Best-selling diet books come and go.
Why? Because dieters are always looking for something new, something easy, and something that works. Clever publishing companies are always feeding dieters need to the newest thing by publishing diet books that promise to be “the one.”
I took a look at the best-selling diet books, according to FOX News, for January 2014. Chances are very good that many or all of these titles will be replaced by the time the January ’15 list comes out.
A quick scan through the titles of the books and a description of the diet looks like some of these diets have nothing in common. Many of them suggest that they offer the reader more than just weight loss; they promise optimal health too. Others look like they’re the same diet with a different title and author.
The reality is all of these books have the most important thing in common – they all restrict calories in one way or another. If you don’t reduce calories weight loss won’t happen.
Best-Selling Diet Books Cut Calories in a Variety of Ways:
- The FastDiet: 2 non consecutive days of the week the dieter fasts (women eat just 500 calories on the fast days, men get 600) Providing the calories are not ridiculously high on the other 5 days of the week to offset the 2 fast days, the calorie reduction for weight loss will be achieved.
- Eat to Live: Calories are cut by cutting out all animal products, sugar and processed foods. These are the foods with the higher energy density (or in other words the foods with the most calories per serving.) In place of the high energy density foods followers of this diet can eat all the plant-based food they want. They will not be able to eat sufficient plant-based foods to replace the calories they are no longer getting from the foods forbidden on this diet.
- What Are You Hungry For?: Calories are cut because this diet helps the dieter look inside to discover what are the causes of eating aside from hunger. If emotional eating can be curtailed, the extra calories from emotional eating are removed.
- Crazy Sexy Diet: Here’s another one promising weight loss and optimal health by eating lots of vegetables, cleanses, delicious juicing and other simple lifestyle changes.
- The Emotional Eater’s Repair Manual: Again, if the reader could stop trying to medicate emotions with food, the reader would ingest fewer calories, thus lose weight.
- Practical Paleo: Paleo for the modern man is the practical solution to the caveman diet. Eat whole organic foods and don’t eat the refined, processed and gluten-rich foods typical of the modern human diet. This is another approach to eating foods with lower energy density, AKA calories.
- French Women Don’t Get Fat: This is a diet built on the premise that rich foods in balance and moderation reduces calories without any sense of deprivation. In addition the celebration of food and life in general helps to keep the calories under control.
- Gluten Free Every Day: Removing all gluten from your diet can effectively lower the calories as long as you don’t rely on the processed gluten-free foods to replace them. In this book you get recipes to prepare your own gluten-free foods which avoids the typical higher-calorie content of processed gluten-free foods available at the supermarket.
- Skinny Bitch in the Kich: The skinny bitches are vegan. No meat, dairy and simple carbohydrates (sugars) Yes, cut out all animal products and processed foods and there goes a lot of calories.
- Substitute Yourself Skinny: This diet says eat what you love but switch this higher calorie food or ingredient for this lower calorie food or ingredient. It’s eating less fat, less sugar and more vegetables and herbs for flavor.
All of these books cut calories, as previously noted, but some are better for sustained weight management.
The books that restrict calories but not food choices are more livable. If you can’t stay true to avoiding forbidden foods you will return to eating them and the calories they add to your day will return too. That doesn’t support sustained weight management.
Conversely, if you learn to eat all foods you love in balance and moderation and make some shifts to eat more fruit and vegetables and less foods processed with added fats and sugars you’re taking a more sustainable, satisfying approach.
The most satisfying and sustainable weight management approach combines a satisfying food plan with behavior modification. Understanding how emotions affect your eating and gaining control of emotional eating is an important step in controlling calories for the long term.
Combine reducing calories in meals and snacks and getting control over emotional eating and you have found the secret to losing weight and keeping it off. Some of these best-sellers can help but for many, the best results are achieved when the behavior and food choices are reinforced in an environment of group support.