Newsflash: Diets Don't Work. Even Four Day Diets.

I was watching the ladies on The View discuss Dr. Ian K. Smith's (photo after the jump) new diet book, The Four Day Diet. Barbara Walters didn't seem to buy the idea of a four day diet. And neither do I.

Diets don't work.
They don't.

Call it what you want, the four-day, the fat smasher, the eat peanut butter diet. There is only one way to lose weight-forever. And there is only one thing that diets are even good for.....

I'll admit that my nutrition curiosity, and my motivation to become a wellness guru, has lead me to read up and even try several diets in my lifetime. Atkins, Coconut Oil, fruititarian, raw diets, Susan Somers, sugar-free, low carb...I know the drill.

My First Dieting Book
I purchased my first dieting/nutrition guidance book at an elementary school book fair for around $5.

I was twelve.

I loved it.

There was a photo of a young girl on the front in a pink leotard,  eating a crunchy green apple. 

I read it cover to cover,  several times over. I followed the diet tips. It said to of eat fruits and veggies before exercising, to never indulge in junk food,  and to eat a diet rich in whole grains and low-fat dairy products. There was even a little recipe index in the back. I made that recipe for "Brown Apple Betty" about a million times. And I loved the corn muffins recipe. In a few weeks my little book was covered in flour and vegetable oil from all the cooking I did. There was even a 'find your body type' chapter. Ectomorph, endomorph or mesomorph, octomorph, triomorph...I don't remember what I was, but I remember loving that little pre-teen diet book.  Oh,  and mind you,  I was never overweight,  I was simply curious about healthy eating. Isn't every little girl trained to be curious about food and learning about diets...?

The fact is, humans by nature love to learn. They also love to improve themselves. And they love to believe.

False Promises
If I tell you by following steps one, two and three, and eating foods A, B and C, you will lose ten pounds in a week, you'll probably want to hear more.

Unless you are like me and have realized that a perfect diet that last forever -- simply doesn't exist.

So Dr. Ian K. Smith. I am a skeptic just like Ms. Walters. I don't want to change my meal plan every four days and munch air popped popcorn as a free snack. I want to eat to live. Not eat to die-et.


The only purpose of a diet book should be to learn. It should teach you something about food and nutrition and wellness. (And no fluffy fake science please. Just cold hard nutrition truths.)

So sure, go buy Dr. Smith's book, read it and learn a few of the healthy eating principals he preaches. He is a doctor.  But following a food-by-food meal plan to lose weight long-term will only lead you to a state of post-diet-rage. Like Alanis, you'll pop-you'll rebel eventually and feel guilty because of it.

Marilu Henner
My favorite diet-book ever was Marilu Henner's, Total Health Makeover. But I never really followed her dieting meal-to-meal plan. I read her principles to LIVE by, and adopted many of them for my own life.

Diets are to learn from. And eventually, I hope you will find a lifestyle diet that you will forever be happy with.

I did.

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