How to Not be Fat as Explained by a Former Fat POS
I was originally responding to another post when I realized that I had typed out a bunch and I should make my own thread. I've seen a lot of posts here about people trying to lose weight or worrying about putting it on because of the IB lifestyle. Furthermore, with gyms closed in some areas, people living at work, and general boredom and isolation, I know many are concerned about the "Quarantine 15." If you're the kind of person who might put on a few lbs, but then gets their act together and sheds it quickly, this is not for you. That said, please read on and share your insight.
Ask your self this question and answer it honestly. No one is listening but you. Don't lie to yourself. "Hey self, do you feel like managing your weight is a challenge?" If you're a young guy and the answer is yes, it's probably because you are, consciously or subconsciously making it harder on your self. I want to help you solve this problem.
I bet you're wondering why you should listen to an anonymous internet commenter. In general you shouldn't. That said, I've lost almost as much as your girlfriend probably weighs since February of this year. I was morbidly obese at the beginning of the pandemic. I was morbidly obese when gyms were open, fitness classes were going on, the farmers market and Whole Foods were easy to go to. I was morbidly obese while I had an Equinox membership (I was using it too). There is absolutely zero and I mean ZERO excuse for you to be a fat POS. If you struggle with your weight as in you are not happy with how much you weigh and you are having trouble solving that problem, read on.
First, we're going to focus on mindset and motivation so I will just come right out and say it: Being fat and gross is for poor people. There have been several articles written (the one that I remember was in the WSJ I think a couple years ago) talking about how wealthy and upper-class Americans are eschewing traditional luxury goods like designer clothes and fancy cars and favoring less tangible goods, namely education and health/wellness. Everyone can get a fancy watch or designer clothes these days. Health is and the ability to stay fit and healthy is now what the real ballers are spending their money on. If you're as much of a snob as me, and you probably are considering you troll a forum obsessed with ranking EVERYTHING, this is good motivation. Also, it explains something: you need to be willing to spend money on your health. Healthy food and exercise equipment are expensive. Spend your money on it. If you have money left over, go ahead and buy an Hermes tie. Don't buy an Hermes tie and if you have left over money spend it on your health.
Being fat is not good for your career. It's not. It's true. It's also bad for getting chicks and your mental health and obviously your physical health, but this is a career focused forum so I figured I would lead with that. You're viewed as older, less responsible, less trustworthy, less intelligent, less a lot of good things, and more a lot of bad things. Is that fair? Does it matter? Life isn't. If you care about your career you need to care about your health. Letting your health slip because you are "focusing on work" is just moving your money from one pocket to the other. Take your health just as seriously as you take your career. If you are at the point where you are browsing the "Off Topic" section of WSO, you probably are obsessed with this website because you have an maniacal, obsessive desire to succeed.
By this point, you're probably thinking "Hey, Prospective Monkey you have not said anything about losing weight." We're getting there.
Pop Quiz: Which of the following IS NOT a form of entertainment?
a. Going to the movies
b. Cranking your hog
c. Watching dumb YouTube videos
d. Eating food
The answer is d. Food isn't a hobby or an activity. It's not entertainment like watching the Mobile Leprechaun video for the hundredth time. Don't treat it that way. If your bored, go check your social media apps or read something or play Angry Birds or something, don't use food. That's like using a wrench to brush your teeth- wrong tool, bad results. Going out to a restaurant with your friends or your S/O is entertainment because of the shared experience and the ambiance. Trying a cool new food truck or pop-up in your city is entertainment for a lot of reasons beside the actual nutrition. This was important for me to understand. Food is adjacent to a lot of fun and entertaining things, but its not the fun part. Eating is like dropping a deuce. Maybe when you're bored at work you go take a dump because you want some alone time or to play on your phone or whatever, but taking a crap (usually) is not fun and its not not fun. It's just pooping.
Let's talk about alcohol. If you are actually serious about trying to lose weight, you need to stop drinking for the duration of your weight loss effort which will be a range of months. If that sounds like a pain or unpleasant or not possible, maybe its time to be a little more upfront with yourself than you normally would. You need to be able to take a couple months off. I am not saying you have a problem, but I'm not not saying you might develop one later. If you're a young guy in the US (IDK about abroad), chances are you've been drinking on and off for a while. First time I got drunk with my friends I was 16. Got absolutely cranked off of two Sam Adams. For the next 10 years, I was always having drinks here or there. It was definitely heavier in college and in the first couple post grad years, but it was never like a "problem." That said, it was a constant in my life and I realized the last time I went like a month without drinking was in high school. If that sounds like you, take a month off and start right now. You've been doing life with booze for however long, now give it a whirl without.
