The Candy Diet

They’re happy. They’re fit. And they’re running down a beautiful tropical beach where I’d love to be right now. Who wouldn’t want to be the couple in the picture above? Who wouldn’t want to look like them? The majority of us see someone who is lean, fit and in shape, and we immediately wonder how we can look the same way. More than anything, we wonder: what do they eat that keeps them looking like that?

The entire diet industry is based on the answer to that question. The basic assumption is that if the xyz diet helps so-and-so become lean, then the xyz diet will help me get lean. The magic happens when you showcase someone who looks lean and fit on the xyz diet. Throw in a few simplistic scientific analogies, a catchy title, and you’ve got yourself a diet that millions of people will follow because they want to look like so-and-so.

This is a pretty effective formula. So I’ve decided to take advantage of it. I’ve already got my catchy title. And I’ve got someone to showcase. All I have to do is find a few research studies that appear to confirm my ideas (which shouldn’t be that hard to do, diet gurus do it all the time). So here it is:

The Candy Diet!

The idea is to eat a boatload of candy, chocolate and baked goods pretty much every day. Don’t worry about avoiding high fructose corn syrup, artificial dyes or trans fat. It’s all good. Just shovel it down, as much as you like.

After all, this seems to work just fine for Lamar Odom:



I mean, Lamar’s in pretty good shape. You can’t argue about that. Granted, he does get in a lot of cardio running around the basketball court, but most diet programs include a cardio program so that’s no surprise. I mean, this diet is really straightforward: eat tons of candy, work out and you’ll be lean like Lamar!

But you don’t believe me. Why not? Because it’s just ridiculous, you say. Here is where I’m going to challenge you: why is this idea so ridiculous? I know what you’re thinking: well, obviously because nobody can get lean on a candy diet!

But wait a minute. Not nobody. Lamar does it. And I’ll bet you can find someone else who does it too. In fact, a good many of us know that person who eats junk food all day long and looks like the model on the cover of a fitness magazine (often whether they work out or not).

So why aren’t we going around preaching the weight loss rewards of The Candy Diet? Because you know that if you sat down and ate that much candy every day, you wouldn’t look anything like Lamar. Maybe some people can do it, but not you. In fact, there’s probably quite a few of us who did sit down and eat like Lamar and ended up looking quite the opposite of lean.

Start Questioning Diets

Of course, you all know I wouldn’t really advocate a candy diet. And I know that you’re too smart to fall for that kind of baloney anyway. No, I didn’t want you to rush to the local supermarket and load up your cart with candy (if you did that then I hope you kept the receipt!).

Here’s what I want you to do today: question the next diet guru who promises you’ll look as lean and fit as they do if you follow their diet plan. Even if their diet makes sense, sounds fairly healthy and they’ve rattled off a couple scientific studies to prove their point. What makes them lean won’t necessarily make you lean. Remember Lamar Odom and The Candy Diet.

In the coming weeks I’ll be exploring this topic even further. Our assessment of diets and weight loss is completely skewed by the diet industry and even the medical community. I believe the truth about these subjects will prove to be quite fascinating (and perhaps even mind-bending!).

This post is part of Real Food Wednesday hosted by Kelly the Kitchen Kop and Fight Back Friday hosted by Food Renegade.

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  1. Great post, thank you, Elizabeth!

    I wanted to tell you my news before I post on my blog. I started Eat Fat Lose Fat last Monday (one week ago) and guess what? I lost 2.5 pounds! In just one week!

    This is incredible to me because I haven’t been able to get these pounds to BUDGE. Not since last year. Last Oct/Nov, I lost 10 pounds on a very low-carb, calorie-restricted diet. I found that I could only lose weight if I ate like 900-1200 calories a day and it was very low-carb (basically Atkins). But if I ate more, like say 1800 calories, the pounds would come back on.

    Near the end of it (late Nov last year), I was stalled at a plateau, so I tried adding coconut oil to my herbal tea. Not a lot, maybe a couple TBS per day. The pounds started coming off again.

    After I lost 10 pounds, it was then December and well you know Christmas and I just could NOT STAND any more bacon/eggs/meat. I hated that diet. I craved raw milk, beans, rice, sourdough bread, crackers, etc. So I went off the low-carb diet and of course the pounds all came right back.

    Anyway (sorry for this novel of a comment but I am excited to tell you of all people!), I finally (last week) decided to try EFLF and lo and behold it’s working. I’m taking about 3-4 TBS of coconut oil a day (working up to 4.5 TBS which is what I am supposed to do) plus there is coconut, coconut milk etc. in the meals. Super high fat (60-80%) but not low carb either.

    And I’ve been averaging about 2,000 calories a day. Way more than I normally eat.

    And yet I’m losing weight. I really think this coconut oil is powerful! I am very excited because I believe the coconut oil is helping my thyroid which is helping me burn fat. I also KNOW that this is a diet I can stick to! IT does not even feel like a diet at all since I eat this way normally anyway.

    And I agree, there is no right diet for everyone! Looking forward to your future posts on this topic.

    • That’s really great, Ann Marie! Effortless weight loss on a balanced diet is what we should all be shooting for. I don’t think one should settle for anything less.

      I also have noticed that increasing my coconut oil intake helps tremendously with weight regulation (even when it comes from something like coconut oil fudge of all things!). The saturated really helps with displacing excessive polyunsaturated fats in the tissues, which is where some of the thyroid benefits come from.

