When Writing a Diet Book, The First Rule is to Slam the Competition

The one thing almost every diet book has in common is they attack other diet books. It almost seems like a prerequisite. The reader must be told their weight problem was the fault of misinformed or downright evil diet books that got it wrong. Once the reader has been convinced that all the old ways were invalid, then you proceed to sell them on your strategy.

I have read many diet and nutrition books. To me they all hold clues. Some are better than others, but I usually find something of value in most of them. I think low-fat diets are garbage, but any low-fat diet book will stress the need to eat more fresh veggies. That is great advice. Dr. Atkins taught the world about ketosis and low-carb dieting. He understood the damage sugars and processed carbohydrates were doing to the dieter. Again, despite his nonsense about avoiding fruits and his obsession with staying in ketosis for fat loss, the book held clues to at least part of the equation.*

Photo Thrift Store by ex.libris

Today I watched a video where John Barban, the science editor of the EatStopEat program dismisses an entire counter of nutrition books with flippant comments. I don’t even think he got past the cover on most of these. The EatStopEat program is great. I read the book and follow Intermittent Fasting one day a week. I use the other 6 days of the week to eat a wide variety of nutrient rich foods. That isn’t covered in the EatStopEat program. I still read other sources. No one book has all the answers for every reader.

To me the fact there are a lot of diet books is not a sign of failure, but a sign there is a growing interest in health. There is no one way to communicate every nugget of wisdom to every reader in a single book. These authors that go after their peers need a little history lesson. There is no shortage of gurus that have some or all of their ideas discredited over time. Maybe you don’t have all the answers. And just maybe someone in the future will discredit your ideas.

1 Comment

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  1. John H Legend

    Aug 4, 2009 — 3:10 am

    The fact of the matter is, our diet has to evolve with our lifestyle. And there’s no such thing as a “one size fits all” diet.

    John H Legend

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