Okay, the moment you have been waiting for. How to lose weight as explained by a former fatass:
- Realize that right now during a global pandemic is the perfect time to get your shit together. You have an excuse to not go out, turn down plans, and be a shut in.
- Accept that this is a long process. You don't expect to become a banker overnight, why would you expect to lose weight overnight too?
- Find real motivation. What I wrote above is mine, find yours.
- Change how you think about food.
- Cut out the drinking. We already talked about this. If you don't like this, that sucks but at the end of the day no one cares. It's between you and yourself. If you want to keep hating yourself, that's your choice.
- Write down what you eat during a day. I didn't say track your calories. I didn't say download some fitness app. Write down what you eat. Notes app, sticky note, word doc, excel, whatever: two slices of pizza, seven handfuls of pretzels, large mocha latte. Don't use the fake terms that are designed to help you forget you're ordering a LARGE.
- Get your body in motion. I got hung up on the fact that going for a fifteen minute walk isn't going to burn a lot of calories. Going for the walk isn't supposed to. It's supposed to help your mind get to the place where you can actually burn some calories. Get moving. You can find time to. Yeah, you can stop effing lying to yourself. Get up and get moving. Go for a 15 minute walk every day for a month.
- Don't drink calories. I touched on this with re the booze, but stop drinking calories! Obviously there are some exceptions to this: protein with no added sugar, smoothies made of actual fruit (no premade juice) and/or no-sugar-added yogurt (throw in a natural nut butter w/ no sugar too!), probiotic shot, black coffee. If you need creamer, try Fairlife. If you are going to use a non-dairy milk make sure it doesn't have added sugar. An oatmilk almost got me the other day. If you desperately need to sweeten something, use a teaspoon of honey. Unless you're Winnie the Pooh, you probably wouldn't drink something if you went overboard on the honey. Too much honey is gross.
- Replace sweet carby snacks with fresh fruit and veggies. Replace salty carby snacks with nuts, cheese, bacon, beef jerky, seaweed snacks. There are a lot of great options at Whole Foods or your health food store. If you live in a major metro area, this should be easy to find. Yeah, your grocery bill is going to go up if you are snacking on grape tomatoes and almonds and beef jerky. It's worth it.
- Keto & Paleo INSPIRED diet. Cut down on the simple carbs and throw an extra helping of protein and fat in there. If you're doing it right, the first few times you will feel like you made too much food and you won't be able to finish your plate. You don't need to go balls to the wall about following the diet "rules." Find what works for you. For example, I love rice. I could eat rice until the end of time. Instead of replacing it or totally eliminating it, I make half as much and mix in half cauliflower rice. I say paleo-inspired because I do like to consider how processed/refined a snack or ingredient is. It's a good way to evaluate whether you should eat something or not. Also, hot sauce, garlic powder, parmesan cheese, black pepper should become your best condiment/seasoning friends.
- Try intermittent fasting. If it doesn't work for you, come to that conclusion after actually trying it and putting in the effort.
- Get a scale that tracks body fat, body water, BMI etc. Weigh yourself naked on Wednesday mornings. If you have a naturally stocky build, do not obsess over your BMI. Get a cloth tape measure and measure your waist and record that from time to time.
- Get some fitness equipment you will actually use. Whether that's ankle weights, a yoga mat, or a Peloton doesn't matter. Get something you will commit to doing once a week. Commit to it. Hold yourself accountable. Form fitness habits.
- If you have put on more than 35 lbs, TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR. If they can't or won't help you, find a new one. There are things they can help you with. It might be an off-label prescription of an antidepressant or a referral to a therapist for cognitive behavioral therapy (it works) or nutritional testing or something else. You're not a wuss. Just tell them you're struggling. It's better to handle it when you're 40lbs overweight than when you are 100lbs overweight.
Finally, let's talk about committing to things in general. Here is a metaphor for you. I am sure you knew at least a couple kids who rolled in freshman year of college talking about how they had their entire life planned out ahead of them. They were going to become a banker or consultant at x, y, z firm. They were going to get into Veterinary school or Harvard Med or become a Navy Seal. You get my point. Now look back, how many of them actually achieved that. Not 100%. Sure, some of them were just too dumb to achieve their lofty goals, but no one is physically incapable of losing weight so that doesn't apply here. Those kids didn't achieve their goals because when push came to shove, they decided that partying, girlfriend, other things were more important than their goals. They didn't want it badly enough. That's fine. People want different things. But there is no excuse for not achieving your goals. Either you achieve them or you don't.
A huge part of committing to things is setting realistic goals. Pick goals you can achieve. The best diet is the one that you stick to. The best exercise plan is the one that you stick to. The best plan in general is the one you will actually do. Start small if you have to, but form habits. No one here should have a problem with this concept.