101 thoughts on losing 100 pounds

I lost a lot of weight a few years ago. I lost even more a couple of years ago, then gained some of it back when we had our first child. It’s not just women who gain weight during pregnancy! However, I have still managed to keep most of it off, and I have learned a lot about weight loss along the way.  The Atkins book is where it all started for me. The following list is in no particular order. It’s simply 101 observations I had from losing 100 pounds. I am not a doctor or a nutritionist so take all of this with a grain of salt and discuss any weight loss plans with a professional.

  1. You will never lose weight because someone tells you to. Don’t even bother trying to motivate yourself to lose weight because so-and-so told you that you should. If you do, it won’t work. This may sound trite, but you have to want to do it for yourself. Then, and only then, you’ll succeed.
  2. Everyone has advice on weight loss. Mention you’re trying to lose weight and every single person will have their own 2 cents. Be patient – in most cases people are either looking to help you or help themselves through reinforcement.

  3. Calories, carbs, fat grams and other measures of food content are not as important as the quality and quantity of food that you eat. Each diet has some truth to it, but the secret to weight loss is simple: eat less, exercise more.
  4. Each measure of food content has some benefit, though, and each has some problems. Try not to eliminate anything completely, but a general tip is that your diet probably contains an excessive amount of carbohydrates. Look at that first.
  5. Get help. Research before you dive in. Do not start a diet before talking to a doctor or reading a book. You may be knowledgeable, but there can be weird interactions you’re not familiar with (for example, a low-carb diet gave me some really significant, er, constipation).
  6. If your dietary needs are expensive – for example, if you find that what you buy on a diet costs more than the junk food you were eating – ignore it! You cannot – I repeat, cannot – spend too much money on your health. All the money in the world is useless if you are dead.
  7. Soda has a lot of calories. Diet soda has a lot of sodium. Quitting both of them makes you shed a couple of pounds in days. Do it now. There is no reason for soda in your life as a regular drink. None. Seltzer is just as good, if not better.
  8. If you MUST drink soda, drink regular soda, not diet soda. One regular soda will at least satisfy you and fill you up for a while. Diet sodas just bloat you and fill you with sodium, not to mention aspartame.
  9. It is very difficult to cut high fructose corn syrup out of your diet, but you should. Bread should not normally need sweetener as the #2 ingredient, should it? Read labels.
  10. Once you quit eating junk food, some of it starts to taste pretty awful. Twinkies have a strange metallic taste. Have you looked at the ingredients in the food you eat?
  11. My personal opinion is that even low-calorie sweeteners like Splenda and Nutrasweet are a bad idea for dieters. Eating something sweet fired off weird hunger impulses in my brain, so I found it was easiest to just avoid every single type of sweets other than chewing gum altogether.
  12. Chewing gum, however, serves a lot of purposes when dieting. It keeps your mouth busy, it satisfies cravings for sweets and if you’re a typical dieter it hides the nasty halitosis (bad breath) that dieting causes.
  13. Ricola is an excellent herbal-flavored substitute for chewing gum. If you haven’t ever tried it, give it a try.
  14. If you have an organic foodstore near you, try some organic foods. I never would have looked twice at edmame/tofu mixes but I decided to try one at a local health foods store. It was amazingly good. Today I would rather eat that than potato chips. I wish I had some right now, in fact.
  15. On the other hand, there are some good diet aids that are non-natural, non-organic but still worth looking into. If you love sweet drinks, try Crystal Light, for example. Tea would be better but not everyone can “get into” tea.
  16. Farmer’s markets vegetables will show you why you don’t like vegetables. Once you’ve eaten never-refrigerated straight-from-the-farm tomatoes you’ll realize that the little flavorless round red balls in the supermarket are not really tomatoes. Farmer’s market veggies are a great way to fill up and learn to love veggies all over again.
  17. Almost any roasted vegetable can be made tasty with the right oils, herbs and spices.
  18. Spice has minimal calories, and so do herbs.
  19. Put enough cayenne pepper on anything and it will slow down your eating. It may even kick your metabolism up (albeit a very, very small amount).
  20. Coffee and tea without milk and sugar will taste just as good once you get used to them. Try a little less added stuff every day. Black coffee has 0 calories.
  21. Fried foods are always bad for a dieter. Always. Without exception.
  22. If you only eat foods that you have to cook or prepare, it slows your eating speed down. Buy blocks of cheese and cut your own slices for a sandwich and you will see what I mean.
  23. The exception is raw vegetables. They are very filling, have minimal calories and plenty of other benefits (fiber, vitamins, antioxidants). You can eat as many carrots as you feel like and probably only take in minimal calories.
  24. Water has volume. Drinking water fills you up, at least temporarily – but the nice thing is you can keep drinking it non-stop. You can always add a lemon wedge if you want.
  25. Alcohol has calories. Lots. I like alcohol, too, but it’s 100% unneeded calories.
  26. Some alcoholic beverages, on the other hand, are a lot worse than others. A margarita or a whiskey sour has lots of sugar, calories and carbs – almost any mixed drink is a killer. A glass of wine has some calories and carbs but there are some possible health benefits, as with a glass of beer. And one of my all-time favorites has some calories but no carbs: a dirty martini, shaken, straight up, dry with an olive and a twist. Maybe it doesn’t have so many health benefits as wine or beer, but it’s a nice way to flag the day as “over” and the evening as “beginning.” Plus, it’s hard to chug a martini.
  27. A salad bar is an invitation to disaster. 2000 calories of vegetables are still 2000 calories.
  28. Salad dressing has a lot of calories. Huge amounts, in fact. I love ranch dressing, but I stick with oil and vinegar – lots of vinegar and a little bit of oil. If you eat a salad drowned in dressing you’re probably better off just having some chips.
  29. You hear this often: multiple small meals make you feel much less hungry (eating 6 times a day instead of 3 times per day). I found this generally doesn’t work if you have a 9-to-5 type of job. What you can do fairly easily is eat a hearty breakfast, a raw food snack mid-morning (i.e. fruits or veggies), a largely raw food lunch (i.e. no heavy carbs or meat), a moderate-carb midafternoon snack (shortly before heading home have an energy bar) and then eat what you want for dinner but don’t eat too late. Trying to eat 6 equally-portioned type “meals” was very annoying. Snacking smart made better sense.
  30. Eating carbs within 3 hours of your bedtime is a bad idea - you generally tend to be at your least active late in the evening, and those carbs will not be burned off.
  31. Eating carbs for breakfast is a bad idea. You will be hungry again in an hour. Eggs, cottage cheese, or turkey is better. Fruits are OK, even though they have carbs.
  32. Eating carbs for lunch will make you drowsy in the afternoon, so it is a bad idea.
  33. Carbs are generally a bad idea. Other than natural bread once in a while, maybe rice and some pasta, there’s not a whole lot to say for carbs unless you’re training for the Tour de France. Even then, keep in mind Lance Armstrong gets his carbs from pasta, not from chocolate.
  34. Have you ever actually measured out a single serving of cereal? What constitutes a serving seems like it would not be enough to feed a baby, let alone an adult. However, that should give you something to think about how adults eat.
  35. Your eyes are almost always bigger than your stomach. Eat half of your dinner, wait 5 minutes – sip on some tea or seltzericon or water or whatever – then start eating again. Half the time you won’t want half the food.
  36. If you eat your meals with overweight people, you will eat more. Period.
  37. If you eat your meals with healthy fit people, you may eat less… and save money.
  38. A broad generalization: almost any single-person entrée in the United States is probably about 50% larger than necessary for a normal human meal…at least.
  39. Restaurants don’t care if you eat everything that you are served. Their goal is to fill you up on free breadsticks, extra soda and alcoholic beverages before your entrée comes so you’ll go home happy…and fat. They won’t be there holding your hand when you get that coronary bypass.
  40. Unlearning the “eat because it’s tasty, not because you’re hungry” lesson is hard, but you can do it. Kids do not eat when they are not hungry unless you teach them to.
  41. American corporations want you to be fat. Advertising companies, drug companies, food companies and even the self-help/diet industry need fat people. Healthy people don’t buy weight-loss pills, or new belts, or books on weight loss, or Doritos. This is the worst nightmare of half the corporations in America: a healthy, educated consumer who doesn’t watch TV.
  42. Being fat is not a human’s natural state. If you are overweight and lose weight, you will feel happier. Not just because you are thinner and look better and feel better, but you were intended by nature to be a runner/tree climber/gatherer/builder.
  43. Keeping snacks in the house is just plain dumb. It is bad enough to walk by 50 vending machines at work, but don’t keep snacks lying around at home.
  44. Canned soups are a disaster – salt, calories, preservatives, and not satisfying. No one loses weight eating canned soups.
  45. Putting pictures of fat people from magazines and supermodels or athletes or whatever on your mirror will keep you motivated. Not that we should aspire to that body shape, but the simple fact is that it will keep you motivated.
