Diets don’t work. At least that’s what The New York Times makes of the disappointing results of a recent study (partly financed by the Atkins Research Foundation). But is it true? Let’s take a look…

For two years, the 322 moderately obese men and women in the study followed one of three diets: a “low-fat” diet (with less than 30 percent of calories from fat – which, as Dr. Dean Ornish correctly points out, really isn’t “low fat”), a Mediterranean diet, or the Atkins low-carb diet.

The low-carb and Mediterranean diet groups lost more weight (an average of 10 pounds) than the low-fat group (an average of 6 pounds). And the researchers concluded that though the weight-loss results were modest, all of the diets still improved the subjects’ health.

So does this prove The New York Times’ contention that diets don’t work? No. They missed the point.

If I worked with 322 moderately obese people for TWO YEARS, I’d be ashamed if they lost only 6 to 10 pounds.

The dirty truth about diets – the politically incorrect truth that no one wants to admit, because it takes away all excuses for a lack of personal responsibility – is that DIETS DO WORK. It’s dieters that don’t work.

I’d bet that almost every subject in that study lied about how compliant they were with the diet they were assigned. That’s human nature. We all think we eat better than we do. And that’s how you end up with 322 people dieting for two years… and all they can achieve is an overall average loss of 8 pounds.

If you’re looking to lose weight, pick a diet. At ETR, we recommend a low-carb, high-protein diet because it is the healthiest. But pick any diet you think you can stick to. And stick to it. Take responsibility for improving your health. Take action – and you’ll see results.

[Ed. Note: Once you’ve got a diet plan that you can stick with, you’re halfway to the body you’ve always wanted. Now all you need is a an exercise program that can burn fat and build muscle at the same time. Find the key to a leaner, stronger body right here.

And for a FREE source of healthful recipes, health advice, and motivation, sign up for ETR’s natural health newsletter.]

Craig Ballantyne

Craig Ballantyne is the author of The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life. Craig has been a contributor to Men's Health magazine for over 17 years. Today he teaches his gift to high-performing entrepreneurs how to squeeze more out of their days, increase their income, and make more quality time for their families in his Perfect Life Workshop and Work-Life Mastery programs. Craig used his own advice to overcome crippling anxiety attacks in 2006, and he'll teach you his 5 Pillars of Success so you can increase your income, decrease your work time, and live the life of your dreams. Learn more about Craig at

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