Authors of diet plans know they won’t sell very many books if they promote a plan that promises weight loss, and improved fitness, over a period of years or
even months. They understand very well that we want to see results quickly so they insist on extreme measures at least for the initial phase of their diet.
Maybe a few can stick with a plan that is based on extreme change for a week or two but after a short time, of what we consider extreme sacrifice, we want to see some improvement. When our weight hasn’t changed and our jeans are just as tight as when we started, frustration and doubt sets in. Word gets around that the plan doesn’t work and book sales drop. But if the diet starts to show improvement after a couple of weeks, and progressively greater improvement over a couple more weeks, then the author has a great success story to promote his book. The more extreme the diet, the quicker the results, and the greater the perceived success, the more books that are sold.
Everything about beginning a diet is discouraging to us North Americans because we must make a change that goes against our culture. We are a people who defend to the death’ our freedoms and way of life. A large part of that way of life is our security and comforts. A job and a comfortable home with all the amenities, acquired early in life, sets a pattern for family life that thrives on habit. Our comfort and security relies on an unchanging life style based on our established routines.
Suddenly deciding a change is required, to some of our embedded patterns, is very unnerving and although we think we can accept and manage change, we actually find it extremely difficult. Going on a diet requires breaking routines that have been established for many years. It also means we must deprive ourselves of many things we enjoy and fit perfectly into our comfortable life style.
Another thing we have to endure, when we are on a diet, is patience. It has taken us a lifetime to get to the point where some action is required to improve our health and appearance but we want the situation resolved in a couple of weeks.
Any diet or health program, prescribed by a family doctor or any other health professional, normally will not promise sustainable results overnight. But when one of them put their theories into print, their agenda changes. Selling books and becoming famous is now the priority, even at the expense of us patients. No one is going to tell me that a doctor who endorses a plan, that has his patients experiencing significant weight loss in a matter of weeks, doesn’t know that he is probably jeopardising the long-term health of those patients.
Most of us don’t listen to our doctors when they prescribe a long-term program of sensible eating and exercise. We choose the current best seller that guarantees quick and significant results.