Why Popular Fad Diets Work….And Why Your Results Didn’t Last

“History doesn’t repeat itself, it rhymes.” –Mark Twain

So why the quote from the man, the myth, the legend, Mark Twain!? Because I am going to tell you from the very beginning, all diets are built around the same principles. They are not special and none of these diets defy science.

I’m here to show you how each and every one of these diets trick you into thinking they are different. Ohh and trust me, they’ve tricked me too! I first thought that I couldn’t eat carbs late at night and would not touch carbs close to bed at all!

Then I joined the Paleo cult and was all about it! You couldn’t get me to go off my diet at all! But when I did…. holy moly cheat day extravaganza! Which is not good and leads to a very terrible relationship with food. But enough about me! Lets get back on topic!

​The weight loss industry is a massive accounting for over $65 billion dollar in 2014. In the world, there are currently over 1.6 billion people who are overweight.

​There is so much information out there on the news, in books, magazines, podcasts, blogs, etc.

To go along with all this information, there are hundreds of special diets people are utilizing to lose substantial amounts of weight. You probably have 5 friends who are on 5 different diets and have all lost a bunch of weight. They all swear by their diets but you have no idea what to believe.

​You’ve wasted so much time over the years trying to lose weight and achieve the body you desire that you are desperate for the diet that will work for you.

But you keep wondering to yourself, “How come all of my friends are on different diets but all achieved very similar results?”

How All These Diets Work

All these diets have a common theme which, unless you are well versed in nutritional professional, you will not even notice. All these diets trick you into eating less.

When you are in a caloric deficit, you will always lose weight.

The very simple law of thermodynamics gives us the understanding that weight loss is simply consuming less calories than you are burning. This causes a caloric deficit. If you are not losing weight, then you are not in a caloric deficit. That means you need to be eating less and/or moving more.

The Misdirection of Fad Diets

I’ll let my friend Terri and Terry Perry from Monsters University demonstrate how these popular diets are using the art of misdirection.


Notice how the cards fall out at the end!? That’s where I come in to make sure that you can see why all these diets are the same and the misdirection is what makes us think they are different!


Have you ever been told that eating a certain food will make you fat?

    Certain foods like bread, candy, ice cream, cake, cup cakes, pop tarts, cereal, white rice, and all the goodies we all love. I know you’ve all been told this and believed it.

Ok, so now lets put on our thinking hats and understand why this would trick us into eating fewer calories?

  • Well first off, all of the foods I named are very dense in calories relative to the volume of food you get.
  • Not only are you cutting out all these calorie dense foods, you are substituting in more higher volume foods such as a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables.

Let’s compare two different food choices so we can get a better understanding of what is happening here: 100g of broccoli vs. 100g of Ben & Jerrys Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ice Cream:

  • 100g broccoli = 28 cals, 0g fat, 5.2g carbs, 3g protein

  • For 100g B&J’s = 245 cals, 12g fat, 27g carbs, 5g protein

For the same volume of food, you are taking in 217 fewer calories than you were before. And lets be honest, you will be eating a whole lot more than 100g worth of Ben & Jerry’s! I mean at least I would be….

So lets say we tried to eat the same amount of calories in 100g worth of Ben & Jerry’s with broccoli.

That would be the equivalent of eat 875g worth of broccoli!

That’s 8.75 servings of that 100g picture above.

Are you starting to catch on how they are tricking you!?

Trying to eat 8.75 servings of broccoli would make you so full you’d want to explode but the same amount of calories in Ben & Jerry’s leaves you unsatisfied and wanting more!

The Wildcard

All weight loss diets emphasize you to eat a whole lot more protein. What’s so special about increasing your protein intake? Protein is the most satiating (keeps us full) of the three macronutrients.

There was an interesting study done analyzing the effects of a higher protein diet on overall caloric intake and the results were pretty remarkable.

    The participants in the study on average consumed 1,300 less calories per day without getting hungry with their increased protein intake. That’s pretty crazy!

Ok so all you vegans out there must thinking that you are special because you don’t eat a high protein diet because you don’t eat animal products like meat and dairy.

  • Well yes you are eating substantially less protein than most other diets advise but you are eating far more vegetables and fruits which are super high in fiber, water and overall food volume.
  • This allows vegans to trick themselves into eating few calories.

