We all know that losing weight is tough, but there are a lot of people out there who always like to make things harder on themselves than is necessary. Now, if you are one of these people, you might be asking yourself: ‘How can I make my new weight loss goal as difficult to achieve as possible?’
If you are of a certain personality type, this is a worthy endeavor. You will draw attention for your heroic struggles, praise, and the accompanying validation for your grit and resolve, and when you fail miserably, forever after you will be able to point to this attempt as a reason why you should never go on a diet again because they don’t work no matter how hard you try – and pass that bag of chips, will ya?
Well, look no further. The following list will prevent you from wracking your brain trying to figure out the most difficult means to lose weight (though that might dovetail nicely with your self-absorbed masochistic tendencies) and instead, provides you a simple list to follow to ensure that your diet experience is the most unproductive, unpleasant and unendurable process imaginable.
Think of all the time you will be able to spend telling your friends of your pointless attempt. You’ll love telling them as much as I’m sure your friends will enjoy hearing about it.
Set unrealistic expectations
From the get-go, make sure that your expectations are completely unrealistic. You’ll be amazed at just how miserable you can make yourself by setting forth with an unreachable goal. For women, be sure to choose a waif-like celebrity who just passed puberty and has a waist size of a small child as your role model.
For the guys, despite the fact that women and employers both like men to be in the overweight range, be sure to go for the totally buff Adonis or emaciated runner look regardless if your natural body-type lends itself to this.
Now, to be sure, setting goals is an important part of dieting as it helps to ensure focus – but you’ve got to overdo it to ensure failure.
It also is very helpful in planning your diet to fail to set unrealistic time goals. 30 pounds in 30 days works with liposuction or perhaps a coma – but not as a diet goal. Choose something like that. The disappointment you crave is only a month away.
Go on a low-fat diet
In all my years of dieting, by my count over 30 at present, the one that worked the worst – by far – was the low-fat diet. It’s promise is that you only need to count fat and the calories will take care of themselves. When you dig deeper though, it is a sleight-of-hand because all those zero-fat cookies will keep you pudgy and bloated because of all the sugar – and all the fun starches like white bread are verboten as well so it’s not only zero fat but zero fun. What you end up eating is a lot of vegetables and soy products for the most part.
To assist you in your desire to fail big, the low-fat diet can prove to you just how hunger is way different from ‘fullness’ – yeah – you can eat until you are bloated but still be hungry and unsatisfied – isn’t that the worst of both worlds? You might also find as I did, that despite your restrictive diet, you won’t lose weight either! It seems like some torture devised by the devil himself for one particular circle of hell: hunger, overeating, bloating and no weight loss!
Those of you looking to crank up the misery to the next level will then cut back on the intake so now you not only will be hungry and lose no weight but you will push your body into starvation mode so that you body will hold on to every calorie it can, making you feel even worse, and even if you do lose weight through steely determination and grit, you will likely lose muscle instead of fat and get that gaunt ‘vegan chic’ look even before you get thin.
Focus on exercise right at the start
You’ve sat on your butt for 10 years? 20? There’s no better chance of failure than plunging headlong into an intense physical regimen. It’s particularly awful to start by buying exercise equipment, exercise clothes, and expensive gym memberships. When you fail at your attempt, the gym equipment usually works well as a clothes hanger, exercise clothes are ideal for lounging in front to the TV eating McDonald’s, and the monthly bill for the membership will be sure to keep the misery of failure springing forth anew each and every month as you do your bills. Remember that gyms depend on people like you to turn a profit – don’t let them down.
Do not start by walking or using the old bike for a casual ride – you don’t want to ease into this change or you might find you enjoy it – and that would ruin you goal of total failure.
If you do actually make it past the first week of your exercise boot camp, unless you have a personal trainer, you can still snatch failure from the jaws of victory by causing yourself some sort of injury that might require physical therapy – and if you are particularly persistent, you might not lose weight, but you might set yourself up for a knee or hip replacement some years down the line, which are always fun when going through airport checkpoints.
Try to eat as little as possible
Eating as little as possible isn’t dieting – it’s starvation. It is very unpleasant and can be life-threatening. Anorexia is the most fatal of mental illnesses, and while you might not be an actual anorexic, you will certainly be acting like one. The best part of this is you not only have a good chance of losing more muscle than fat, making you look gaunt and sickly rather than thin, but your heart is a muscle – see what I’m getting at? Eating as little as possible is usually self-limiting because flu-like symptoms hit as every organ in the body freaks out from lack of food and nutrients and all but the most chowder-headed people throw in the towel and give up on the diet.
