As I prepared to write this book on dieting I thought it would be a good idea to review the competition. Considering how many diets I had been on in my life, I was quite familiar with most of them. Nevertheless, I went over to Barnes and Noble and bought nineteen diet books. Some were written by doctors, some by nutritionists, and some by paraprofessionals. I read each one carefully and found that they ranged from fascinating to moderately interesting to just plain silly. The one thing, however, that I noted in all of them--even the very best ones--was the lack of understanding of the role that addiction plays in obesity. Even the reasonable ones like South Beach Diet and Weight Watchers missed the point completely.

No matter how many different ways you can come up with to put people on a diet that cuts down on calories, carbs, or anything else, the essential point is that the mere act of “cutting down” will never work long term. It will work short term--The Atkins Diet has proven that--but long term, never. Addiction professionals learned this at least 80 years ago. You cannot cure alcoholics by telling them to cut down; they can't. They are addicts. The same is true of heroin, pills, or any addictive substance. You cannot cure an addiction unless you give up the addictive substances. That’s why I coined the term ‘addictocarbs’ to identify specific high carbohydrate addictive foods. For example, that is why when I say that you must give up potatoes it means you cannot have any potatoes--not, that you can simply eat fewer potatoes. No, you cannot have one half of one French fry. Why? Because that is like telling an alcoholic they can have just one half of a beer. Renowned addiction specialist Kenneth P. Rosenberg M.D. says “it is because your brain has been hijacked by a craving for addictocarbs that is a billion years in the making. Once you have one French fry you ignite the brain system. One will not satisfy you it just fuels the addictive cycle.” In other words, you must stop taking the addictive substance to beat the addiction.

Diet book after diet book presented various methods for losing weight: get more sleep, drink lots of water, eat more vegetables, eat less carbs or calories, eat grapefruits or apples with every meal, do not socialize with people who overeat, eat a good breakfast, and so on. Some suggested, do more exercise or do less exercise or do different kinds of exercise, I know that these things only work in the short term; in fact, everybody knows it, and everybody keep buying the newest fad diet book in the hope that this one will be the one to tell you how to keep the weight off long term. That is why I want you to read this book. For the truth about long term weight loss and maintenance.

One interesting thing that all the diet books had in common was stories about how people who had been on this particular diet lost weight. I believe it too; I had lived that lie. I had lost 70 pounds twice and then gained it back. That is the problem with all the diet books I read. They all describe a weight loss phase which eventually leads to a maintenance phase. By now, I wonder if there is anybody, anywhere that has not figured out that there is no such thing as maintenance when it comes to dieting. Maintenance is just another way of saying this is the “gaining weight back phase.” The only way you can lose weight and keep it off is to deal with the addiction. Addictocarbs are called that for a reason. They are addictive substances. You have to give them up in order to beat the addiction, just like booze, heroin, or pills. There is no such thing as maintenance. If you choose to give up potatoes--one of the absolute worst addictocarbs--then that is it. It means no more potatoes. Not potatoes on the weekend or half a portion of French fries. It means no more potatoes.

Now, I have been at this weight loss game a long time and I realize that people will break their diets. Sure, sometimes you will fall off the wagon and have some French fries or potato chips. But do not cloak it under the guise of being in the maintenance phase of your diet. It needs to be looked it in the context of addiction. Accept it for what it is-- falling off the wagon--and proceed from there. The important thing is to get back on the wagon. I have ways of dealing with falling off the wagon, but I do not sugar coat it. No, if I you fall off the wagon call it what it is, a relapse, and proceed from there. This book will help you do just that.