Straight Dope Weight Loss Tips.

Many people all across this great globe of our struggle everyday with the problem of weight loss. Some of these people are even Dopers! It is a tiring and frustrating battle against your own instincts, habits and the messages of society. Every little bit of help we can give to those fighting the “battle of the bulge” is important, so in this thread you can impart your wisdom and experience to help those in need.

A few bit from me.

The first step to loosing fat is to avoid it! Luckily, many fat-free foods are available to day and clearly labeled as such. Foods like Skittles, Sweet-Tarts, and Pixie Sticks all have a zero fat content, taste delicious and can usually be found at your local grocer.

The chemical process of burning is just that, “burning”. It is ultimately identical (although with a lot of steps in between for the sole purpose of slowing it down) to the same reaction of fire on your match. In order to facilitate this reaction you need, what are called in the fire industry, “accelerants”. Unfortunately most accelerants, such as gasoline, and gunpowder are not only unhealthy to consume, but often dangerous! Luckily there is one common accelerant that can be found in plentiful supply (outside of a few counties in the South), alcohol. Alcohol will help you burn fat faster as you throw that fuel on the fire of your metabolism. Many scientists now believe that the reason many Europeans are thin is because of the constant drinking of wine during dinner. If you are on the fast track to weight loss, I suggest that every time you feel hunger growling in your belly you dose those pangs with a shot of gin. You will ultimately satisfy your hunger and help to burn away excess pounds!

Can this fat European please have a cite for that alcohol claim? :slight_smile:

I guess my tip would be to avoid “X pounds in Y days”-type diets that involve drastic changes in eating habits, and instead make smaller changes that you’d feel comfortable with keeping up permanently. They’ll be easier to stick with, and you’ll be more likely to lose weight steadily without rebounding.

Also: whenever possible, cook your own food from scratch. You’ll have more control over what and how much you’re eating than if you keep getting take-out or instant foods. It’s also educational, fun and satisfying. Unfortunately, it’s not always possible.

Next time you start a joke thread can ya label it?

Honestly, the key to weightloss (medical conditions aside) is simple:
“Calories out > calories in”
That’s it in a nutshell. A slightly expanded bit of advice to add to that would be to also watch your sugar intake, and get lots of vegetables and water in your diet.

Portion size, food type and excercise (even a moderate amount) is all you need to do.

I lost my weight with Weight Watchers. I generally found the program to be very good at educating me on how to eat. If I had to summarize everything I learned there, I could boil it down to two very common sense points:

You don’t necessarily have to eat less, but you do have to eat better.

Before my weight loss, I loved fried foods; chicken cutlets especially. The greasier it was, the better. In addition, I loved salty snacks (read: potato chips) and soda. For a long time, I thought that any diet I went on would have to end in failure simply because I loved (and still do love) to eat.

However, I learned at WW that you don’t have to starve to lose weight. What you do have to do is make better choices in what you eat. Instead of having potato chips, have some sour pickles (I loooove pickles). Instead of frying the chicken cutlets, bake them. Instead of popping M&Ms, try some low-cal sucking candies. In the end, once I learned what was healthy to eat and what wasn’t, I found that I wasn’t really eating less than I was before, but I was eating much better.

It’s easier to restrict the calories going in than it is to burn them off

I learned this because I am (like many Americans) lazy and spend far too much time in front of the TV and computer. I was appalled once I realized how much effort had to go into burning off 150 calories (a typical bag 1 ounce of potato chips). Since I don’t really like exercising all that much, I realized that considering how much exercize I had to do to burn off 150 calories, it was sometimes much easier to simply skip the bag of chips in the first place. In the long run, the chips would be long forgotten, whereas the weight lost by not eating it would remain with me.

Zev Steinhardt

This worked for me: ABSOLUTELY avoid ALL refined carbs (e.g. enriched wheat flour, white rice) and ALL added sweetners (caloric or not) in ANY amounts. Unrefined, whole carbs no problem. Simple, but read the labels, it’s not as easy as it sounds.

