How to lose weight in 792 easy steps

I hopped on the digital scale and was shocked. It read “212.”

“What?” I thought. “It must be in the kilogram setting.” I didn’t know what 212 kilograms translated to in pounds, but I was pretty sure it would be in the 170-ish range. It wasn’t of course, and reality began to set in. No one wants to admit they’re fat, but after seeing this 212-pound number, I had to pause for a moment, man up, and face the bitter truth:

Our scale was broken.

It wasn’t worth trying to take it back to Walmart; the last six scales we purchased there have been way off, too. So I decided to try to lose weight instead. This comes on the heels of the headline-grabbing national study that predicted 42 percent of Americans will be obese in 2030, with that number potentially reaching over 50 percent should Cold Stone Creamery run another promotion.

There are millions of theories on how to lose weight, and all of them are wrong. Otherwise we wouldn’t be so fat. The only time-tested, healthy way to shed pounds is to watch what you eat while engaging in activities that burn calories. Unfortunately for the $20 billion a year weight-loss industry, this doesn’t make for a very exciting book:


Eat less and exercise more.

The End.

So we make it more complicated. We have the grapefruit diet, the Zone Diet and Atkins, which, if I understand correctly, allows you to gorge on a block of cheese and three pounds of bacon, just so long as you don’t touch an apple.

Then there are the over-the-counter diet pills. These burn fat by speeding up your metabolism, which makes them sort of like methamphetamines’ little cousins. Just like diet pills, you don’t need a prescription to purchase meth. You can buy it OTC (Over Towards Clifton).

A number of diet companies, Jenny Craig for example, have sprung forth. Their sole, unselfish mission is to help you lose weight by unloading those heavy $20 bills out of your wallet.

Another one of these firms, Weight Watchers, just hired Charles Barkley as a spokesman. Last year he was pimping for Taco Bell, but I suppose when chasing endorsement dollars, one must remain flexible. Still it’s an odd choice. He has two arrests for aggravated battery. He once told a reporter, “I hate white people.” And he recently was incarcerated for a DUI. Personally, I tend to take health advice only from my doctor. But Weight Watchers is a viable option for those of you who prefer your nuggets of nutritional wisdom to be dispensed by violent, drunken racists.

NutriSystem is a plan where healthy meals are sent to you. And while they may be premade, the company describes them as “delicious” meals prepared by “nationally renowned chefs.” Sure. After all, you know it’s going to be a savory, gourmet dining experience if the UPS man dropped it off on the porch.

The only effective weight-loss method I found is running. I hate every second of it, but it works. Ever see the end of a marathon? The only fat person you see crossing the finish line is a TV cameraman angling for a shot.

Yet a lot of people don’t want to take responsibility for their waistlines. “I have a slow metabolism,” they say. So do I. But I’ve discovered mine tends to increases somewhat around the 2-mile mark.

That’s why I want to run a marathon. Not for the sense of the accomplishment so much as for the guilt-free gluttony I’d enjoy post-race:

Drive-through speaker: “Welcome to Dairy Queen. Order when ready.”

Me: “Yes, I’d like four banana splits, seven Kit-Kat Blizzards and one spoon.”

So those are my diet tips, along with the best weight-loss advice of all time: Do NOT buy a scale at Walmart. Those things are always off.

Reach Steve Beauregard at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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