  46. If you are hungry in the evening before bed eat a slice of cheese. You will sleep better and not wake up ravenous.
  47. The first thing you should take into your body when you wake is water. Not spring water, not flavored water, but filtered water. Cold, and a lot of it. It will kill your appetite right off and wake you up. It will cleanse your system for the day.
  48. Natural colon cleansers may not help you lose weight, but they will make you less hungry. This is purely my opinion, but I think sometimes people eat to mask the lingering toxic effects of having too much gunk in their intestines.
  49. I’m sure you know the feeling – after eating a big pile of salty potato chips you need something sweet “just to mask the salty taste in your mouth.” Down that road madness lies! Never chase food with food. Chase food with water, and lots of it.
  50. Drinking cold water burns more calories than drinking lukewarm water (it lowers your body’s temperature slightly, so your body expends energy to warm it back up).
  51. However, you should learn to enjoy lukewarm water. If you can only drink ice-cold water, you will be restricting your options too much.
  52. You will miss some foods worse than others. When I was doing a low-carb diet, I dreamed of bread. Don’t give in. Saying “just one piece” is the equivalent of a junkie saying, “Just one hit.” Don’t do it.
  53. Butter and oil have a lot of calories but sometimes sneak into food, so keep an eye out.
  54. Dieting is lonely. Dieting around others who are not is torture. Tell your friends and family what you are doing, and do not let them push food on you.
  55. Caffeine is an appetite suppressant. Using a suppressant to diet is like using speed to quit crack. You have to conquer this thing on your own.
  56. Drinking green tea and herbal teas is good for you, and it keeps you feeling full.
  57. You may hate cauliflower. Fine. You will hate dragging your overweight body up the road when you are 60 if you do not eat veggies instead of bonbons more, though.
  58. Small, nibbly foods are a bad idea even when they are healthy. Do not keep anything you can grab by the handful and eat lying around the house – even nuts, fruits and veggies if you like them enough to overeat.
  59. Meat should be viewed as a flavoring, not as a food. Never eat a piece of meat at any one meal bigger than your palm.
  60. There is no particular reason for you to eat beef, pork, lamb, etc. You could get all of the protein you need from poultry and seafood. If you like the taste of red meat, fine, but there is no need for you to eat it.
  61. If you go on a low-carb diet, you will get sick of meat. This is not entirely a bad thing.
  62. Don’t be too sure that being a vegetarian or vegan is a good way to lose weight, either. You can eat nothing but cheese pizza and French fries and call yourself a vegetarian – it’s the quality of the food you eat that’s more important than the label you apply to yourself.
  63. A small handful of nuts (almonds, for example) will keep you going for hours. At the same time, three handfuls of nuts are about 2000 calories.
  64. Milk does not work into any diet plan be it low-fat, low-calorie, low-carb. Avoid it. Soymilk is better for you.
  65. Fruit juice is almost universally too concentrated, even organic/natural fruit juices. Cut it down with water. I usually drink about a 25% juice/75% water mixture now. And even better, use seltzer water for a soda replacement (I quit drinking soda years ago). Straight fruit juice tastes like syrup to me.
  66. It is very, very easy to drink a lot of calories, particularly since most people don’t really think about calories in regards to drinks (except for soda, which you hear about in the media). Which has more calories, 8 ounces of milk or 8 ounces of V8? Beats me. Water has no calories, though.
  67. There is no greater feeling than suddenly discovering you can wear that pair of pants that did not fit you a couple of months ago.
  68. Needing to go buy a new belt because your old one is too big is a close second.
  69. Measure portions. You should never eat more at one sitting than fits on a plate. By plate, I mean a plate, not Thor’s shield.
  70. Getting “checked out” is a real mood-booster, even if you are in a relationship.
  71. Jogging helps you maintain weight loss and fitness. Lifting weights helps you lose weight. However, walking is the best exercise because you can so easily do it any time of the day without any special equipment.
  72. Being happy burns more calories than being depressed.
  73. Stairs are free workout machines. Elevators and escalators are rides.
  74. Jogging is easier when you have good shoes.
  75. Never go to the supermarket on an empty stomach. You will end up buying more than you need and probably at least one thing you should not eat.
  76. Try not to watch too much TV. There are many ads for junk food and whether you pay attention or not there is a lot of unconscious programming going on there.
  77. Another good reason not to drink too much alcohol is that your judgment gets impaired. I am not talking about dancing on the table with a lampshade over your head – I am talking about standing next to the bar grabbing a handful of chex mix.
  78. You don’t wear out shoes as quickly if you weigh less.
  79. The first time you walk by a friend you have not seen in a while and they do not recognize you because you have lost so much weight is an amazingly positive experience.
  80. You can quit wearing black clothes all the time. Black is slimming, but being a healthy weight is slimming-er.
  81. There are some places on your body that will never lose their fat, and there is no point in expecting them too. Even when I lost 100 pounds, jogged 4 miles a day, and lifted weights 3 times a week, my final roll of flab on my gut never went away.
  82. People get angry if you tell them how you lost weight. This was an amazing thing to see in practice. Nobody wants to hear that you did it by watching your food intake and exercising. They want to hear that you wore a special belt or took a pill. Hearing they need to quit drinking Coke really fires some people up.
  83. Gaining weight is incredibly easy for most people, even with a very healthy diet. Once you have wrecked your metabolism by being overweight, it is even easier.
  84. If your knees, back, ankles, shoulders, neck or any other joints hurt and you are overweight, losing weight will very likely help them. My feet used to hurt a lot, and that pain abruptly disappeared when I lost weight.
  85. In the same way, gaining weight is – oddly – going to put more strain on your back and knees than being overweight but holding a steady weight.
  86. If someone takes a picture of you when you are at your peak weight, keep it. Treasure it. Frame it. Use it for motivation. I still have a photo of myself that looks like I ate a McDonald’s. Not a McDonald’s hamburger…an entire McDonald’s building.
  87. I will never forget that when I was over 300 pounds, people would cringe on airplanes when I sat in the seat next to them. The looks you get are awful. Maybe they aren’t fair, but they are there. Avoiding those looks is another benefit of losing weight.
  88. Airplane seats, bus seats, subway seats, even office chairs: for some reason the American seat-building industry thinks all Americans are svelte and trim. Chairs in America need to start being built to accommodate 300 pound people, but nobody wants to admit this fact.
  89. For years, I could not see my feet while standing up. That is a horrible thing to admit, and I’m ashamed to say it even today.
  90. I also couldn’t touch my toes, or tie my shoes without sitting down. Kneeling became very difficult.
  91. Remember that you have only one life to live. A helpful thing for me to remember sometimes is that your average person has around 29,000 days on this earth. I try to think whether I would trade 1 day for potato chips. Would I give up 1 week for a steak, one month for a lifetime of Coca Cola? It may not cost me that much, but I don’t think it’s worth the chance.
  92. If you are afraid that quitting smoking will make you eat more, you should be afraid. However, you should still quit. Using cigarettes as an appetite suppressant is like fumigating your house with poison to get rid of one mouse. Sure, it may work, but at what cost?
  93. Your skin tone will suffer from being overweight. If you are severely overweight, be prepared for wrinkles and sagging skin when you lose weight.
  94. Sex is better if you are fit… and you will probably get more of it, regardless of whether you are married or single.
  95. Diet pills are worthless. I tried one, green tea pills, and although it made me lose some additional weight it was mainly because they made me so dizzy and nauseous I didn’t feel like eating. I could accomplish the same thing by sniffing garbage.
  96. Television will make you hungry. You can’t imagine how many food-related advertisements there are on TV until you start trying to lose weight.
  97. Once you start to lose weight, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it ten years ago. However, once you’ve lost the weight you’ve meant to lose, you’ll forget that euphoric feeling and be tempted to eat a little bit of junk again. This is the hedonic treadmill in fine, fine form.
  98. Once I lost weight, I was afraid of getting fat again, but not so afraid that I didn’t start justifying eating things I wouldn’t have eaten when I was dieting.
  99. There is not one single thing at Starbucks that you can have on a diet, except black coffee.
  100. Appetizers are almost always the worst, heaviest, most caloric foods on the menu. Stick to entrees.
  101. The failure rate for dieters is high. Even successful dieters – like me – often gain the weight back. I managed to lose 100 pounds, then gain some back, then lose some again. I’ve never come close to gaining the 100 pounds back, but I do put on 20, lose 20. You have to think of it as a battle. You are Custer, and food is the Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapahoe tribes. Food will keep coming and coming and coming. You will lose if you stop fighting it even for a minute. I tell myself this every day: My will is stronger than my urges.

