Diet Plans are a Dime a Dozen...Be Skeptical!
Diet plans come in all shapes, sizes, and forms. In a recent review of diet plans, WebMD(a) reviewed an astounding 88 current diet plans. Yes, friends, that number is truly astounding. Consider the 'calories in/calories out' mantra as the foundational base for all diet plans. Why should there be so many to chose from?
In my opinion, there are so many diet plans because most people fall for the latest fads. "Nothing has worked so far so I think I'll give the cabbage soup diet a chance," is the cry of the hopeless diet failure. Many of the 88 diet plans are crackpot ideas and while many others base their diet plan on hard-core scientific evidence.
How to Avoid Crackpot Diet Plans
Explore the claims made by proponents of any diet plan. If they sound too good to be true, they probably are. While this is not always the case, wild claims are often telltale signs of the snake-oil con man of the Old West.
Sometimes, however, the claims made are exaggerations designed to make losing weight more attractive. If you can lose weight and have a better romantic life, who would turn this down? If you can lose weight and have the stamina to run a marathon, wouldn't that be attractive? But what if the claim is that you can drop three sizes in a week? That would make me quite skeptical of both truth and the health of the diet plan in question.
Become a Skeptic
Yes, be skeptical as you review any diet plan you are considering. Look at the claims made. Are they purely promotional or do they appear based on the science of weight loss? Do they make claims that promise miracles, outlandish claims that stand outside the norm?
Your skepticism may finally, once and for all, put the diet plan roulette wheel to rest. If your underlying motivation is to lose weight, look at the science of how a plan works to do that and only that. Any other benefits gained from the diet plan are bonuses that would attach to any successful plan.
In your skeptical frame of mind, you should also consider the risks and rewards of any particular diet plan. Every plan you consider has both risks and rewards. It is foolhardy to ignore the risks. Rather, consider if the risks are worth the benefits that derive from the diet plan.
Celebrity Diet Plans
Let's say Mary Smith is a famous actor. She stars as the romantic lead in many movies. She is a frequent guest on late-night TV. Her name is a household word. And she has a diet plan that is the best diet plan in the world. She has a book out touting her diet plan. Another book of recipes that conform to her diet plan. Finally, she is on a book tour promoting her diet plan.
Immediately, my skeptical nature peaks. Mary Smith was quite likely approached by either a publisher or a ghostwriter or both to lend her name to a diet plan. She no more has the expertise to create a diet plan than I do of building a faster than light spaceship. She is most likely being paid to lend her name and act as the promotional arm of this book.
Even if Mary Smith's diet is the best of all possible worlds, I am skeptical of the hubris that went into its publication. I don't have any idea why I should fall into the 'celebrity trap' and buy this particular plan. If this plan is, as I suspect, merely published to make money, then I suggest that it be avoided at all costs.
What about Expert Diet Plans
There are any number of 'experts' touting diet plans of their own. Dr. Andrew Weil, the late Dr. Robert Atkins, Dr. Robert Kushner, Dr. Oz and Dr. Phil, to name a few. The first three on this list of experts, truly are experts in the field of diet and weight loss. The latter two are TV personalities with some level of licensure. Drs, Weil, Atkins, and Kushner base their work on sound medical practice. While Drs Oz and Phil latch on to the works of others, much like our actor, Mary Smith.
If I am thinking skeptically, which I often do, I am always going to lean toward the science rather than the celebrity. When considering a diet plan that best suits you, strongly suggest that you do the same. Science and scientific research always trumps TV promotional strategies of celebrity doctors.
This is, of course, not to say that Dr. Oz and Dr. Phil are deliberately trying to dupe you into something unhealthy. In fact, their diet plan of the week may be quite good. It is, however, to say that before I would trust their advice, I would want to explore their sources. Is someone paying them to promote their plan? If so, do they reveal that or do they let it stay under wraps? What research studies back what they are promoting? If they aren't revealed, why not?