So, guys, how’re things in whooshville? :dubious:

I myself prefer homeopathic exercise. A very dilute form of a dangerously strenuous exercise can often have the same effect! Rather than lifting great, heavy weights, I just lift my TV remote control, rather than leaving it lying on the table when I push the buttons. To work my abs, I find that breathing also gives me a total workout.

Yoouo mean I shooldna drunk th gin>? :eek:

harmless: Well, if you can’t read the numbers on the scale, obviously you’ve lost weight. Go you!

Zev, don’t be so hard on yourself. Eat more and make some friends!

That sounds like what I do - Aerobic Imagery. I imagine myself doing aerobics. A really good workout can be exhausting. :stuck_out_tongue:

The best homeopathic exercise of all: A nice brisk sit.

Oh, and remember the golden rules of low-calorie foods:

Broken cookies are non-fattening; the calories all leak out.
Anything eaten off a child’s plate, or while standing up, has no calories.
Also, chocolate and coffee, being derived from beans, count as vegetables.

And my all-time favorite rule, foods consumed in the car don’t count. Particularly, food eaten on a road trip. McDonalds too fattening? No prob. Just wolf it down before you get home. :slight_smile:

And from the not a joke side (if anyone accidentally opens this looking to real tips) the absolute best thing you can do is write stuff down. Write down every bite that goes into your mouth and look it up. You’ll be amazed at how much incentive there is to eat healthy if you have to document your transgressions…

Candy, cookies and popcorn purchased from children as part of a fund-raising effort (Girl Scout cookies, Boy Scout popcorn, Band candy, etc.) have no calories, either, since the money is going to a good cause.

Regarding food, the answer is clearly “less” in my case. But if you find it hard to exercise, or to find the time, I can strongly recommend the “walk everywhere” concept invented by me. In this system, you just walk everywhere. And you compensate for the extra time it takes by leaving earlier. I am currently in hard negotiation with God, who says HE invented this idea and I have merely “rediscovered” it by deciding to actually get off my pampered, publically transported arse for once.

If you will just walk instead of getting the bus, or the car, it’ll calm you down, give you time to think, and that might also help with any strains or stresses that are causing comfort eating. Plus you might see a squirrel. Or a tree.

I take a holistic aromatherapy approach to exercise. Every time I need to work out, I just take a big whiff from a sweat sock. I have a small stack of anecdotes that unequivocally prove that it duplicates a 600 calorie intense work out.

Don’t dis walking as a form of exercise. Generally speaking, you burn 100 calories per mile, whether you run it or walk it. It’s very light exercise so it doesn’t wear you out and it’s pretty easy to do. Heck, most people do it for fun. Get in a couple of miles a day and that’s 200 calories you’ve burned off fairly painlessly…hell, it’s so easy it’s almost like free weight loss…

Also, if you have a diet soda with something like cookies, the calories get cancelled out by the diet soda. Water doesn’t work for this, I’m not sure why. Must be the chemicals.

Lost 65 lbs-

Cut out regular sodas, AND juices, and any sugared drinks- Sam’s Flavored Carbonated Water was a great replacement (at the Wal- place)

Starch Away - Carb blocker orange chewable

Chitosan - Fat blocker tablets (TMI—I did Xenical for a month & could NOT pass gas w/o risking an oil slick! Chitosan does not have that unfortunate side-effect!)

Salads as a snack- even topped with meat (chicken or fish)- and lo fat, lo carb salad dressings

Chicken & fish as snacks- if they are breaded, let the breading be enough w/o making a sandwich of them

If making meat sandwiches, use big lettuce leaves instead of bread.

Fat free, no sugar added ICE CREAM! It’s actually GOOD! (But it doesn’t mean you can eat twice as much- as I found out.)

That’s all I can think of at the moment.

We musn’t forget negative calorie foods such as carrots, zucchini, papaya, and strawberries.

A 5 calorie piece of celery may require 150 calories to digest. This results in in 145 calorie deficit.

But now imagine if all you ate were carrots, zuchini and papaya you’d probably waste away to nothing and die within 3 weeks. Therefore it is imperative that you couple that celery with a half of a glazed donut. If you ate 2 pieces of celery than you could have a whole donut.