Saturday, January 21, 2012


you with scientific evidence,
persuaded you with
real-life testimonials, and
referenced study after study
to show how the Abs Diet works and why it makes sense
for anyone who wants to manage his weight and live a
healthful, active, disease-free life. But just for a moment,
I want to step away from all the hard science and
take you on a bit of a fantasy adventure. Come this
way—I promise you’ll find it revealing.

First, I want you to imagine that you’ve taken a time machine
back to the Middle Ages. You find yourself at the door of an alchemist’s
laboratory, where magic elixirs and potions fill the
shelves and the echoes of mantras and spells fill the air. You’ve
traveled long and hard, through terrifying dark woods and vast,
arid deserts to seek out a Holy Grail of sorts: a concoction that
legend says will make you lose weight, magically.
The sorcerer appears, and he holds up before you two vials.
The first, he says, contains an elixir that will protect you from
most of the diseases known to man. Its ingredients hold properties
that will change your cholesterol profile and protect you from
heart disease; help scour your body for toxins and protect you
from the onslaught of cancer and the side effects of aging; energize
your body and your brain, making your thinking clearer and
helping to immunize you from Alzheimer’s; and, over the course
of your long life, control your weight and keep obesity and diabetes
at bay.
The second vial will do none of that. It will, in all likelihood,
raise your cholesterol profile and increase your risk for cancer,
stroke, and heart disease, as well as other ailments. But, if you
take it, it may help you lose weight dramatically—though only for
a short period of time. And there’s one more drawback: If you
choose the second vial, you can never sip from the first.
Which do you choose?
In the past 5 years, about 60 million Americans chose vial
number two.
Now, scrape the dust from the label on that vial and guess
The first vial, on the other hand, brims with all sorts of things:
fruits and vegetables, whole-grain breads and cereals, beans and
nuts—the sorts of thing that nature intended us to eat but diet
plans like Atkins’s do not. And over the long term, if Americans
keep choosing vial number two, I think we’re going to pay—heavily.

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