Dr. Phil Diet

America is a nation of food lovers. Milkshakes. Cheeseburgers. Pizza. If it has meat, cheese, bread, and few veggies, we love it. But America is increasingly being viewed as the fat kid in the grammar school of world opinion — not to mention the serious health risks posed by a high-fat diet.

Dr. Phil, TV’s reigning self-help guru, has redirected his attention to fighting obesity. With a book — The Ultimate Weight Solution: The 7 Keys to Weight Loss Freedom — as well as a line of dietary products — Shape Up! — Dr. Phil christens his entrance into the frenetic world of dieting. Is the Dr. Phil diet different from others? Well, yes. The approach of this diet is most certainly unique. Rather than replacing foods, Dr. Phil insists upon the motivational and psychological aspects related to weight loss.

The Dr. Phil diet, the author proclaims, is not really a diet. That is to say, you lose weight, but the focus is on gaining control, not the temporary counting of calories or eliminating carbohydrates. While one would expect this type of approach from a self-help talk-show host — before you admonish — the diet most certainly has its merits.

Thinking healthy; eating healthy. The diet centers on creating a pro-health, no-fail atmosphere. Chief among the steps towards this goal are answering questions about your own individual battle with obesity. The diet gainsays the effectiveness of the “one-size-fits all” regimes, claiming that everybody’s obesity situation is unique; therefore, a successful plan will incorporate varying strategies.

The nexus for the diet rests in the answering of key questions related to obesity: What do you eat? When do you eat? Why do you eat when you acknowledge you are obese? Next, the diet attempts to promote a no-fail atmosphere. This is achieved by reconstructing your environment. The logic being that, if you continue to store and stash unhealthy foods, your ability to fend them off is weakened. In order to reorder your life, you must reorder your environment. Eliminate situations and items that create emotional eating, as well as the foods themselves.

The brilliance of the Dr. Phil diet occurs from the tell-it-like-it-is methodology. Dr. Phil inspires confidence in his audience. And many times in dieters, confidence is the first thing to fail. The other wonderful facet of this diet is that followers are immediately part of a nationwide support group. From the TV show to online discussions and support-boards, the diet acknowledges that details surrounding obesity are unique and individual, but the desire to eradicate health and bodily image problems is a communal goal. The option to waver becomes increasingly more difficult when your progress is being encouraged by millions of people.

The diet incorporates psychological tactics because obesity, oftentimes, results from poor bodily image. Obese people will sometimes turn to food when depressed about how they and other people view them. The diet endeavors to eliminate this sort of behavior. By removing junk food from your environment; by promoting a positive, can-do atmosphere; by surrounding yourself with constant, unwavering support; the diet attempts to change people’s perceptions and environment first, and then allow them the opportunity to actually diet.

The diet also emphasizes the importance of exercise. By eating less and moving more, people will lose unwanted pounds. The difference between this diet and something like the South Beach or Atkins diets is that Dr. Phil strives to bring about life changes, rather than temporary and often short-lived weight changes. The Dr. Phil diet is most certainly a long-term investment. Dieting is not quick and easy, Dr. Phil exhorts, but doable.