The No. 1 diet myth of all time-BUSTED!

For so many years, you’ve been told that you have to count calories. Calories in = calories out: That’s the only way to lose weight and any other diet plan that tells you differently is wrong.

Well, guess what? This is yet another diet myth–BUSTED!

It’s no secret that the long-recommended advice to eat less and exercise more has done nothing to make us less obese as a nation. And it may in fact be making us fatter! It creates a level of frustration so high that people just give up.

And now there’s a study to prove it.

And from all places–Harvard. Published in the June issue of the New England Journal of Medicine researchers followed over 120,000 people for up to 20 years. And here’s what they found: “…that conventional wisdom–to eat everything in moderation, eat fewer calories and avoid fatty foods–isn’t the best approach.”


Man–I must say, this has been the myth plaguing me the most throughout my entire career. I just never believed it and knew it had to be false. Not only was it false, it was misleading and downright dangerous. Now, that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy myself with this bit of downright stupid dogma…

After all, I used to be overweight and have an ongoing battle with weight. I say “ongoing” because weight issues for any overweight person–whether or not they’ve been able to lose the weight–will never really go away.

Those issues will always haunt you and the demons will always need to be controlled and tamed. Really, it’s the same thing as alcoholism or drug addiction…the difference is, food issues are more accepted, so people are less likely to think of them as a serious problem.

Anyway, I digress…Back to my original point–that the whole calorie-counting concept is completely bogus. In medical school, I went on a chocolate pudding and French fry diet. That is literally all I ate…and guess what? I lost weight.

The point is, when you’re in your early 20s you can probably do–and eat–just about anything and still lose weight (Subway’s Jarrod, anyone? Let’s see him in 10 years…). But I wasn’t doing anything healthy for my body–or my blood sugar.

I know I talk about weight a lot, but for most diabetics the real key to controlling the disease lies in controlling your weight. And even if you aren’t overweight, or just suffer from a blood sugar disorder, learning to eat in a healthier fashion is still going to be the key to your survival.

In the Harvard study I mentioned above, the foods that were most likely to lead to an increase in weight gain were: French fries, potatoes, sugar-sweetened drinks, refined grains, sweets and desserts. I’m sure that doesn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone.

But what did surprise the researchers was something I’ve been saying for years (and spelled out quite succinctly in my book, The Hamptons Diet)–that foods such as nuts, lean proteins, and vegetables help to speed up the metabolism while the former foods tend to slow down the metabolism.

While there are many more factors mentioned in this study, and things I want to discuss as we take this journey to health and wellness together, there is no overstating the obvious–good health starts with a good diet and nutritional supplementation. And a good diet includes plenty of nuts, lean protein, and vegetables.