The Best Way to Lose Weight

This isn’t a joke. I’m serious.

If the goal is to lose weight, and you’re an ordinary person, then quit exercising.

Exercising makes you hungry.

Running around in circles (or cycling, for you, Bruce) burns calories, which is great, and it definitely helps you stay healthier in about ninety million ways. Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.

But most people get really hungry when they exercise. And although, as I mentioned, exercising does burn calories, it really doesn’t burn a whole lot of them. Most people want to eat a lot more than they just burned.

SO. If you have great willpower, then exercise. Sure.

But if you’re not so sure, this is what you do:

Do not exercise more than normal. If you normally exercise a lot, I’d say to take it easier for a bit.

Snack a lot (on low calorie stuff).

For people without really good willpower, I betcha you lose weight faster than if you exercised.

I’m going to call it: Rob’s untested diet suggestion.

8 Responses to The Best Way to Lose Weight

  1. Kevin June 16, 2010 at 9:45 am #

    A book called “Rob’s untested diet suggestion” is not going to sell very well. If you want to make millions in the self-help section at Barnes & Noble and get on Oprah, you’re going to need to come up with a much punchier title. I’d also suggest a sub-title with 30 or more words, as those seem to be important as well. Something like “How to become healthier, smarter, and better looking in three weeks while eating nachos and cheese sitting on the sofa playing Wii and drinking a Jolt cola!” That’s not quite 30 words, but you get the idea.

    Otherwise, I think you’re on to something.

  2. Margo June 16, 2010 at 7:44 pm #

    We’ll see how it works for me cuz I just determined that boot camp is making me REALLY hungry. I’m still going to swim, but I think less intensity will do me some good. I also think WAY more sleep will help. I bet I’ll be waif like the next time you see me.

  3. admin June 17, 2010 at 10:31 am #

    Kevin, how about: “weeklyrob’s guess at how you’d probably lose weight, but he could be wrong, so whatever.”

    Margo, I plan to see you tonight, so we’ll see if the diet works waif-like wonders in 24 hours. If so, that can be my subtitle.

  4. BruceS June 17, 2010 at 4:07 pm #

    This meshes well with something I realized recently. According to my calculations, a single pound of fat (which has about four million calories) is enough to fuel me on my bicycle for 100 miles. A nice 30 mile ride only burns the equivalent of less than 5oz of fat. But after that ride, I want a 1/4lb hamburger, fries, and a couple beers. Now I know better. I should skip the hamburger and fries, have some carrots instead, and drink another beer.

  5. Jeffrey June 24, 2010 at 5:37 pm #

    Bruce, I hope you’re kidding. A pound of fat’s about 3500 calories.

    At any rate, Rob, I always wanted to publish an ad in the back of magazines for my miracle weight-loss program. It’d sell for $9.95.

    When the checks rolled in, I’d mail them two sheets of paper. One would say “exercise more” and the other “eat less.” And I’d staple the check to a note saying “Also, don’t be an idiot.”

    At any rate, my understanding is that exercising isn’t so much about literally burning fat as it is about ramping up your metabolism. So sure, you might want to eat more, but it still goes away.

  6. admin June 24, 2010 at 6:08 pm #

    Jeffrey: Making more muscles definitely ramps up your metabolism, because you have to feed those muscles even when they’re not working. And exercising ramps it up, too.

    But my guess (based on the twin sciences of hearsay and intuition) is that the increase isn’t enough to make up for the food you want to eat afterward.

  7. BruceS June 28, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

    Jeffrey, I wasn’t quite kidding as much as being pedantic. A Calorie (capital C) is a thousand calories (lower-case). I find that convention very silly. A lot of written nutritional information gets sloppy and uses the lower-case in place of the upper-case, so getting off by three orders of magnitude. The number you usually see is 9 Calories (so 9 thousand calories) per gram, which back-of-the envelope calcs give me a little over 4 thousand C (or four million c) per pound. I also see the quotes of 3500 C, so I don’t know where the 35/40th comes in.

    I like your program. There was a whole Bloom County series to the same effect, with IIRC Opus trying various quack ideas before finally agreeing to Milo’s advice.

    Robert, I did a whole lot of exercise this weekend, and actually ate very little food! I just didn’t feel like eating. I did rehydrate and recarbohydrate with a relaxing beverage, though. Those calories don’t count.

  8. BruceS June 28, 2010 at 2:33 pm #

    Now I’m really confused. I just did a recheck, and found a site,, that not only uses “calorie” to mean “kilocalorie” aka “Calorie”, they also have the 9 calories per gram right above the 3500 calories per pound or .45Kg. Leaving aside all the English to Metric stuff, I get 450g for .45Kg, and 3500/450 = ap. 7.8. I can see calling that “about 8 Calories per gram”, but nine? This seems to beyond simple rounding errors. Are they saying you gain 9 Calories by eating a gram of fat, but only get about 8 out of burning it?

    Also, a slight correction: my rides this weekend took (according to my HR watch FWIW), a lot more than 4KC for a lot less than 100 miles, so my fuel efficiency is much lower than it used to be. If I’m recalling the numbers correctly (ap. 4800C for ap. 72m), it now takes about 6.7 million calories to fuel me on my bicycle for 100 miles. Depending on whether you use the 3500 or 4000 number, that means my excess body fat of about 15 pounds would only get me about 7800 to 9000 miles, not the 1500 miles I thought. Then I’d have to eat.

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