Good luck, and never give up!


  • http://financefreelancelife.com/ Mrs. Micah

    Congrats! I’m particularly with you on 10 and 59, which I know from personal experience. Unfortunately, I still eat some junk food but some just tastes awful. Same with sodas. We got the meat as extra idea from friends who’d been in Africa.

  • http://fecundity1.blogspot.com/ fecundity

    Congratulations. Losing 100 pounds and keeping it (mostly) off is a wonderful achievement.

    Oh, and I did #75 last night. Because I’m an idiot.

  • http://www.financeandfat.com FinanceAndFat

    Great list!

    I’m going through the process now of losing weight again- after getting really fat about 6 years ago I got my act together and lost 50 pounds. A couple of months ago I realized I had gained back 61 pounds! And I swore I would never get fat again after the first time…

  • http://cashmoneylife.com Patrick

    I found this article engaging and informative. To be honest, I am not overweight, but I have noticed I’ve gained a few pounds recently. I learned a lot of great information here, so hopefully I can integrate a few preemptive changes to prevent weight gain. That should be easier than losing weight, I think! Congrats on your success and thanks for sharing.

  • SavingDiva

    Whoa! What a list! I have to admit that I’d rather starve than eat a Ricola, but I did appreciate your hatred for articifical sweetners. Most people will tell you they’re the greatest dieting tool ever, and I just can’t stomach them. Right now, I’m concentrating on getting a lot of intense cardio in…and I’ve been sleeping EXTREMELY well!

  • http://fecundity1.blogspot.com/2007/11/joys-of-grocery-shopping-with-your.html Fecundity’s coincidental post on why she’s an idiot

    [...] a collection of things that may help you lose weight, see Brip Blap’s 101 Thoughts on losing 100 pounds. A few of them will also save you money. Note number 75. Let that reinforce the idea that I am an idiot. [...]

  • http://www.moneysmartsblog.com/ FourPillars

    Nice list!

    Jogging is easier when you have good shoes.

    I’ll add that jogging (or any activity for that matter) is easier with less weight to carry (or bounce) around.


  • http://www.webomatica.com/wordpress/ Webomatica

    Just happened upon this blog. Wow, this is a great list. I learned a few things – about diet soda having sodium and the tip about watching TV influencing hunger are great suggestions. I’m trying to shed a few pounds (aren’t we all), so this information is definitely some food for thought (pun intended).

  • http://behealthyandrelax.com Joe Fier

    Very well-rounded list!

    That’s amazing that you’ve lost 100 pounds. Most people don’t have the heart to stick with it like you have.

    My favorite is #59. Most people don’t know the rule about meat the size of your palm as being a proportion. Splurging seems like the American way to eat, so most keep truckin’ ahead like that!

  • Michael

    You’re right about the artificial sweeteners. My wife had to take my MIL to the hospital yesterday because she thought she was having a heart attack. Turns out she was having an allergic reaction to the immense quantities of aspertame she had consumed in the form of Diet Coke. She’s been addicted to the stuff for quite a while, and it’s done nothing but make her fatter.

  • Pingback: Web Favorites - Nov 13, 2007 » Finance and Fat | Debt Reduction, Personal Finance, Debt Snowball, Weight Loss

  • http://www.bripblap.com bripblap

    @Michael – that’s scary; I hope your wife is OK now. Artificial sweeteners are sold everywhere and there’s not a lot of long term data on what they are actually DOING to us.

    @Mike: yeah, good jogging shoes go hand in hand with “not dragging around an excess 20 pounds while running.” I’ve had a bad running summer and I badly need to get back into race shape, not just jogging shape – which is bad timing considering winter’s coming and I’m not the greatest cold weather runner.

  • http://www.moneysmartsblog.com/ FourPillars

    BB – you gotta bite the bullet on the cold weather – dress as warm as necessary, cover as much as you have to, apply vasoline on exposed skin if you must, and get out there – once you get going there is no difference between jogging in the summer or winter.


  • sfordinarygirl

    What an amazing list! you’re right on the nuts – grabbing a handful can add up! i measure out 23 pieces (a serving) and I only eat a few during meals and spread them throughout the day.

    gum is good but they contain artificial sweeteners also. so you have to be careful and chew in moderation.

  • http://www.bripblap.com bripblap

    @Mike: I know, I know, I feel bad that I’m such a wimp about it. My dad runs in cold weather, and plenty of people I know do. I just can never get past that cold air in my lungs. But I’ll have to grit my teeth. Maybe if I buy better insulating gear….

    @sfordinarygirl: Yeah, I debated gum, but there are a few that don’t contain artificial sweeteners. You have to look long and hard, but there are some. Orbit has xylitol as a sweetener, and while I’ll confess some ignorance about long-term effects of xylitol it is natural: Xylitol is a naturally occurring sweetener found in the fibers of many fruits and vegetables, including various berries, corn husks, oats, and mushrooms. It can be extracted from corn fiber, birch, raspberries, plums, and corn.

    I just found that when I had really bad cravings it was better to chew some gum than eat, despite the junk in gum. But you’re right, if you’re trying to avoid sweeteners gum is probably a bad idea. Ricola, too. But I figured it was trace amounts if I only chewed a couple a day.

    • Jacob

      Just FYI, xylitol is what is called a “sugar alcohol.”  In other words, it’s similar in structure to any type of sugar molecule, but has an extra hydroxyl group, for you chemistry nerds.  It isn’t absorbed in the digestive tract (and therefore makes a GREAT laxative when taken in larger quantities…think “prune juice” ;)).

      Just a tidbit of info from your friendly pharmacist :)

  • ponderific

    Well done on losing the weight. Your tips are very inspiring. Have you any views on detox diets?

  • http://www.guinness416.com guinness416

    Is #30 correct? I know that we feel bloated if we eat before bedtime, but isn’t all that matters the calories in/calories expended over the long haul ….. if I eat a sandwich at 9pm, go to bed at 10pm and work out at 6am is that any different than eating the sandwich at 9pm and working out at 10pm? (Disregarding the issue of optimal pre- and post-workout snacks).

  • http://addisonrd.com/WordPress/ Chad


    I found this page via StumbleUpon, and it gripped my attention immediately. It was like reading my own thoughts!

    I am a formerly morbidly obese man, who is down 90 pounds thanks to the wonders of the magic dieting plan called moving more and eating less.

    I admit I kind of scanned the #’s once I realized that there were 100 of them… so this might have been covered, but I want to encourage any and all people who want to lose weight with 3 points:

    1. The author’s 1st point is 100% accurate. You will only lose weight when you reach a point of decision that you want to be fit. Addicts call this moment, “Touching bottom.” It’s the moment of clarity where you admit that you have a problem. Have this moment. It will free you. You are your problem. Don’t blame McDonald’s, Osama Bin-Ladin, George Bush, or your mom’s fat side of the family from Alabama.

    It’s your fault. I say that with all compassion, because my parents taught me terribly about food. It was still my fault.

    2. Exercise becomes fun, fast. I began my new life at age 29. Up until this point, I had never run a full quarter of a mile. I weighed 318.5 pounds. I now weigh 226 pounds, which I know is still too high, but I am 6’2 and large framed, but later today I am genuinely looking forward to running six miles.

    No, really.

    I used to distract myself with my iPod when I ran, which I heartily recommend to newbies, but after just a short time, you find yourself deriving pleasure from exercise. It really doesn’t take that long. The human body is an astonishing mechanism. Yes you, your fat, tired body is a machine waiting to be unleashed. I am a professional songwriter, and when I run, I get all my good lyrics. My mind is clear, focused, and my senses are heightened. I promise you, I swear to you, that the pain of weight loss is far outstripped by the pleasure (also see Michael’s point #94). :)

    I wrote this song on a run… sorry for shameless self promotion.


    3. Your taste buds change. I don’t care if you believe in God or Mother Nature or whatever, but we were created / evolved to be extraordinary. You can change your taste buds. Isn’t that a miracle?

    Occasionally, if I’m feeling self indulgent, I will go get a Double Western Bacon Cheeseburger from Carl’s Jr. I used to eat 3-4 of these a week. Every time I do this, I’m struck with the reality that it doesn’t taste good to me anymore. After I eat it, it sits in my stomach, and my body protests for hours.

    When my body cries out for food, I crave…. salad. I truly crave it. I love how it crunches. I love the texture and variety of the tastes. I love how I feel after I eat one. BTW, all of the advice about salad and dressing is spot on. That ranch dressing is not your friend.

    Granted, it’s taken me 18 months to get here, but what’s 18 months compared to your whole life? Think back 18 months. Not that long, right? Were you fat back then? Are you fat now? What if you were fat now, but you looked back on the greatest year and a half of your life by the spring of 2009?

