I was searching some random information about kilocalories from the internet which brought to my attention the fact that this place is full of instructions and programs on how you can lose weight.
Well, I have accomplished that many times. Most of the information I saw was misleading. So here is how you can do it.
First some background. I am not overweight or obese. The reason I occasionally diet – typically around 5-10kg per session – is due to my bone structure. That bone structure becomes a problem when my exercise levels increase. And thus, if I want to exercise more (say more than 10km per day), I burn weight to make it less painful and more pleasurable overall. Your reasons could be different. In general, though, for most people losing some weight would be a good thing.
The system I use is based on the following principle. Call it the H-principle:
If you want to lose weight, you have to go hungry.
I was surprised that none of the web pages I consulted mentioned the H-principle. Most likely this is because it is not a lucratic thing to say. Nobody is going to pay me for saying it. So I bring it to your attention for free.
The system works as follows. One of your brain’s main functions is to tell when you have consumed too few calories. The specific way your brain tells you this is by generating hunger. Hunger is an experience generated by your brain, a signal that you should do something. It is also a point at which, if you don’t eat, you start to lose weight.
Thus, you don’t have to count calories or think about what you eat. Your brain will do all that for you. What you have to do is to endure hunger.
Also, all dieting programs try to tell you that you can lose weight while eating well. I have never seen this happening in my life. I have plenty of evidence to the contrary. It is not-eating that reduces body mass, whereas eating increases it. That’s my view on what the realities here are.
Not eating is not an easy thing to do. But that’s your part in it. There are a variety of ways to set it up. I use a one meal method, which is that I eat well in the morning and at lunch, and then I eat nothing. I mean nothing. If you try this you will feel very intense desire to eat in the evening. This feeling tells that your daily kcal balance is now below zero. Good news, since now you are losing weight. It is the point at which you start consuming fat. My experience tells me that not eating anything after lunch will reduce my body mass about ~3kg/month. It happens no matter what. In other words, you will lose weight. This method is a winner.
The trade-off is that going hungry is not particularly pleasant. I feel your pain. The equation is pretty hard, especially if you want to lose more. In order to lose significant amount of body mass you will have to go through some unpleasantness. It’s the reverse of all that pleasure you had while eating too much.
Exercise plays a role, but not the role that people usually (seem to) think. Exercise increases your appetite, which leads into overeating. It makes the problem worse. If you are hungry after skipping a dinner, imagine how much harder it is if you also ran 10 km. So no, that’s not what you should do. You can use exercise differently. Say you want to consume an extra portion of delicious ice cream. Most dieting programs tell you not to do that. But you can do it. I calculate that 10km of running/one hour of intensive exercise will burn a Big Mac meal or equivalent. So dieting does not mean eating nothing but veggies or other pathetic stuff that nobody in all honesty likes to eat; quite the contrary. You can eat whatever you want as long as your daily balance is below zero. 10km run = one extra Big Mac meal/day.
I recognize that the H-method has some problems. Once I ate one apple per day and ran 10km on top of it. Every day. My daily balance was -4000kcal, which meant 1kg disappeared from my body in few days. The problem was that these unhealthy and masochistic deficiencies slowly morphed into goals that provided perverse satisfaction and pleasure. I began feeling good when not eating. It’s not supposed to feel good. I believe this mechanism can develop into an anorexia. Also, if the diet is too hard, it consumes both fat and muscles. I have seen my muscles disappearing together with fat, literally. I don’t want to be a skeleton, so I do it more gradually.
I have a couple of further observations. If you are hungry and decide to eat a little, it’s going to be very hard to stop. You will instead observe your hands putting more and more stuff into your mouth while you watch helplessly from the side. In my view, it is better not to touch any food if you don’t want to eat.
The brain is also quite clever in trying to find ways around your willpower. I just typed another post about my experiences in fighting coffee addiction. One of my brain’s ways of trying to lure me into drinking was to present me the proposition that we could perhaps drink coffee “by mistake”. Don’t fall into these traps. You should stay away from any situation in which you could consume food “by mistake,” or whatever trick you brain might come up with. The brain is a very clever internal organ that concocts convincing theories on why you should do this or that, and nothing but your sheer willpower will stand on its way. It is better to avoid situations in which this narration mode comes into play.
I have also failed a few times. It happens. Sometimes external conditions are such that it is impossible. There could be too many things going on, too many worries. Put the project aside and just again later. Eventually it succeeds.