How to Write a Diet Book

I always have an eye out for new diets, not that I’m shopping around for something new – I’m just interested in what’s out there. It’s become apparent that most follow a formula that’s pretty simple:

  1. Decide whether the diet prohibits certain foods or not. Prohibiting certain foods usually means that portion control is more relaxed. If you decide to allow everything, there’s usually tighter control on portions.
  2. Next up, decide whether there is a ‘magic food’ component. It can be anything. Check out The Cookie Diet or Fullbar for examples.
  3. Build a case for your approach: I’m a doctor, I was fat, I’m a researcher with over: 10 years, 20 years, 30 years experience in whatever you did all that time has made you conclude that your method of losing weight is fast and easy.
  4. Create some ritual that dieters can follow. The Fullbar guy wants you to eat 2 of his bars 1/2 hour before 2 daily meals with 8 oz. of water. This appeals to the tendency for obsessiveness in all of us.
  5. Next, throw in the obligatory chapter on exercise. You don’t even have to think about this one – no one will probably read it. If you’re a sadist, make the exercises impossible for really heavy people to do.
  6. And last, pad 1/2 the book with recipes and meal plans. Extra credit if you’ve actually tested the recipes and the meal plans.

There you go! Now all that remains is to pick a good cover. If a doctor, be sure to be dressed like a doctor, or have some doctor stuff in the background. If you’re not a doctor, you have to be photographed in shape-hugging, clothes (extra credit for shorts and bare midriffs) and always, always, always have an insanely huge grin on you face that says: “You’re fat, and I’m not!”

Done! Just get a publisher, and maybe a vitamin manufacturer to private label some supplements with your picture on it for some extra revenue, and you’re done.

Which one of us doesn’t have at least one book that fits this description somewhere?

Food Journal

Wasn’t hungry til about 11am when I had my Atkins bar. I ate my lunch at 5pm and discovered the Italian stew I made reeked of garlic – and so did I when I ate it. I suppose I’ll have to be careful as to where and when I eat it.

I didn’t have dinner, but picked on some of the bacon and chicken wrapped in lettuce, and had some of the bean dip that is rapidly ageing.

I’ve decided to track my weight differently from now on: it might seem a silly difference, but I am setting weight goals and focusing on moving toward them to where I want to be, rather than away from a weight I don’t want to be. 

This might seem simplistic, but I am rapidly coming to believe that we each harbor an inner idiot that we need to find a way to communicate to. It explains why we might know something intellectually, but not actually follow through – although we know the consequences of our actions.

So I’m setting forth the following goals:

  • To be 199 lbs. by December 1
  • To be 189 lbs. by January 1
  • To be 184 lbs. by February 1
  • To be 179 lbs. by March 1

And my weight right now is 205.8 – 6.8 lbs. away from my goal for December 1 – 13 days away.

2 thoughts on “How to Write a Diet Book

  1. Firstly, setting short term goals is NOT a stupid idea. I find it very helpful. It gives you something to strive for that isn’t that far away, just out of reach so to speak. good luck.

    As for the diet book – that was very very funny!!!! I should write one I am a doctor AND Im losing weight!!!!! Imagine my big patronising smile. Except Im a Dr of Marine Biology but maybe I could say, hmmmm….. fish have lots of omega 3 and we all know thats really good for us so we should be more like fish.

    Done, Im off to a fish oil supplement company now.

  2. Dr Dan,

    When writing a diet book, it doesn’t matter what type of doctor you are…a minor detail…I wouldn’t even mention it.

    I look forward to it’s publication.


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