    Meh… too much talk. Sorry. I get excited about this.


  • http://livingalmostlarge.blogspot.com Livingalmostlarge

    Wow, I am motivated. I guess I’m in that category of hitting rock bottom. I have had people suggest losing weight, but until now I haven’t done it whole heartedly. And now I am.

    I went to Weight Watchers alone. I made a friend my second week there, and now I am motivated to keep going. It helps keep me accountable having a bad week, well I still have to go. It’s just a scale.

    I wonder is it harder to do this with an unsupportive spouse? My spouse is one who never gains weight and so he doesn’t get the struggles. I can’t even convince him to give up soda. He says it doesn’t hurt you. NOTHING I say or beg to will convince him.

    He even mentions how much soda he drank growing up, everyday all day from like 2 or 3 years old and look at how thin and fit he still is.

  • http://www.bripblap.com bripblap

    @ponderific (#16): I do in fact have some views on detox diets. I am slowly working my way into a largely raw food diet, with vegetarian (cooked) food the rest of the diet and an occasional meat meal when visiting relatives, etc. (maybe once every week or two). The raw food diet is amazing to the small extent I’ve tried it – I’ve had HUGE increases in energy, digestive “calmness”, etc. I have tried other detox methods with less success, although I highly recommend Dr. Natura’s Colonix system (http://www.drnatura.com/) which I do once a year with fantastic results. I’ll probably have a post on the subject of detoxing in general soon.

    @Chad: That’s a fantastic story – truly inspirational!

    @Guinness416: the theory is simply that since your body starts “starving” overnight and goes after carbs, then fat, if you haven’t added carbs to your system ‘recently’ there is a better chance it will burn through to fat. It’s a very, very minor difference, granted, but I think there’s SOME validity to it. Add to that the fact that most carbs are just heavier and harder to digest and it could simply mean a better digestive experience.

    @Livingalmostlarge: the main success of Weight Watchers is the public accountability. You have to declare your success or failure in front of others, and it’s motivating. It is terribly, terribly difficult to do with an unsupportive spouse. It is hard to quit something that bothers you but doesn’t bother your spouse. If I dance around eating chocolate in front of my wife, it bothers her – if she eats a pizza while I eat a fruit salad it’s tough. Having support is critical beyond belief when losing weight. I don’t know your personal situation well enough to offer much advice, but I will say that negative influences are negative influences, no matter what their source, and negative influences are incompatible with support and love. Try to lean heavily on WW if that’s helping you. It’s helped a LOT of people.

    Good comments everyone, and if this list helps ANYONE with ANYTHING I’ll be happy. Email me if you have other questions, or leave more comments!

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  • http://www.eliminate-my-debt.blogspot.com/ louise

    Thanks for this great post! I am findgin losing weight harder than eliminating debt just at the moment. i think I might print this out and stick it up where I can read it each day.

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  • http://www.moneyrelations.com mariam

    I haven’t even read the post but already I’m impressed! 101, wow!

    *Scrolls up to read*

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  • Margaret

    Interesting list, great comments. I thought #69 was hilarious (thor’s shield). I just read the book Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think by Brian Wansink (having read articles by or about him in a few magazines recently). It was interesting and very readable. His exeriments show many ways that we underestimate how much we eat and things that influence us to eat more. I read it more as an interesting book on the science of eating, but he does include tips for weight loss. A great read even just to be aware of how our environment gets us to eat more or less food.

    I’ve been in a weight loss group on Yahoo. It’s slow, but I had lost about 15 pounds at the beginning of the year (currently pregnant, so weight loss on hold for now), and the things that helped me were: the JUST ONE rule — if you are used to eating your oatmeal porridge with two pieces of toast, try having just one piece of toast. You may end up satisfied instead of stuffed. Or if you are having a snack, fine, but JUST ONE. Do not make anything FORBIDDEN, or you will immediately obsess about it. If I say I can never go to McDonald’s again, I then spend the next three days thinking about it until I can find an excuse to get to town and go, at which point I order EVERYTHING that I am never going to be able to have again. Ug. If I tell myself I can go, but not right now, then I am fine without it. Also, I started walking on a treadmill, and after only a month, I was adding in a minute of jogging here and there, and I didn’t even hate it. That was probably the biggest shock. Another thing that helps, I think, is making a point of drinking lots of water. Not that I think water is magical or anything, but if I am drinking my water, I simply have less time/inclination to drink other calorie filled beverages. The big thing our group has found is to use MODERATION, and to go in baby steps.

    Good luck to everyone!

  • Kim

    Good list; I’ve found most to be true for me as well. I’ve recently lost apx. 50 pounds and I’m learning daily about maintaining the loss. It is a battle! I’ve gone up 4 pounds recently and I get worried that it’s the beginning of the end, but I just take a deep breath and get back to the basics that helped me lose it all in the first place. I’ll get it back off, even with Thanksgiving around the corner, and get back to my goal weight. Thanks for the encouragement just when I needed it!

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  • http://www.robinsreturn.com Debbie

    Thank you. I’m going to print this list out. At about twice my ideal weight, I need all the motivation I can get.

  • Chelsea Freeman

    This was so incredibly inspiring and very informative! Thank you!!! Exactly what we needed to here!
    chelsea aka mcdonald’s addict

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  • Rikke

    Thank you:)

    Being a couch potato the “eat less, exercise more” always gets to me…luckily!

  • Wilma

    I resent your referral to the Native Americans as the enemies – - that keep coming! It was the WHITE people that kept coming and introduced the FATTY, UNHEALTHY foods. Get your historical facts straight!

  • http://www.bripblap.com Steve

    @Wilma: Since it was simply a metaphor and not meant as a literal reference to Native Americans bringing fatty foods into the world, I won’t really make any claim to that being a historical fact. It was just the first example of an overwhelming force that came to mind – no intention to be literal. Sorry if you took offense, but it certainly wasn’t meant the way you read it!

  • Anais

    Wonderful list with lots of great points! I’ve lost 125 pounds myself – I started by going to a 12-step group which led me to a much cleaner way of eating. I gave up sugar (in all forms!), flour, and caffeine right away. Later, I also omitted wheat and artificial sweeteners and a week ago I became an ovo-vegetarian. I’m 37 years old and feel better than I ever have in my life!

  • http://www.bripblap.com Steve

    @Anais: that’s fantastic – losing 125 pounds is an amazing achievement! Keep up the good work :)

  • Rachelle

    I have to disagree with at least the part about ignoring the expense. I suppose if I starved my children or lived in my car it would be okay as long as I was skinny? That wouldn’t make any sense. Neither does ignoring the ultra high cost of “diet foods”.

  • http://www.bripblap.com Steve

    @Rachelle – I’m not suggesting starving or living in your car in order to be skinny. I AM, however, suggesting that canceling cable in order to eat healthy might be worth it. If you save money but stay unhealthy and overweight and die at 50, you’re not helping anyone.

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  • Cross the River

    #67 Right on!!!

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  • Bubelah

    Steve’s before and after pictures are a big motivator for someone who wants to lose weight. I would NEVER ever look twice at the old Steve if I met him when he was overweight… And that said, I would never learn of his wonderful personality and character. But, luckily for me I met him when he already lost weight and looked his handsomest. Even my co-workers had to comment on how cute my boyfriend was ;o) Nice complement for me, yes….

  • http://www.thewriterscoin.com Writer’s Coin

    I can’t stand when everyone chimes in with their opinions on weight loss (or any other thing that’s hard to change, actually). I’m curious what you think of this post on making gradual, real changes in our lives. I wouldn’t know, but does it apply to weight loss too?

  • Danny Tsang

    How in the world did I miss this awesome post?? Thats a great list and the before and after pics is such a world of difference. You look much younger without the weight too. Congrats I’m certainly bookmarking this list I need to shed a few pounds I went overboard during the past few months.

  • http://www.biblemoneymatters.com Pete @ biblemoneymatters

    I am on day 2 of my 2nd weight loss journey.. Last year i lost 40 pounds through healthy eating and exercise. I then promptly gained back 15 in the last few months. Now i’m going to lose the last 25 pounds i need to be back at my high school weight. Thanks for the motivation!

  • Susie

    Congratulations on your weight loss–intentionally weight loss is never easy, although I disagree with some of what you surmise based on your personal experience. I’m fat, healthy, happy, & active (including my sex life). I realize that most people can’t accept, much less come to love and admire, their own fat body, but there are some of us who love our bodies just as they are! I’ve lost weight (due to illness) in the past, and thought my body looked odd & mishapen. I strongly prefer my fully filled-out curves!

