Since I reached 6 percent body fat last year, friends have asked for tips on how to lose weight. After I share the sacrifices and lifestyle changes necessary for the most efficient and maximal loss, they stop talking to me. To ensure I still have some friends left, instead of providing detailed tips here are my simplified weight-loss mistakes:
- Telling others you're on a "diet." Losing fat and keeping it off requires me to remain on a permanent "diet," which I might as well define as "permanent judgment and loss of friends." I'm better off proclaiming I actually enjoy eating broccoli.
- Saying you want to lose "weight" when what you really want to lose is "fat." Fellas, if your loss comes from muscle instead of fat then you'll still be soft. And ladies, despite what some of you have told me about fearing a muscular appearance, unless you rub against a testosterone-deficient cancer survivor's prescription steroid gel, you won't gain unattractive muscle. Having the strength to lift small objects is also useful.
- Trying fat-loss tricks or drugs, which probably only reduce caloric absorption by 10-15 percent. After I perform 90 seconds of air squats before a big meal, my friends move to another table. And then after downing three cups of coffee, I am incoherent and would rather not share the result of my subsequent peristalsis.
- Counting calories burned minus calories consumed. When I ride my spin bike to Homeland I get too engrossed to pedal, but "forget" to reduce my calories burned. I also pretend that 60 ounces of Coke Zero really does have zero calories.
- Measuring your fat loss by appearance instead of a skinfold test. This has two potential outcomes. Either I brag about imaginary fitness gains while friends talk behind my back about my eating disorder, or I can't see that I've made fitness gains and develop an eating disorder.
- Eating so little that you lose mental acuity. This leads me to overeat in order to regain clarity, even searching trashcans for (mostly) isolated and uneaten food.
- Becoming a vegetarian. Inadequate protein consumption could lead to muscle loss. Though I have not tried vegetarianism, I'm sure it would lead to judgment and loss of at least one friend named Benjamin Rubenstein.
- Getting cosmetic surgery. Have you already forgotten Charlie Weis and Tara Reid?
- Fearing that your weight will drop too low. Having extra weight would help if I was in the Hunger Games or the Stone Age, but won't improve my Shoot Bubble Deluxe skills. Plus, I'll still have heavy friends to help fend off bullies, unless my friends are the bullies or I lose all my friends.
- Going out to eat. It is impossible to resist the free bread or chips, and if I do then my friends and dates judge and hate me.
If you avoid those pitfalls then I welcome you to the lean club. And would you please be my friend?