OK, I have not lost it. If you have been counting calories and exercising like a fiend and yet cant lose weight, here is what you need to do:
Can't lose weight? Eat TV dinners!
Am I bonkers?? Please here me out. One thing that all nutritionists and medical professionals can agree on when it comes to weight loss is that people who are obese and trying to lose fat under-report their calories and over-report their exercise. Thats exactly how obese people get obese, they do not understand where the calories are coming from or what "exercise" is. If I had a dollar for every person who "only eats 1200 calories" and still cant lose a pound of fat I would be a very rich man!
If you can't lose fat and have already pre-diagnosed yourself with "thyroid problems", "metabolic syndrome", or some other rare disease then please humor me here. Hypothetically speaking lets pretend you dont have this condition/disease and do the following very easy and fun experiment that might just help you get the ripped, solid, physique that you thought was unobtainable. This experiment has three easy parts:
Step 1) Calculate your caloric target. Use my calorie calculator, enter your weight, height, and gate, and set your goal to be a 20% caloric reduction. The important part is in step 5 where you set your activity level. Only strenous cardio counts here. If you walk your dog an hour a day, thats awesome, but it does not count. You need to be huffing, puffing, and sweating or it doesnt count as cardio. An easy test is the talk test. If you can say “six-pack-scam-artist” more than four times with a single breath then it doesnt count as cardio. OK, so now we have our caloric target. Move to step 2
Step 2) Shop for a month’s worth of meals. You are going to precisely monitor your calories by only eating one of the healthy varieties of TV dinners like Healthy Choice or Weight Watchers. You will eat nothing else. No gum, no breath mints, no nothing. Before you get your panties in a twist about TV dinners not being healthy, remember that obesity related diseases are the top causes of death in America. Eating TV dinners for one month wont kill you, obesity will. Yes, TV dinners are very high in sodium. Yes, TV dinners are highly processed. Yes, TV dinners have preservatives. Yes, TV dinners probably made with low end ingredients. So why on earth would I recommend them? Easy! Because for all you can say bad about them, their nutritional data is spot on. The manufacturing process for TV dinners is very precise and controlled so the calories listed on the package will be very, very accurate. The reason most people cant lose weight is that they under report their calories. Using TV dinners eliminates that error! What can you drink? Only water. No diet drinks, no milk, no nothing else. Buy enough TV dinners so you can hit the caloric target from step 1 every day.
3) Weight yourself accurately for a month. Every morning before eating or drinking anything, weigh yourself in your pajamas, and use an accurate scale. Please read how to weigh yourself accurately. Your digital bathroom scale is NOT accurate enough. Just because your weight is displayed as 178.56 pounds, dont be fooled for a minute that the scale is accurate to 0.01 pounds. Digital scales are notoriously inaccurate and will render this experiment useless. What you need is a mechanical balance beam scale. Before you balk at a $170 price of an accurate scale being “too expensive”, think how much your co-pay is for open heart surgery! You need accurate tools to figure out exactly what is going on here. After a month, take your 30 weight readings and plot them, you can do it by just filling your data into this spreadsheet.
After 30 days
No, you cant stop this experiment after two weeks. No, you cant stop this experiment after three weeks. Even with a very accurate scale, it takes a full month of data to get any meaningful results. Remember that your weight has natural fluctuations and it takes at least a month to see the real weight loss trend. If you have followed these instructions exactly and *only* eaten the caloric controlled TV Dinners and drank only water then with confidence I can say that 99.99% of you will have lost the amount of weight predicted by my calorie calculator which, depending on your weight, will be 3-10 pounds of fat.
Remember, the main reason people can't lose weight and slap the "slow metabolism" moniker on their forehead is that they are not counting calories correctly!!!
After the experiment
After the 30 days is up and you see that you indeed can lose weight, its time to figure out why you thought you could not lose weight. Clearly you were under counting your calories, try and figure out where your mistakes were. For many, its the fact that they estimate portion size rather than actually weighing/measuring. For others, its the fact that they neglect to add all the little things that can really add up: that dash of cream in the coffee, that "thin" layer of mayo on the sandwich, those 'few' M&Ms out of the candy bowl. Just for a single day, *measure* all your portions and log every single thing including the butter on your toast.