    • http://www.bripblap.com Steve (Brip Blap)

      @Susie: I would be the last person ever to criticize people who are comfortable with themselves. As long as you are healthy – and that’s a big if, if you are overweight – then the important thing is to be comfortable in your skin. I actually lost almost 150 pounds at my maximum weight loss and it was too much – I felt a lot better when I put back on some weight. So don’t worry, I agree with you completely. Lose enough weight to be healthy, but don’t worry about conforming to society’s expectations if it makes YOU unhappy. That’s a given!

  • Dana

    Ha, I guess Dr. Atkins was only a starting point for you! :P I don’t find that all calories behave the same for me, though. I kept track of calories and everything else on SparkPeople for several days and found that if I ate high-fat and got in 2000 to 2900 calories a day, I still lost weight. That doesn’t make sense if all calories are the same. From what I understand, the macronutrients (carbs, protein, and fat) do not metabolize in the same way, and cannot be stored in the same way, and if you’re in ketosis to boot, the part of your fat (body and dietary) that gets turned into ketones sure can’t be stored again. Dr. Atkins referred to that as “sneaking calories out of the body.” He wasn’t too far off the mark.

    I just… find it excruciatingly difficult to stick with it. If it’s not people telling me it’s unhealthy then it’s my little girl’s dad bringing crap over he knows I shouldn’t eat. And I place way too much of my responsibility in other people’s hands. That said, I also believe in taking something of a hacker’s approach to life–instead of working against innate tendencies, working with them. In that vein, you don’t bring a dieter’s favorite off-limits foods into their home, and you don’t try to advise them against a particular diet plan if you have not read up on it (directly from the source) yourself. That kind of thing.

    As for my own responsibility and motivation I am still trying to figure that one out, because I sure do need to lose 100 pounds. Unlike a previous commenter, being fat is not my natural state and I still am not used to it. It’s got to go.

  • http://luvs2zumba.blogspot.com Diane Eats the Elephant

    Wow – found you thru another blog, finance related, and had to read this one on 101 thoughts on losing weight because I have a blog I started to help others struggling with this – beginning with how I lost then regained and figured out this time what I need to do to keep it off. I loved #91 above, re comparing this can of coke to a day of life. My favorite one is the – often yucky – birthday cake. There will be another one. It’s not worth undoing all you’ve done to have that (piece of cake) and it will be there when you are ready for it. Agree with whomever said not to completely forbid stuff (from the Yahoo group I believe) – I think of it is as postponing to a better time when I will have something.

    So far, I am mostly trying to help those struggling and not figuring out that they have not really yet made the commitment to lose weight. Trying to get your finances in order AND trying to lose weight in the same year – as two separate goals – can’t be done well. However, this year – having lost the weight last year – my financial goal has pieces to it that says that I am not going to waste the money spent on weight loss last year by “losing” what I had “gained” by gaining weight again (that would be a bad financial decision).

    Many of the same tactics I have read on blogs for finance and blogs for writing that are related to goals all seem to reference the ones for “dieting” – I look at this more as a lifestyle change, which is what you have described. I also did Atkins, and still keep carbs low, while modifying what I eat with more heart-healthy foods related to what is important for my own body, while still choosing tasty foods. I also now teach zumba – an excellent combo of cardio and fitness (standing crunches, squats, while in cardio), and still measure my water by 32 oz bottles. No day is perfect because I don’t have to live so stringently now – my body gives me clues as to what is good and what is “off” and feeling good is the best reward!

    I am going to link this article/blog to mine so that it opens up other thoughts for readers of mine – many of the comments here are really good and motivating as well. I think support groups are a great way to connect with others. I can vouch for e*diets groups, but it sounds like the yahoo group may be just as good for support, and perhaps more affordable. Using the blogs may be another way that someone can find comfort in community and kindred spirits when the urge strikes to eat as a solution to a non-hungry problem.

    Thanks for posting about your experiences and sharing your pics!


  • http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/ J.D.

    I’m not sure how I missed this when you published it, but it’s awesome. Thank you. I’m at the beginning of my own weight-loss quest, and this list has lots of great suggestions. I look forward to putting some of them to use. Thanks, Brip-Blap!

  • Lori

    Those are some great tips! May I just say how AWESOME you look today? I hope this doesn’t offend you, but the “new” you looks like he could be the son of the “old” you. Amazing what losing weight can do! Seriously, you’ve inspired me.

    Just had to go take another look- has anyone ever told you that you now look like Anthony Edwards, only cuter?

    • http://www.bripblap.com Steve (Brip Blap)

      @Lori – I just wanted to say thank you – that was quite the ego-boosting comment! Seriously, I really struggled with my weight loss so getting a compliment like that means A LOT to me. I am willing to bet there is nobody on this planet who doesn’t feel better when someone tells them they look “awesome”.

      Thanks so much, you made my day :)

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  • http://www.computerstorageservices.com Dede

    Wow, thank you for the great and inspiring ideas. I guess I’ll put down my chocolate cake now!

  • jj

    good list, but no milk?!?!
    new research has show that milk actually helps people lose weight. obviously you’re not a doctor and just listing what worked for you but hopefully people follow that advice too closely

  • http://www.bripblap.com Steve (Brip Blap)

    @jj: I am certainly no doctor, and it’s certainly a list of MY thoughts on losing 101 pounds – I don’t think I presented it otherwise. I’ll stick by my milk suggestion, though – for most people, it’s not a weight loss aid. The studies you refer to were paid for by the National Dairy Council (the NDC has spent $200 million since 2003 to promote the idea that milk can help people lose weight. Some research has suggested that calcium or other elements in milk may cause the body to make less fat and speed its elimination, but the studies produced mixed results.) Read more here.

  • http://www.komododragonfacts.com/ komodo dragon

    WOW! good job, most people do not have the determination and inspiration to stick it our like you did and actually shed those pounds! As they say : ” no pain no gain” you gotta lose some of the good to get to the great :P

  • Danielle

    I find it funny that you support substituting cow milk for soy milk, and support the consumption of cheese at the same time.
    Just a thought.
    Congratulations on your success, though. You look great.

  • http://www.bripblap.com Steve

    @Danielle: Thanks! Actually that’s a good point, and to elaborate a bit – milk has lactose, and cheese generally doesn’t. Lactose is exceptionally hard to digest for humans. So it isn’t dairy so much as specifically the drink, milk. Dairy is generally OK (butter, cheese, etc.).

  • Nadine

    I agree that you should limit carbs (I lose more and feel less hungry). I was a patient of Dr. Atkins back in the 80′s. Not a good idea for someone whose family has a morbid history of heart disease. And if anyone noticed, Dr. Atkins was overweight when he died. Eventually I found a happy medium, got it off and kept it off. And sorry to have to tell you this, you need to exercise. You don’t have to be Ah-nold, just do some movement that you enjoy every day. Walking is great (and not to McDonalds). And it does make you feel better.

    “Never eat more than you can lift.”
    Miss Piggy

  • kay

    this list is excellent. reading it just kept me from going to get another piece of my daughter’s birthday cake!

  • http://www.fourseasons-ca.com cohnsey

    Very inspirational, thank you for the great thoughts!

  • Paul Aitchison

    This is brilliant. I am in the middle of a diet regime ‘The Burn Fat 4 Dummies’ plan and i have already lost 8 Ibs in 10 days, but this is amazing and has helped to motivate me further to lose more weight. thanks for this.

  • Gemma

    Many of the things on this list contradict what my doctor reccommended that I do… And as for saying that we don't “need red meat”, well, actually, we do. That's how the human was designed. That's how the back teeth are designed. Also, red meat is harder to digest, which keeps you feeling fuller for longer.

    But, I do have to agree: running is a good thing. Something you didn't mention (or maybe I missed it) is that running may also help fight off heart problems. It's hard to run, though, if you have asthma.

  • Juan Carlos

    recently went through number 79. Hard

  • Juan Carlos

    recently wen through number 79. Hard

  • http://www.paunchiness.com Paunchiness

    Good work on the weight loss and a nice list of things most people forget about when trying to lose.

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  • Stephanie

    Thank you so much for this post. I've lost 40 lbs, and have another 50 to go before my target weight, and I found myself extremely amused by your list. All of it is true! Every single one!!

    You've reminded me to keep a watch on my carbs, and keep up with my veggie/fruit intake, thank you! You are a great inspiration! <3

  • Stephanie

    After thinking on your post some more, and browsing the comments, I wanted to add that I'm really proud you're so knowledgeable about nutrition. I've read several books involving diet, nutrition and exercise, and everything you talk about — Milk ads being paid for by the NDC, lactose in milk being difficult to digest — are all things that I've read before and know are true.