Weigh yourself incessantly and obsess about the number on the scale
Your weight fluctuates based on whatever processes your body needs to go through on any given day. Certain foods might retain water, other foods might release it. Weight naturally bobs up and down. Ignore this fact and crow about every half-pound loss and gnash your teeth and curse the heavens and the God that made you for every half-pound gain. Don’t think long-term, and don’t weight yourself merely to observe your body and better understand its natural cycles – put yourself on an emotional roller-coaster dependent on a number on a scale every single day – this will exhaust you in short time and you’ll never step on a scale again.
Stock up on ‘diet foods’
This is actually the best way to pretend to be on a diet. It isn’t really for people looking for hard-core misery. Sure: your food will be over-processed and tarted up to taste only mediocre, but if you eat enough of it you can stay fat and unhealthy while all the time pointing out to friends and colleagues how hard you are trying to lose weight and ‘nothing works’.
The downside to this is: it’s mainstream. I know you want to take your dieting failure to the next level. This level of failure is for rank amateurs – you’re better than this.
Sip water or graze on low-calorie items throughout the day
If you are addicted to habitual eating, do NOT try eating large, satisfying meals and slowly learn to overcome the habit of having something in your mouth every moment. It is good to sip water – I call this the ‘water torture’: after a meal of insufficient size, be sure to keep teasing your body by drinking more fluids than necessary – it will constantly remind you that you want to eat instead of drink water and ensure that you never forget you want to eat more.
You can do the same with celery sticks or carrot sticks. While some calories trickle in from these, it makes sure your habit of habitual chewing never lets up like it would if you only ate an adequate meal and instead stopped shoving stuff into your maw for a few hours. It’s what most people on diets do – and the fact that most people on diets fail proves that this is an excellent approach to architect your own failure.
Try all the latest dietary supplements touted to shed pounds
An entire aisle of the nutritional supplement section of the drug store is stuffed with the latest magical supplement. None of them work. Instead of spending the money you toiled so hard for on the best quality food you can afford, spend you cash and pin your hopes on these supplements. They typically make you at the very least feel stupid, and at worst, might actually kill you – think of the sympathy you’ll get then!
Don’t try new foods
I can’t stress this point enough: do NOT expand your horizons! If you try new foods you might actually find a large group of varied foods that you not only enjoy but that help you to lose weight without feeling deprived. Instead, take your existing set of foods and remove all of the ones that you can’t have on your diet and BAM! Instant deprivation from day one.
Extra added bonus: it will make you hate the foods you love and can have on your diet because you are eating them day after day. Brilliance!
Don’t read labels
You don’t read the fine-print on your legal documents, do you? Of course not – don’t do it with your food, either. Only pay attention to the big letters: ‘only 100 calories!’, ‘Zero Fat!’. Take the easy way out and you will ease your way out of any notion of losing weight ever in your life.
Another tip: you can pretty much guarantee failure if you ONLY eat foods with ingredient labels. It means they are processed, and the more ingredients, the more they were processed. God only knows what eating all this crap created in chemical factories will do to you in the long-term, but in the short-term they will most assuredly lead to failure.
A special note here: some diet plans have prepackaged food and supply all your meals. These diets work for some – but only at the beginning. These chemical creations might taste good at first but they get real old real fast – and even if you love the stuff, you will need to eat it for the rest of your life because while you lost weight you never learned better food habits and only know how to eat shelf-stable astronaut space food that keeps forever.
Blame other people for tempting you
Do not take personal responsibility for your actions but instead, adopt a victim mentality. Blaming other people for your transgressions is incredibly disempowering and you need this kind of disempowerment in order to reach you weight loss failure goals. It’s also handy for building your levels of resentment – and what bitter failure doesn’t want their own ‘enemies list’?
Demonize the foods that made you fat
The beauty of negative reinforcement is twofold. First you become sanctimonious and feel morally superior, making your presence around others even more toxic than it already is, and pretending you don’t like, say, pizza creates such a deep internal conflict between what you know is true and what you’d like to pretend to be true that you are sure to crumple like a cheap suit at your first weak moment.
Obsessively track your eating
Know your calorie count to 3 decimal places. Spend more time calculating your food intake than you do eating the food. Do this while considering the fact that in the US, calorie counts can legally be off by 20% on ingredient labels and that with fresh foods any calorie and nutrition count is a wild guess. Agonize over whether the tomato you just ate was ‘medium-sized’ despite the fact that here is no known unit of measure called ‘medium’. While some folks love this level of obsession, most of us will be driven insane by the endeavor.
Double-down on Plateaus
If you’ve lost some weight and then your weight loss seems to stall, don’t assume that it is your body acclimating itself to a new weight and give it time to adapt. Don’t listen to your body – punish it instead. Train harder and starve yourself.
Savagely abuse yourself for even the smallest cheat
If you’ve followed my advice so far you will be so stung out that you are going to cheat. When you do so, be sure to castigate yourself endlessly. There’s nothing better than to program the voices in your head to constantly tell you what a failure you are to be sure you accomplish nothing for all your effort.
Wow. That’s enough to derail anyone – don’t you think?