Are you frustrated with your weight? Do you want to drop some extra fat quickly? If so, you are not alone. However, the more you want this, the easier it is to fall into a trap of desperation. This desperate attempt to lose weight can lead you in search of a quick-fix solution and leave you with an even bigger long-term problem. Before you even think of starting some new diet, you need to read this first.
To help you fully understand the folly of today’s diets, let’s take a behind-the-scenes look at how a weight loss plan works – from a business perspective. I’m going to write this as if I was giving you advice on how to develop your own “miracle” weight loss plan. My intention is to give you clarity, increase your skepticism and help you guard yourself from falling for another diet deception. Helpless plea: please don’t really use this as a formula to create your special weight loss diet and rip people off!
The Formula for a Best-Selling Weight Loss Plan
Step 1: Rub it is people's faces
The first strategy when you are trying to market something is to make people dissatisfied with their current condition. This is easier than ever as the fashion industry, the media, the weight loss industry, Hollywood and unfortunately, many in the fitness industry all preach the same lie: body fat is ugly and unhealthy. A fat-less body is the standard of beauty, health and self-worth for which everyone should strive.
Step 2: Remind people of past failures
This is also extremely easy to do. Since over 95% of diets don’t work in the long run, everyone who wants to lose fat has at some point in their life already tried a diet that didn’t work for them. Alternatively, it did work – in the short term, but then they gained all the weight back – with a bonus. In your advertising, continually remind people that they have failed repeatedly to lose weight and keep it off.
Step 3: Hold up exceptions as the norm
Your next step is to hide the fact that most diets fail miserably. This can easily be done by getting pictures of the rare exceptions. For example, you could find that rare individual who was able to maintain long-term weight loss. You could use gifted celebrities who have spent the last 3 months working with their team (trainer, nutritionist, full-time nanny and sometimes a chemist) to dial in for the swim-suit shot. You could find those rare genetic outliers who are naturally insanely skinny (and who after years of unhealthy living, finally started eating right and exercising and made a “results not typical” transformation). You could use female physique athletes who are so lean and so overtrained they don’t menstruate anymore. You could also get fashion models with eating disorders complete with the best Photoshop artists in the business.
Step 4: Add some interesting “science”
Create some pseudo-scientific sounding isolated reason people are overweight and can't seem to find a diet that works. Pretty much anything will work as long as it sounds scientific, is unique and has nothing to do with eating fewer calories than you burn. Here is a template you can use:
Step 5: Provide the solution
If you really want to hook people, say something like: "It is not your fault, you just need (fill in the blank here with whatever you are selling). This could be a special diet plan, a miracle supplement, cream/potion/powder or a useless exercise equipment gimmick. Do not over-estimate people’s intelligence. If you have done steps 1-3 correctly, people will at this point be thinking with their emotions – not their brains. Tell people what they want to hear and you will make the sale.
Step 6: Make sure your solution involves slashing calories
Do something to create a drastic slash in calories so people get a quick drop in weight. It could involve radically reducing portion sizes, counting calories, demonizing foods people commonly eat (examples: fat, carbs, go vegan, go paleo, go gluten free (this may not work now that we have so many gluten free junk foods), creating restrictive rules (always do this, never do that), fasting or some extreme cleanse. It doesn’t matter how you do this, as long as you get the calories way down! If you slash people’s daily caloric intakes, they will lose weight fast and think you are a miracle worker.
Drastic, short-term calorie slashing always results in a quick, drop in scale weight. This gets people excited. It “proves” to them that your program “works.” These drastic results will get them talking and that means more referrals for your business!
Step 7: Keep the focus on scale weight
Never encourage people to actually get accurate body fat testing. True fat loss is a hard, slow process. Instead, focus on scale weight. Fast weight loss is easy. For example, I recently lost about 10lbs in a day. How did I do it? Simple, I got the stomach flu.
Step 8: Make it short
Ideally you want your “miracle diet” to last less than 30 days. This makes your diet more appealing. No one wants a “300 days of broccoli and boiled chicken breasts diet.” This helps because people think, "Well, its only 20 days - I can eat like that for 20 days". This also covers your butt. With a short diet, the diet will be over about the same time it stops working. At this point, you will have wrecked the person’s metabolism, caused them to lose muscle and convinced their bodies that there is a global famine. This is perfect! At this point, your victims – I mean clients will rebound and gain back all the weight – with a bonus. Now they are primed and ready to come back to your “miracle weight loss program” because after all, it “worked” so well the last time.
Now, back to reality
You are smarter than that. You know deep down this stuff does not work. The next time you find yourself being emotionally pulled into another diet deception, mentally bring yourself back to what you just read.
We all are the way we are because of two things: genetics and lifestyle. Instead of trying to have someone else’s body, accept the body you have. Then, gradually and consistently work on adopting healthy eating, physical activity and lifestyle habits that will help you get and stay at the right weight for you.
Stay tuned as next time, I’ll give you those habits…
For more info on diets, check out:
Also, check out the rest of my fat loss posts HERE