    As a lone dieter in a sea of overweight fast-fooders, I feel awkward sharing my knowledge, and silently berating co-workers who get Doritos out of the vending machines every day. Knowledge about successful weight loss has been amazing for me, but it leaves me depressed that the rest of the world doesn't know what they're doing to themselves.

    I'm proud of you for your weight loss (you look absolutely incredibly, and extremely handsome!), and for beefing up your knowledge, it makes me not feel so alone!

  • neimanmarxist

    i am curious. you did atkins, but you seem to be concerned with calories as well. we are vegan so atkins is off – limits for us – we get our protein from beans & tofu, sometimes (homemade) seitan. what is your average caloric intake in weight maintenance? I am still working on my last 5 lbs (to be 125 lbs. ) @1400 calories/day. I know numbers for a girl are different but I am interested in whether you get to eat more calories if you are low-carb.

  • http://insanity540.blogspot.com/ Insanity540

    thanks for the awesome post. Its motivated me into getting back on track with my weight loss.

    I'm currently 235 pounds and looking to loose about 50 pounds by xmas. I'm hoping that with your 101 thoughts and exercise I'll be able to achieve that.

    Thanks again,

  • http://www.fatfoogoo.com Game Economy

    Wow! This list couldn't have come at a better time. Summer is coming to a close and my goals are still not reached. Normally I shy away from printing anything, but this one deserves to be printed and stuck on the firdge! Thanks!

  • http://www.tandurust.com/weight-loss-diet/can-i-lose-weight-in-1-week.html Weight Loss Tips

    I saw this quick weight loss tips in some site – but the list here is comprehensive. i always believed that losing weight is a matter of changing your lifestyle. its not just diet and exercise – although including that in your daily routine is important. Whats more important is you do not think of weight loss as a “timed project”. Just decide what things are good for your body and just do it over a period of time. do it slowly – do not try lose weight in 5 days or 20 days or 30 days – just do it gradually – and that's the only way you will be able to “keep the weight off” – otherwise you are just kidding yourself!

  • http://www.askgeorgeyeo.com/howtoloseweight.htm George Yeo

    Oh man, this list is sooo comprehensive. I am gonna add a few to my own list. Btw, I have to agree on #8 on diet sodas. Aspartame is still sooo unsafe, wonder why was it even approved in the first place?

    And you sure both pics are yours? If so, that's a real motivator for those looking to lose weight. Good job there! It's all about hard work!

  • Amanda

    Thank you for 65! I enjoy having something other than water to drink in the house, but I usually find my fruit juices sweeter than necessary, and I go through them too quickly. This is a really good tip.

  • Christy

    I can completely see where you are coming from. I lost 100 pounds in 2 months when I was going through a divorce. I managed to keep it off for 3 years, but I have slowly gained it back with each child I've had. (a 4 year old, 3 year old, & 1 year old) I swore that I would never be big again because I felt fantastic after losing the weight. BUT, here I am again. I know I would feel better, but it's hard to take that first step because it makes you feel like you are “giving up” the good stuff. All I can say is that the rewards are worth it & your quality of life is so much better as the weight melts away. My husband is deployed so I plan on shaping up for his return this summer.

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  • joao

    At one time I lost 77pounds of pure flab.
    Now that I work in a diferent area, with diferent schedulles it is much harder to keep the weight off.
    I was in an internship in a nice office where I had to mantain computers, and now I'm a cashier at a local supermarket. The really odd schedulles kill your dieting plans. So much so that I've almost gained all of the weight I had lost.

    Not a lot of time for the bathroom, so got to kill the water intake… :(

    I've always cringed at exercise and I tell myself the same thing every time.
    I'll gain a lot of my dorment muscle again.
    If you've ever been a weight-lifter and gotten into shape ONLY because of that.
    It'll take about 2 years with the right set… You'll look great, but if you're already 6 feet tall; AND you're buff… It won't be great to visit your local clothing store.

    Most people that don't want to loose pounds with exercise and snack all the time. Even as a meal! I'm guilty of that…

    Water is going to be your all time snack.
    After exercise of any kind… Drink water and do not eat food! Wait!
    To loose stomach, or gut if you want to call it. It's actually easy…
    Use chi kung breathing exercises or any martial arts breathing exercises.
    Compressing your stomach muscles while you breath for any portion of time will make a diference. The lower abdominal area nearest to your legs is the hardest and most rewarding, because it'll almost never be fat again. You might get fat and flab will drop and cover it, but no past that point.

    This exercise you have to picture… Really tall pillow, and must be hard enough to keep your upper body raised off the floor.
    Put your chest on it, hands beneath your face. Watch TV or something….
    Just lie down with your upper body raised enough to stretch your entire stomach.
    That is it! Your own body weight will generally make you use your stomach to breath instead of your chest. The stretching will make you use the lower abdominal muscles even more. Just depends on how high that pillow is.
    I mean really high! You should feel like you could easilly keep something the size of your own head under your stomach. Just watch out for your back.

    My weight loss had only a few musts.
    Drink only water.
    No sweets, or bread (only rarely for both)
    Less of every food.
    Avoid sauces.
    Almost no meat. (Make the amount of meat on your plate look ridiculous)

    All cravings should first be tackled with water. Just keep it around…

    PS.: Sorry for the huge comment.. =)

  • Sanchia

    Thanks for spending the time writing up your tips for us, absolutely invaluable information! Congratulations on the weight loss too.

  • Sandy

    Great information – thanks for sharing!


  • http://run4change.wordpress.com jason

    THis is a very interesting list. I lost 130 lbs using WW and have finished several marathons now. Airplane seats are much more comfy now. HAHAHA :)

  • chad

    101. You look way younger. Holy crap you look like married with kids to college.

  • Gabriel

    Thanks so much for your support of Atkins. I convinced my Dad to go on it because I was worried about his cardiac profile (to all those other people: Atkins is actually great for your heart health). He's lost 40 lbs, lowered his cholesterol, and has reduced some of his medication.

    So happy that there's someone out there who doesn't just dismiss it out of hand. Pat your self on the back!

    Some good authors to read: Gary Taubes, Dana Carpender, Mike Eades

  • http://kieferscorner.com Kiefer

    I congratulate you on loosing the weight, and you have some good points in your post.

    And you are absolutely correct about only you can make the decision to loose weight, it has to be from desire, and necessity to properly motivate you.

    It seems that you have had a hard time loosing that weight by reading your list.

    This is because you did not eat a balanced diet consisting of lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and good fats.

    You say that working a 9 to 5 job caused problems eating six times a day was annoying.

    You don’t have to eat equally proportioned meals, all you have to do is eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, and they are simple and quick.

    Its not about making you feel less hungry its about keeping your insulin levels balanced so you don’t crave food.

    Never ever drink soda its toxic, if you need something sweet try a teaspoon of raw honey instead.

    And if you truly want to keep that weight off you need to do weight bearing exercises to build lean muscle.

    Lean muscle burns body fat 24 hours a day!

  • REL

    # Caffeine is an appetite suppressant. Using a suppressant to diet is like using speed to quit crack. You have to conquer this thing on your own.
    # Drinking green tea and herbal teas is good for you, and it keeps you feeling full.


    Also… milk has been PROVEN to help people lose weight. Several other things on your list were either questionable or blatantly ridiculous.

    With that said, there ARE some good tips on here.

    Spry chewing gum is my best friend.

    • http://www.bripblap.com Steve @ bripblap

      @REL: I'm not sure who's proven that milk helps people lose weight. The first study I found when I googled milk weight loss (http://is.gd/wF00) seemed dismissive of that claim.

      As always, the list is simply my thoughts. I don't claim to be an expert – these were simply my own thoughts on my own weight loss experience.

  • Christian

    Hey Steve! Great post. I lost 80 pounds last year myself and are now at the mantaining-the-weight part. Found your post though Stumble and must say I'm happy I did.

    I had a couple of smirks and laughs going through your thoughts as they made me realize that my journey appearently wasn't that different than it is for other dieters.

    Anyway, thanks for the great post; it'll go directly to my permanent DIET-collection… along with that framed before-after picture set :-)

    Take care!

  • http://www.ccnation.com/ Julia Breton

    This is an amazing list. I have been pushing myself to walk an hour a day for the past few weeks, and have already started to feel that my pants size is feeling a little loose. While I can't see the differences yet, my clothes are looser on me, so it helps to reinforce that the long walks are working.

  • chimera34

    I Love this LIST

  • B

    Your story and tips were so inspiring. I've gained over 80 pounds in the last 2 years from medication and going away to college. What you've said here has truly motivated me. I am excited to wake up tomorrow morning with a new outlook on dieting. Thanks again and congrats on your amazing weight loss :)

  • Charlotte From Australia

    thanks for this! its good to hear from someone who has actually lost the weight themselves, and you have! 100 pounds is amazing. this page is an inspiration to me.

