The story of the miracle diet
Have you heard about the miracle diet? It’s brand new, easy to follow, requires little to no sacrifice, allows you to continue eating most of your favourite foods, and will get you in better shape than any other solution out there.
You can do all this in half the time other diets permit, and you won’t even need to exercise. The miracle diet exploits a special combination of natural ingredients prepared using a simple technique dating back to the ancient Orient. But the long-lost secret is finally out.
The diet is all the rage in Hollywood at the moment. Celebrities and their personal trainers just can’t stop talking about it. I even hear a top European football club has endorsed the miracle diet and will be plastering its name over the front of its jerseys from next month. If I told you the first shipment of the book that started it all will be arriving in local bookstores tomorrow, would you rush out and buy it?
OK, I will come clean. I just invented the miracle diet. It doesn’t exist, but I tried to present it to you in precisely the same way most modern weight-loss phenomena are marketed. So what was your answer? Would you buy it?
Year after year, month after month, we continue to hear the same old story, the story of the miracle diet. The story, however, is getting old. Just like the miracle diet, most so-called solutions have no base in reality.
They exploit our sense of laziness, and target our everlasting fantasy of chancing upon the famous but elusive phantom secret we so desparately seek. Despite the existence of self-evident basic truths, we continue to suspect the real answers are hidden out there somwhere in the hands of a select few. The select few, of course, who don’t mind selling their secrets online for $10 a pop.
If something looks too good to be true, it means it contradicts on a fundamental level all we have learned to be true throughout our lives through our own experiences and those of others.
It’s hard to argue with the long-lost faculty of common sense. Suppose we were to divert some of the energy we expend searching for the miracle diet, and channel it all into basic strategies we know are true and have withstood the test of time.
As we fast approach the end of January, people are finally getting back in gear following the end of the festive season. Sales of everything diet-related typically spike at this time of year, as people finish off the last of their goodies.
Hampers, alcoholic drinks and cakes must all be polished off, but as we tire of the enlarged image peering back at us from our household mirrors, we take our first brave steps to better health and slimmer waistlines.
But before you part with your hard-earned cash, exercise caution above all else. “Lose weight fast” you might hear them say, but beware, because this is the biggest deception in the sale of diet products.
While it is indeed possible for those with iron will, steadfast self-discipline and an aptitude for high-intensity exercise to burn impressive amounts of fat in short periods of time, if you cannot invest the same effort and dedication, you simply cannot expect the same results.
About half a kilo per week is the maximum amount of fat you can realistcally and healthily expect to lose and keep off with an effective exercise and healthy eating plan.
If a severe diet without an accompanying exercise programme does result in rapid weight loss, then you can rest assured that upon stopping the diet the weight will come right back in just as short a period of time. If you’re lucky, you’ll put on only the weight you lost and no more, because most severe diets will leave you with more fat in the long term than when you started.
Severe diets strip away muscle mass too, and with less muscle and an altered basic metabolic rate, the body requires less calories, so when normal eating habits are resumed, more of the food ingested is surplus.
If it’s permanent weight loss you seek, then the only diet that will work must be permanent too, but then that wouldn’t actually be a diet at all. It would be a heathly eating plan. More importantly, it would be a new lifestyle. Permanent lifestyle change is the only secret you will ever need, and it doesn’t have to be any more complicated than less food and more exercise.
And what about celebrity endorsements? If a movie star, musician or wealthy entity has accepted a large sum of money to sing praises about a certain product, does that really tell us anything of value about its quality? It only tells us about the marketing strategy of the manufacturing company and the immense capital they must have invested in purchasing such endorsements.
Nothing you do this January will serve you better than a simple and honest pledge to exercise more and eat healthier food in smaller quantities. You don’t have to re-invent the wheel or discover long-lost secrets of the Orient.
The only miracle about dieting is that we still fall for the same old ruses. So there you have it; the secret is out, and best of all, you don’t have to rush out and part with any hard-earned cash for it.