We hate to break it to you, but weight-loss diets almost always fail, but not because you cannot stick with a certain program, have a genetic tendency to be overweight, have a burdened metabolism, or suffer from a damaged microbiome. We know that this statement flies in the face of what you have read elsewhere. Some of these supposed causes are myths, others apply to very few people, and still others are a result, not a cause, of weight gain.

As we alerted you in the preface, this is not a conventional diet book. By that we mean food is not at the core of the problem—nor is it the solution. If you follow the Essential Oils Diet, we can all but promise that you will find your body’s ideal weight. Most people will lose weight. If you need to lose a lot of weight, you will do so relatively quickly. We know that obesity is directly linked to the development of cancer, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders, so once you begin your transformation, you won’t be as susceptible to these diseases. Bonus!

The Essential Oils Diet is a two-stage program. As the name implies, the Essential Fast Track helps you banish excess pounds quickly—think readying for your daughter’s wedding, a Caribbean vacation, or a college reunion—but more importantly, it is the gateway to the Essential Lifestyle. The startup lasts for thirty days, or longer if you have more than ten pounds to banish.

Now let’s take a good, hard look at why most if not all weight-loss diets fail.

Useless and Misleading Information

The Nutrition Facts panel on food labels is of no real help in telling you whether a food item is worth eating. Do you really know what constitutes a gram of sugar, fiber, or carbohydrate, other than the fact that it is a tiny amount? And does looking at the numbers of grams and percentages of calories and fats really tell you whether something benefits your health or will help you control your weight? Of course not.

The only part of packaged food labels that is remotely helpful is the ingredients list, although that usually just alerts you to the fact that there are numerous ingredients you’ve neither heard of nor can pronounce because you don’t have a degree in toxicology!

In 1980, the US Department of Health and Human Services and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) jointly released Nutrition and Your Health: Dietary Guidelines for Americans in an effort to educate the public about how to eat. The food pyramid was designed to be a visual representation of the dietary guidelines, but it was equally incomprehensible, which is undoubtedly why it was laid to rest a few years ago and replaced with a graphic called MyPlate. This is equally unhelpful in determining what to eat and how much of it. But here’s the kicker: Guess when the rise in overweight and obesity began? You guessed it—1980. And it has continued to climb stratospherically ever since.1

The food pyramid was incorrect, and nutrition labels remain useless because they focus only on “essential” nutrients, meaning such things as protein, carbs, vitamins, and minerals your body cannot make on its own but are essential for life. Neither the food pyramid nor nutrition labels focus on so-called nonessential nutrients such as bioactive compounds, which provide an abundant life of vibrant health. Yes, essential nutrients are necessary to keep you alive. You could stay alive on a feeding tube, but it wouldn’t mean you’re truly alive. More on this distinction in chapter 2.

A food label provides only a bare minimum of information. A minimalist attitude connotes just squeaking by. What’s the least I can do? Diets fail because their approach encourages the human tendency to do the bare minimum, not to go above and beyond. Diets don’t offer an abundant mind-set. It’s like “What’s the lowest possible grade I could get on this test to pass the class?” The fact that we’re still talking only about vitamins and minerals and protein and carbs just shows us that, as a society, our understanding of nutrition is archaic.

 

Most egregious of all, the recommended daily value (RDV) percentages that you see on food labels are based on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet. First off, most people do not even realize this. Secondly, even if they did, they wouldn’t know how to make this knowledge even the slightest bit useful!

Case in point: Do you know how many calories you should be eating each day? How about your spouse? Your youngest child? Your teenager? Do you know how much they should be consuming? If you did, would this change the foods you served your family?

Truth is, you have no idea and neither do we, because no one knows! It’s literally impossible to calculate your caloric needs on a daily basis. And making your food choices on RDVs should not—we repeat should not—determine your food choices.