The Only Diet That Works

SOMERVILLE, Mass. (The Washington Post) -

One of the most common … resolutions is to lose weight and get healthy. What an admirable goal. We all want to be our best selves, don’t we? Losing weight can seem like a daunting task, but it’s easier than it looks.

There is even an entire industry built around helping us lose weight. There are fad diets (Atkins, Paleo, juice fasts, I did a cabbage soup diet in high school, oof) and trendy workouts (Ballet barre, Prancercise). But losing weight is much simpler than it seems.

What follows is a foolproof way to lose weight. No measuring, no agonizing, no books to buy — no money to spend at all, in fact. I guarantee that if you follow these three easy steps you will lose weight.

Step 1: Be Hungry.

The first step is to be hungry. If you are not hungry, do not eat. When enough time has passed that you feel hungry, eat food. It’s as simple as that. Now, don’t eat too much food. Like, don’t eat enough food that you no longer feel hungry. And by food, of course, I mean seven almonds. (Limit one serving of seven almonds per day.) Make sure they are raw almonds and don’t have any added sugar or salt or flavor.

Does it matter what you eat? I don’t know. I’m not a doctor. What I do know is if you’re not hungry, you’re not doing it right. You know it’s working when you’re consistently hungry enough to be very, very grumpy. … That’s how you know Step 1 is working.

Step 2: Exercise Way More Than You Think Is Reasonable.

This step is easy! Lace up your sneakers, and get outside! Once you are outside, move around … until you feel very tired. When you feel tired, keep going. Keep going for, like, 45 more minutes after you think you can’t keep going. Do this every day.

Walking is fine if you’re interested in getting healthier in your heart or lungs or to avoid diabetes or whatever, but if you are interested in losing weight for the purpose of [getting slimmer], you’ll have to do more than walk. You should run as fast as you can, sprint up stairs, throw your body to the ground and then quickly jump back up, over and over and over again, until you are afraid for your life. … If you’re not sweating and gasping for breath, you probably aren’t doing it right.

Oh, is it January? Is it cold out? Too bad. Go outside and move your body. Move it fast. Or pick up heavy things — that’s supposed to work, too. Sure. Whatever thing you feel like you want to do that will make you sweaty and tired and filled with hate. This can be free or this can cost money. If you are rich, do CrossFit. If you are poor, just run outside and up and down stairs ….

“But you said I have to be hungry. How can I exercise when I am hungry?” Good question. Very good question. Here’s the answer: just do it. Every day.

Step 3: Tie Your Self-Worth to the Number on the Scale.

This step is the most psychological of the three, and arguably the easiest of all of them. This step doesn’t even require you to do anything at all, except give in to your already powerful self-doubt. Have you never felt good enough? Use it. Did Amanda Cooper make fun of you for being fat in fifth grade? Amanda was right. You were fat in fifth grade. Use it. You’ll show Amanda.

So, follow my easy, three-step plan and the pounds will melt away. All you have to do is be hungry, exercise until you want to die, and give in to societal pressures to be thin.

But seriously, how does one do this? I still have 30 some odd pounds of baby weight to lose. When I was gaining too much weight, I asked my doctor what I should do and she said, “Avoid certain foods, like some fruits and stuff. Avoid carbs.” I said, “Wait, what fruits should I avoid?” And she said, “I guess like all fruits? I can refer you to a nutritionist.” So basically even doctors don’t know.

Good luck!

Probably the best thing to do is develop healthy hobbies, like running or biking. Get a diet buddy whom you can hang out with and complain deeply about how hungry and grumpy you both are. Believe in yourself, that sort of thing. It might not actually be easy, but it can be done.