  • andrew

    I dont mean to be rude, but there these tips on losing weight sound like you someone who has an eating disorder. I'm currently battling anorexia, and many of those sound like the tricks and tips people with an ED use…

    • http://www.bripblap.com Steve @ bripblap

      @andrew: I'd be curious to know which tips sound like ED problems…. I don't think I have an eating disorder since this tips restored me to a (physician-approved) healthy (not anorexic) weight.

    • Hannah

      To be fair, I see Andew's point: I also did many of these things when I was anorexic. I think the only difference is in the quantity (I'm going to hope you weren't eating less than 1000 calories a day whilst losing your 100 pounds). Aside from your carb hatred, I think all of these tips sound valid, when done in moderation.

  • Hannah

    For most of the world, carbs make up 50% of the average daily food intake. Humans are carb-eaters, and not doing so is (depending upon one's specific genetic makeup) unnatural and unhealthy. It will also lead to yo-yo-ing once one goes off their low-carb diet.

    It isn't the amount of carbs that's the problem, it's the type. I like this list, but I'd amend it to state that refined, “white” carbs such as refined sugars, white bread, white rice, and regular pasta are bad, while up to 50% of one's food may be derived from whole, unrefined carbs such as brown rice, pulses, whole grain anything, and fruit.

    • http://www.bripblap.com Steve @ bripblap

      @Hannah: Well, I was eating far more than 1000 calories a day when I was losing the weight, it was simply all non-carb calories. And I'd argue that refined carbs are the worst, but when you're in a weight-loss mode – not weight-maintenance – carbs are not useful. Once I hit my ideal weight, I worked non-white carbs back in – but on a weight-loss regimen, even whole wheat carbs slow down weight loss. Humans ARE carb eaters, but carb avoidance puts you in the ketosis state that kick-starts weight loss. I wouldn't go low-carb long term, at all – I eat carbs today – but if you are trying to lose I think you should avoid them.

      Everyone should do what works for them. Carb avoidance worked for me. I still ate a healthy, normal caloric intake (lots of meat, cheese and leafy greens) but simply avoided carbs. Low-carb doesn't work for my wife, for example – she seems to do better on low-fat. I do very well on low-carb. Different people are different – that's why everyone should consult with a physician or dietician or other professional before doing a serious weight loss program (….I did).

  • Ruth

    Why do carb reduction diets have such a bad rap? I'm sorry, but for many people, myself included, going on an induction diet for three or four weeks can take off ten pounds or more. I get a complete blood work-up each year, and every year my doctor is amazed at my high levels of good cholesterol as opposed to my low levels of bad cholesterol. I curb my carbs, that's it. That's my whole secret and there's nothing anorexic about it.

    Yes, 50% of the world's diet now may be carbs, but prehistoric man was mostly eating proteins and foraged fruits and nuts. There was no wheat. There were no potatoes. Carbs are not what we are biologically meant to eat. There's nothing in the least weird about keeping carbohydrates at the bottom of the food triangle.

    • http://www.bripblap.com Steve @ bripblap

      @Ruth, @Hannah: And to add on Ruth's comments, yes – humans are naturally meat and foraged vegetable-and-nut eaters. Processed whole grains and other carbs were later in the evolutionary cycle. Meat and raw veggies and nuts are the core, caveman menu.

      But that having been said, the post is “my thoughts” and nothing more, as I say repeatedly throughout the post…. worked for me and nothing more.

  • Kevin

    I'm bookmarking this…this is really good stuff. Thanks.

  • Laura

    #34 is so true. I started measuring my cereal when I began losing weight. It seemed like such a small amount compared to what I used to eat, which was probably an entire bowl. :/

    And to #10 I stopped eating chips and when I put one in my mouth after a few months of going without the oily texture tasted pretty bad.

    These are all very good thoughts. Thanks for sharing them.

  • Laura

    #34 is so true. I started measuring my cereal when I began losing weight. It seemed like such a small amount compared to what I used to eat, which was probably an entire bowl. :/

    And to #10 I stopped eating chips and when I put one in my mouth after a few months of going without the oily texture tasted pretty bad.

    These are all very good thoughts. Thanks for sharing them.

  • MichaelBoBichael

    “Milk does not work into any diet plan be it low-fat, low-calorie, low-carb. Avoid it. Soymilk is better for you.”

    I can't disagree more with that one.

    The other bits of advice are generally good but I stay away from soy as much as I do from corn syrup and deep fried starchy foods. I've lost a hundred pounds myself by staying away from most carbs and eating sensibly and I have kept it off for over a year now.

    I count soy as a carb and like most beans it is essentially poisonous until cooked. Cooked it still contains trace amounts of ricin. No thanks. I'll pass.

  • margaretwilde

    Overweight people who reduce their salt/sodium intake lose some water from the body and therefore lose weight and lower their blood pressure. Eating more fruit and vegetables results in greater and faster loss of weight and further lowering of blood pressure because the potassium in the fruit and vegetables helps to displace sodium from the body.

  • margaretwilde

    Overweight people who reduce their salt/sodium intake lose some water from the body and therefore lose weight and lower their blood pressure. Eating more fruit and vegetables results in greater and faster loss of weight and further lowering of blood pressure because the potassium in the fruit and vegetables helps to displace sodium from the body.

  • Bean22ny

    Thank you for this list- a huge help!!! I have lost 40 lbs w/ some eating changes and excercise since last Jan.. 85lbs to go!!!! Lately since excercising more I have been eating more… Now reading this and other helpful info I see where and how I need to make changes… One being stop overthinking!!!!

  • Coffeepot cooking

     Nice analysis, I lost 101 pounds while not initially focused on healthy foods but how much I was eating.  After 2 and a half years, I now find myself fine tuning and dumping the junk. BTW ever notice that with obesity a national epidemic, most of the professional advice stinks, and the documented cases by fitness buffs and people who have achieved the hundred pound losses have more similarities than differences.  My story is here http://coffeepotcooking.wordpress.com/2012/05/12/what-does-it-take-to-lose-101-pounds-my-story/

  • Natalie West

    I have now lost 55 lbs, and I am even more inspired after reading this. I still make several of the mistakes listed on here. I’m going to keep an eye on them though cause maybe my last 50 will come off quicker. 

  • Jen

    Thank you for this – I copied a few quotes and put them front and center on my computer -  very motivating!

  • Zeke

    I’m in the process of making a lifestyle change to get healthier and I am now 22 lbs down with about 5 times that amount to go. I ran across this article and i agree wholeheartedly with all 101 of your observations. This article is extremely motivating and I will continue to reference it. Thank you so much.

    p.s. as a comic book nerd, I laughed my ass off at #69.

  • H Caufield

    “Milk does not work into any diet plan be it low-fat, low-calorie, low-carb. Avoid it. Soymilk is better for you.”

    *meeeeerp*  soy milk is horrible, especially as an alternative to milk.  I have GERD (well, I did have) because of a milk allergy and went to soy, and still had the same issues.  I killed milk – soy and other – and am now off of my meds for GERD and have no issues.

    You’re so close to the Paleo way of life…  congrats!  Just think:  if you can’t shoot it, plant it, or pick it, don’t eat it.

  • Lori

    you have inspired me just by reading this and seeing how far you came. Congrats to you! You look wonderful :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/anna.brewer.31 Anna Brewer

    This is an amazing article. I laughed so many times reading it. Thank you!

  • Racha Zeidan

    You should read the new book Great Body No Diet, it has similar tips and a lot more on how to lose or maintain weight diet free.

  • Guest


  • Jarek Draven

    I have also lost TONS of weight (okay, maybe not literally TONS… but 100+ pounds I HAVE done.) Furthermore, I have studied diet and sports nutrition for over 20 years. Amateur pharmacology is a hobby of mine, and I have a college education in culinary arts and nutrition. In other words, I don’t claim to be the world’s foremost expert, but I like to think I know what I’m talking about. That being said, this list has some really great tips, and it also has some that I consider to be BAD, or flat-out WRONG.

    #3 is serious semantics. The amount of calories, fat, etc (macro-nutrients) you consume is DIRECTLY tied to the volume (quantity) of food you consume, as well as it’s quality. Furthermore, it IS calories, fat, and carbs you want to pay attention to, NOT volume. As you yourself later point out, you can just about eat as many raw vegetables as you want. (Which you also later seem to contradict AGAIN). Yes, it is a bit more complex to try to keep track of those numbers. It is also more effective, and you don’t have to GUESS whether you’re over or under-eating

    #8 is pretty terrible advice, and directly contradicts point #7 (and is also contradicted by point #9 following. Contradiction sandwich!). Sugary soda is one of the worst possible foods for a dieter. Tons of empty carbs / sugar with no other micronutrients, not filling, etc. Great way to over-shoot your daily caloric limit without even getting full. Some people out there could probably easily drop 10 pounds just by cutting soda out of their diet.

