Crash diets don’t work

Seth Godin wrote a piece today on why crash diets don’t work. He said the latest fad in losing weight is just a distraction from what we don’t want the face…the need to reinvent how we see ourselves. Want more sales? Make more sales calls. Want to lose weight? Go to the gym and change your diet.

The reason they don’t work has nothing to do with what’s on the list of things to be done (or consumed). No, the reason they don’t work is that they don’t change habits, and habits are where our lives and careers and bodies are made.

My diet book would be the most effective ever written and wouldn’t sell. The first page would say, “Eat less, exercise more.” The next page would say, “The End.”

This is tough advice and something we don’t want to hear. We love the idea that automaton alone, for example, will bring amazing new business, a fallacy accelerated by the Internet of Things. We’re always looking for that one, easy thing that will change everything. But success comes from steadily putting in the work.

Real success comes from day-in, day-out habits that shift the probability for achievement in our favor.


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Categories: Continuous Improvement, Process Management

Author:Chris Taylor

Reimagining the way work is done through big data, analytics, and event processing. There's no end to what we can change and improve. I wear myself out...

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One Comment on “Crash diets don’t work”

  1. August 21, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

    Chris, nice post. I would add that it is habit + an evidence based, proven and scientific foundation.

    A diet plan of simply eating less of the same thing will almost always fail. The reason this will fail is that it depends on willpower. If the approach is to eat less of the same high calorie Standard American Diet (SAD), then you’ll feel continually unsatisfied. Sure, willpower might work for a few weeks or months, but eventually it will break. Statistics I’ve seen show that something like 95-98% of diets fail after a few years.

    A better approach is to change what you eat – to what will satisfy and fill without providing too many additional calories. Basically, remove processed foods (oils, white carbs), milk and meat products and eat a whole foods, plant based diet. Then make this a habit.

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