy out. They simply tell the sucker–err, I mean church member, that it’s they’re own fault they’re not seeing results because they’re “not following the plan.” Is this not the obvious out for unsuccessful diet plans? If you don’t lose weight, it must not have worked because of you’re lack of willpower or your laziness or whatever. It didn’t work because “you didn’t follow the plan.”
Diets don’t work, folks. That’s the conclusion I’ve reached. Sure, in some cases people might see results but it’s generally rare and takes a more commitment than I think is reasonable to expect from a person.
So what is the answer? I think Steve Novella has the best answer you’re going to get.
That’s it. Put down your Subway sandwich, Jared, Stay in control of your calories and you’ll probably do alright. Sure, the other stuff matters. I’m not denying that. But calories still remains probably the most important element in successful dieting.