The moral of the story is that all these diets eliminate the higher calorie choices and force you to eat high volume, lower calorie options which help you lose weight.

The crazy thing is that all these people have no idea that they are eating less.

​If you ask someone to estimate their caloric intake, they are almost always wrong.

  • For example, those who say they can’t lose weight by reducing their caloric intake, underestimate their caloric intake by almost 47%!
  • Not only that but they overestimate their exercise by 51%! That’s a massive error!
  • To top it off, other studies have shown that people often under report their caloric intake by up to 2,000 calories per day! Holy crap!


There is absolutely nothing magical about weight loss diets.

They trick you into eating less without you realizing it.


​What is the first thing these diets tell you when you start?

They go through a list of foods that are off limits.

  • There goes your ice cream, sweet tea, cookies, chips, popcorn, candy, red wine, and pretty much everything you love.
  • You start the diet with a negative vibe and the mindset that this is going to suck!
  • You are asking yourself, “How am I going to do this if I cannot have my (insert favorite food)!”

It is pretty well known that most weight loss diets fail.

  • The percentages of failure range from 70-98% but nonetheless, that percentage is way too high.
  • And what constitutes failure is that they regained all the weight they lost or ended up heavier than when they started.

I think if you were to ask all of those people beginning a new fad diet whether they could see themselves doing this diet for the rest of their lives, their answers would’ve been an abrupt “no”.


​The biggest problem with most diets is that they are a one size fits all model. They give you the rules and you have no input on the process at all.

    Think back to a time in your life when one of your parents, teachers or boss’ said, “This is how it’s going to be and that’s final.”

And think about what was going through your head when they said that.

Something probably along the lines of, “Ohh shut up. I”m going to do what I want!”

When I work with any of my clients, one of the first questions I ask them is,

    “If we were to create the diet you could do for the rest of your life, what is the one food that would have to be in there?”

This simple question puts them in control of their success. Most people’s success in a diet comes down to the one food choice that they absolutely must have.

What food is that for you?

For Doug Houseworth at 72 years old, here’s what he had to say to me.​

    “Before I started training with Zach and utilizing his flexible dieting strategies, I had been on medication for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type II diabetes for over 20 years.
    When we first met, he asked me what was the one thing I could not do without in my diet and I answered it was my ice cream at 7pm every night.

I was waiting for him to say I couldn’t have it anymore like any of the doctors, dietitians, and any other health professional I’ve seen but he said ok lets keep that in our diet! I was stunned and confused! After 3 months of his training and him helping me learn how to create a diet around my lifestyle with flexible dieting, I am not longer on any of my medications!

Ohh and I am able now eating almost twice as many calories as I was before! Nice perks I might say! I can honestly say that Zach and his coaching has given me a new lease on life and has shown me that I have way more life to live!”

By now you are starting to understand why most diets work in the short run but fail in the long run or even make matters worse.

  • Trick you into eating less calories!!
  • Make it easy to follow by giving you only a select few food options to choose from.
  • Leads to “good” and “bad” classifications of foods leading to bad relationship with food.
  • See foods they allow you to eat as “good” and the food that are off limits as “bad”.
  • This leads to a substantially increased risk of developing eating disorders.
  • Also, makes most of your favorite foods off limits which leads to an increased risk of binging on them later on.

So this is why I love Flexible Dieting so much.

  • You are able to tailor your diet to your specific, unique situation.
  • You are in control of your food choices and what you want to spend your budget of macronutrients on.
  • If you love ice cream, you can fit it into your budget.
  • If you want a burger, you can fit it into your budget of macros.
  • God forbid, if you want taco bell, you can try and fit it into your budget.
  • By no means am I saying that you should eat these lower quality choices of foods all the time but I am saying that you have the option without feeling like a terrible person afterwards.

​80% of our diet should be made up of high quality, minimally processed, nutrient dense foods but 20% gives you that flexibility to be flexible and live your life!


We’ve all tried so many diet​s throughout our lives and have been tricked over and over again! We all should have the perfect diet for us and our lifestyle!

I’d love to read in the comments which diet has tricked you!?

And what factor do you think is the reason why it failed or wasn’t sustainable?

Thanks again for taking the time to read this and continue to expand your nutritional expertise! See you next time!​

​Thanks and God Bless,


Did you know you can get even more coaching on nutrition principles like the ones covered here?

Apply for The Flexible Dieting University Today!