Thursday, July 25, 2013


By wacky fad diets, I mean those diets that basically allow all you can eat of one food but restrict intake of other foods. Some of these diets have the names of famous people attached to them, but I’m leaving the names off, to avoid controversy.

Examples of fad diets are:
The Morning Banana Diet Basically dieters can eat all the bananas they want for breakfast and snacks but no other foods at those times. Some promoters of this diet allow milk with breakfast.

The Grapefruit Diet (sometime called the Hollywood Diet) Generally dieters following his plan eat grapefruit with all meals and are not allowed other carbohydrates, such as sweets or grains.

The Ice Cream Diet Early renditions of this diet allowed those wishing to lose weight to eat all ice cream they wanted but nothing else. Now those promoting this diet suggest dieters eat 1,250 calories per day in a balanced diet and once serving of ice cream.

Baby Food Diet This diet plan allows weight watchers to eat all the baby food they can gag down for two meals a day and snacks. They are allowed one normal meal a day.

I’m sure you can name many more fad diets

Will these diets work?
It’s amazing how boredom can decrease your appetite. Most of us will eat less if we are faced with limited choices. Let’s be honest, after a week you can develop a real aversion to bananas, grapefruit, or baby food, and maybe even ice cream. And then you’ll probably eat much less. That why the early renditions of the ice cream diet often failed, many could eat prodigious amounts of their favorite dessert for weeks on end.

In modern renditions of these fad diets, dieters are encouraged to eat a low calorie (about 1200 calories daily) balanced diet with these foods and to exercise more. This increases the likelihood of weight loss.

So what did you learn?
Basic science holds true. If you consume less calories and exercise more you lose weight. Fad diets add a little advertising pizzazz to this bland advice. That makes some people stick to their intentions long enough to lose weight.

Does this apply to writing?
Strong writing is like your basic balanced 1200-calorie diet with plenty of exercise. It works and produces the desired results – a good, maybe even great novel. However, it often takes a well-known name, a dynamic platform (which mean lots of hard work doing promotional activities), and/or catchy advertising gimmicks to turn it into a best seller.

Have you found the fad diet (advertising gimmick) to sell your books? I’d like to hear about it. I’m sure other writers would too.

JL Greger

In Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight, physician Linda Almquist, Sara's sister, is investigating an ambitious "diet doctor" who may be eliminating anyone who thwarts his career plans. You'll think of this book before you start your next diet. Learn more at