Written by Levi Query, adapted from “Nutrition Action Newsletter”
This article is intended to be satirical – though it would seem a great many diet books were created using this formula listed below. After you read it, think about the books you’ve read and compare how closely they relate to these directions. What books do you know of that match this formula?
In order to write your own diet book, you MUST follow these instructions, exactly. If you do, you could have the next best selling diet book.
Step 1) Choose A Title
- Pick a trendy Place — like South Beach, Tahoe, etc.
- Magic bullet — make sure you find some gimmick that will banish unwanted fat forever. Ultra-Metabolism DIET “ignites the natural fat-burning furnace that lies dormant within us.”
- Personalize — people love diets tailored to them (Blood type; Carbohydrate Addict’s diet, Blonde, etc.)
- Single Body Part: The abs diet; The Butt book, etc.
- Single food: Not currently in vogue, but past diets: Grapefruit Diet; Cabbage Soup Diet; Pizza Diet, etc. Will be in vogue again.
- Single nutrient: Also not in vogue: Low-carb diet; Low fat diet. Don’t worry, wait a few years and a new generation of dieters will again be ready to blame their unwanted flesh on carbs or fats.
Step 2) Make Promises
- Weave at least 5 of the following 10 promises into the opening chapters.
- You won’t feel hungry.
- This diet is for you if you’ve failed on other diets.
- You won’t just lose weight, you’ll have more energy, you’ll be healthier, and feel younger.
- You don’t have to give up your favorite foods.
- You don’t have to count calories, fats, carbs or anything else.
- Your weight loss will last a lifetime.
- Lose ____ pounds in _____ weeks.
- This diet will detoxify your body.
- You’ll enjoy a delicious variety of mouthwatering foods.
- This diet is backed by reams of scientific research. (To boost sales, accuse the scientific establishment of completely ignoring the research.)
Step 3) Filler
- Fill the pages up with:
- List of foods to avoid.
- Blank or lined pages where people can write (“what I ate today” or “what was easy about phase 1”)
- CHARTS — lists of fiber; calories, fat, carbs in foods; BMI chart,etc.
Step 4) Keep It Complicated
People love science.
- Deluge them with scientific names (lipoprotein lipase, cortisol, leptin, resistin, adipocyctes, mitochondria, etc.)
- Explanations of how the diet can prevent all or most diseases.
- References: fill up the final 50 pages—don’t worry, no one will check them—many references in the Shangri-La Diet are testimonials.
- Lists of supplements (herbs, vitamins, enzymes) to take. This appeals to people who like hidden scientific evidence.
Step 5) Step Out Of The Box
- Go Beyond what has been done — as long as people are chubby, there’s a market for diet books.
- Ideas? Tailor your diet to readers’ hair color; left or right-handedness. Tie stress or inflammation to obesity. Toxins are getting a lot of play — blame extra pounds on mercury in fish, allergies, etc.
Step 6) Now Go Write Your Book
Do a search on the internet for “diet books” and see how many you get. I searched Google images and came up with about 441 images of diet books. When I did a search on Amazon for the same term they showed 79,747 books meeting that description.
This is one of the main reasons why I haven’t, nor do I plan to, write a “diet book”. I am not going to create a gimmick just to grab people’s attention. I am not going to suggest anything that I don’t believe in and I am not trying to make as much money as possible by fleecing people out of their hard earned money to chase false hopes. I am more interested in helping as many people as possible make good health and fitness a part of their regular life. Writing a diet book will not do this. I have a 9 week program because I can help shape a person’s habits, nutrition and physical activity more thoroughly and offer support directly and through peers. I could never come close to helping as much with a lousy book. Books are passive. They are meant to be read. Some will include action items, but there is nothing compelling the reader to do anything other than sit and read.
If you’ve enjoyed this post about creating your own diet book, please share it with your friends. If you have comments or questions, please post a comment. If you like podcasts, I have a lot of useful information for you here too.
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