    #11 Maybe this is true for you (and probably some others, as well) I can tell you that many people do not react this way. Many people are the opposite. If you don’t let them have SOME foods that are a little sweet and decadent, the diet will feel too strict and rigorous, and they’re less likely to stick with it. One of the easiest and best ways to lose weight is to make it feel natural and satisfying. Anything that works toward this goal without adding too many extra calories is probably a good thing for most.

    #21… there are always exceptions. See my last point. As a rare treat, IMHO, it’s a good idea. Key words being “rare treat.” More than once in a while, and yes, it’s dietary suicide.

    #26.. there is a good point in here. Especially when you consider sweet / sugary drink mixers. However, ethanol is more or less pure carbohydrate. Taking a shot of plain liquor is about as bad / worse than drinking soda. Beer contains maltose, which spikes blood sugar (and crashes it) faster than almost anything. Color it any way you want– drinking is kind of bad for losing weight. I’d keep it infrequent and light, if you have a serious weight loss goal. Or, if you’re so inclined, smoke a little pot, instead. Just watch out for the munchies. lol

    Oh, also, under this point you mention: “And one of my all-time favorites has some calories but no carbs: a dirty martini” As I already mentioned, ethanol is pretty much pure carbs. So this statement is completely false. If it has ethanol (ethyl alcohol) then it has carbs. Also, “carbs” pretty much ARE “calories” (though not all calories are carbs. Basically, you can have calories without carbs, but you can NOT have carbs without calories). Likewise, “carbs” and “sugars” are more or less the same thing.

    #27 directly contradicts an earlier point (23). Most veggies are so low-calorie you could absolutely stuff yourself, without much risk of going over your daily caloric limit. Some rare stuff, like fattier veggies (avocado, olives) are exceptions to this. Be aware of those. As well as the calories in dressings. Other than that, salad bars can be great, IMO.

    #28 FAT is actually one of the most important things to “get right” in your diet. It serves VITAL functions in the body, it helps food taste good, and fattier foods are actually more filling and satisfying. (Drop fat ENTIRELY out of your diet, and see how well you do). Fat is mainly bad because it is very calorie dense, so eating too much fat means taking in too many calories. But you want enough of it, and you preferably want “the good kind.” Many salad dressings actually have “the good kind” of fat. “Low fat” dressings often substitute some of that fat with extra carbs, to make it tasty. I find it’s better to use a good dressing with monounsaturated fats, and learn how to use it SPARINGLY than to use no dressing, or a carby low-fat version, etc. Making your own isn’t a bad option, because then you can pick which kind of fat.

    #31 Eating fat and protein along with carbs slows the break-down of the carbs, so you’re less likely to get a carb crash. So cutting carbs out of breakfast isn’t entirely necessary, as long as it’s only a little, and it’s not ONLY carbs. The real idea, is you want to have a big breakfast, preferably with some good fats and protein.

    #33 Generally speaking, you NEED carbs. Just not too many.

    #38 Yes…. very broad. Almost “too”

    #43 See my earlier point about the massive importance of being satisfied with your diet. IMO having some healthier snacks around is almost vital. Keeping a box of ding dongs or oreos around can be very, very dangerous. However, learning self control is awesome. I love how the author here later “pushes” the value of self-control in what I see to be a ridiculous manner (we’ll get to that) and yet here pretends as though you shouldn’t exercise it. You know how you know when a diet is truly working, and you will lose weight and stay healthy in the long term? When you learn to eat responsibly, and say no, even with temptation all around you. I’m not saying you shouldn’t keep the twinkies out of the house for a few months or a year. I AM saying that you have to learn self control somewhere, some time, and keeping some lighter, healthier snacks around is good if it keeps you satisfied without going over-board. Successful dieting can be a bit trial and error. No two people are exactly the same. You need to find out what works for YOU and your personality. If you “fail” and find out something doesn’t work so well, don’t beat yourself up and use that as an excuse to go back to eating pizza with chocolate sauce. View it as a learning experience, and use that information in the future.

    #44 should have had the same “broad generalization” disclaimer as number 38

    #47….MAKES NO SENSE. Water is good. Great. VITAL. Drink tons of it. Drink some when you first get up. But why the author tells you “not spring water” is well beyond me. Drink whatever water you have and/or can get. Avoid distilled (because it is literally only H2O…. all other types of water have trace minerals that your body needs). Just drink plenty of water. Why the author has some weird thing against spring water I don’t know, but that stuff works just fine. Flavored water is okay too, as long as it’s not calorie laden and therefore messing with your limit. But it is best to learn to drink / enjoy plain water, IMO.

    #55 Easily one of the worst tips on this list.So let me get this straight– the author advocates that you should remove all snacks from your home, because you simply should not be asked to test out your self-control / willpower with cookies in the cupboard, yet at the same time, claims you should not use an APPETITE SUPPRESSANT because you should learn to not be hungry all on your own? Can you say “massive contradiction?”

    If I had to pick one, I’d say learn self control with the cookies, and enjoy the appetite suppression from your daily coffee.

    Over eating, in some ways, works like any other addiction. You are following hard-wired patterns. One of the things you need to do, in order to not only drop weight, but remain at a healthy weight, is to interrupt and UN-LEARN those patterns. We get better at following patterns via repetition. Likewise, long un-used patterns weaken. As such, if you can just figure out SOME WAY to eat less for a while, it will start to become a pattern, that will just constantly re-enforce itself the more you do it.

    Yes, you need to learn self-control as well. But using aids to interrupt your patterns is a great idea, as far as I’m concerned. Besides, caffeine is also a thermogenic. It speeds up your metabolism and helps you lose more weight, as well as helping you eat less. And let’s get real for a minute– you tell some people they can’t have their morning coffee AND have to eat like a rabbit all day long, the diet may feel like a bigger and more annoying life change. AKA “less satisfying.”

    Maybe that’s not you, and you’re more like the author. (I did say everyone is different, right?) I just don’t see caffeine as a mistake at all. Quite the opposite.

    PS– pharmacologically speaking, this analogy is terrible, also. For example, longer-half life opioids are used to treat addiction to opioids with shorter half-lives. And your analogy was only loosely analogous. But that’s nit-picking, and aside from the point

    #56– The Green Tea you recommend CONTAINS CAFFEINE. Less of it than coffee, but it’s there. About as bad, or a bit worse than soda, depending on how you make it. I’m sorry… did you think you weren’t using appetite suppressants? lol

    #58 Again, disagree on vegetables.

    #64 — Everything in moderation. Or I should say “ANYthing in moderation.”

    #65– Many fruit juices ARE mostly syrup. Might as well drink soda. I’d personally avoid this unless you’re on a juice fast. Drink water or a no-calorie beverage instead. Remember– drinking is one of the fastest ways to get empty calories into your body. That’s why they feed shakes to under-weight people.

    #66– Why does the author contradict himself SO many times?

    #71- Walking is awesome. Cardio is NECESSARY. However, lifting weights (resistance training) is some of the best stuff you can do for weight loss. Your body requires extra calories and nutrients to repair after intense resistance training. Also, it builds muscle. Muscle requires more calories to exist, even at rest, than other tissue. Meaning, if you have a more muscular body, you can actually eat more food and still remain fit. Give resistance training a try.

    #95 — No, they’re not. In fact, some are very helpful. There are a wide range of products, for different purposes. Some work very well. Some (lots, really) are garbage. You have to do your homework. Look at the ingredients. Learn about them. This is the information age. Google and wikipedia can tell you almost anything you need to know about any supplement or ingredient. Use them (the information, not necessarily the supplements). But to write off all supplements as garbage because you carelessly chose one without doing your homework, and didn’t like what it did it you, is biased and a bit ignorant, IMHO.

    #99– As I stated before, you can have more or less ANYTHING on a diet, as long as you work it into your plan, and don’t have too much of it, or have it too often. No, you should not have anything at starbucks every day. But once a week or less? I don’t see why not. One of the number one reasons people fail on diets, is the feeling that they have to follow some overly-strict plan and/or eat like rabbits.

    The rest of the tips are pretty solid, IMO.

  • johnny smart

    Umm ‘if your gonna have a soda, have a regular’… this is HORRIBLE ADVICE. Regular soda’s have 150 calories. Thats a slice of a small pizza. Diet soda has 0 calories. Do you know why sodium is bad for SOME ppl? It’s bc it can increase blood pressure. If you lose the weight, you’ll lose the blood pressure. Sodium is really bad in ppl with predisposition to genetic high blood pressure. Otherwise you should not worry about ‘sodium’. Jeez man you are a doofus.