      I do like that the EFLF diet provides eating recommendations that can be used in the long term. It’s a plan for health as much as one for weight loss, which is vitally important.

  2. Yep! This used to be me. Smiling, cheesey, bratty- thinking I could eat whatever, whenever. It took until I was forty-five before it caught up with me. I’m glad it did, because all I did was gain twenty pounds. It could have been a lot more weight, or the beginnings of the many illnesses to which such a diet contributes. Now, to convince my bikini-wearing, fast-food eating teenaged daughter.

    • He is thinking what I was thinking when I was playing ball and most college and professional athletes think (especially while they are relatively young in terms of athlete years), “I can eat anything I want.” Which is true…for awhile…until your career is over…and then it catches up to you.

      Unless you have actually played a competitive sport like basketball at a very high level, it is difficult to comprehend just how demanding the activity is on the body and how much strength and conditioning is really needed. In sports like basketball and soccer you can eat whatever you want all day long and the demands of the sport will keep you lean and trim.

      However, when the career is over (and sometimes during the career health-wise), watch out!

  3. I might be able to do the chocolate diet, but not a candy one! I don’t even like candy! (I consider chocolate a food group, not a candy 😉 Actually I started Liberation Diet, which uses the principles of Weston A. Price at the beginning of October and have lost 17lbs so far. Eating real butter, nitrate free bacon, raw milk, coconut oil, etc. Real food tastes so much better than processed! I now share my “new” diet with everyone on my blog!

  4. What people forget is that “lean” does not equal “healthy”. I have never been overweight and when I was a child and early adult, I ate lots of candy, cookies, ice cream, donuts, etc., without gaining weight. But I paid for it with my health. I have chronic health problems that are difficult to resolve now, even with a perfect diet (no sweets whatsoever). People who can eat candy and stay thin will pay for it sooner or later with their health.

    • Very true. Lean does not necessarily mean healthy. And one myth I’m going to explore in the coming weeks is that overweight does not necessarily mean unhealthy. Basically, that it’s far more about lifestyle and eating habits than about weight. Just another reason I’m glad I gave up the scale in October!

  5. This actually doesn’t surprise me — I think last month’s Costco Savings flyer in the mail had a great deal on “The Cookie Diet”!

    Ann Marie: I’m truly impressed that you are sticking with the Eat Fat, Lose Fat — I’ve tried over and over, but the coconut oil makes me gag ferociously (just like my recent purchase of the Fermented Cod Liver Oil, but that’s another topic entirely).

    • Have you tried just mixing it with food? Sometimes it helps to use refined coconut oil, since this is tasteless and can be used in a larger variety of foods. I rarely “take” my coconut oil and instead try to use it in foods I’m already eating (nothing better than hashbrown potatoes fried in coconut oil!).

      • Although I do cook with the neutral expeller-pressed coconut oil (frying, sauteing, you name it), taking it in the way the Eat Fat Lose Fat recommends doesn’t work for me — like adding it to tea… the oil slick that floats on top… or taking it by the spoonful… oh, I’m gagging at the thought! 😉

      • Although I do cook with the neutral expeller-pressed coconut oil (frying, sauteing, you name it), taking it in the way the Eat Fat Lose Fat recommends doesn’t work for me — like adding it to tea… the oil slick that floats on top… or taking it by the spoonful… oh, I’m gagging at the thought! 😉

  6. This reminds me of something I recently heard of–“The Twinkie Diet”. Same idea as the candy diet, in the fact that you exercise yet only eat twinkies. You have a set amount of course, which limits your calories.

    However, just because the body becomes leaner and loses weight does not mean anything about the actual health of the body. You can be sure that the body is slowly degenerating from lack of nutrients, nourishing fats and the like. Instead, the body is getting a lot of sugar and transfats, and could sadly lead to an early demise.

    Even if “The Twinkie Diet” or “The Candy Diet” does work for people to lose weight, they still have to leave the diet once they get to their goal. This means going back to regular foods. Since they didn’t treat the underlying cause of the weight problem, like changing their lifestyle, they decided to opt for an unhealthy fix of a diet. Not even a diet. A junk food binge?

    Great post Elizabeth! It allowed me to ramble, which is what I do best. :)

    • Great comment, especially this:

      “However, just because the body becomes leaner and loses weight does not mean anything about the actual health of the body.”

      This is absolutely true and it’s something that many people fail to grasp. It may be more obvious for some to see the pitfalls in something like The Candy Diet or The Twinkie Diet or even the Medifast program (although plenty of folks fall for this sort of thing every day). But I think the real trouble comes with typical low-calorie, low-fat and even low-carb diets. People tend to ignore possible deficiences as long as there is weight loss. They assume as long as they’re losing weight it must be healthy. This can lead to metabolic damage in the long term.

  7. I am LOVING this conversation. As a naturally thin person I don’t really have any real world experience with the weight loss issue. I figured anyone that stuck to a Weston A. Price diet would be naturally thin, but my husband is not having that experience. Granted, he loves his carbs just a little too much, but it really surprises me how much he has to work to get those pounds off.

    I’ve had two babies in the last three years and, even at 11 weeks postpartum, I am already at a weight I am okay with. I’m wondering now if I have been on the Eat Fat Lose Fat diet without knowing it, LOL! For the sake of my babies growing brains (and to satisfy my cravings) I pretty much live on pastured butter, coconut oil, evoo, eggs and meat. Can’t wait to see what insights you have to share. May have to change the way I do some things in the kitchen around here!

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