What's Your Weight Loss Philosophy?

As I spent time dieting, I developed a few principles that helped me find what worked best for me.

Below is my weight loss philosophy.

  1. Quick .  That's quick results and quick to implement. I'm time poor and impatient. Anything that demands bags of time is out. 
  2. Measurable. I need to be able to act and then quickly see results. If I avoid that Chelsea Bun, I need to see the effect on the scales the next morning.
  3. Easy to follow in all locations. I work, i travel. I cant just buy a shop load of Slim Fast and sit at home drinking them. I need the food / exercise / activity to be doable where ever I am.
  4. Easy to remember.  I don't want to be carrying around a manual!
  5. Fussy-friendly.  If I don't like something, I don't want to have to eat it or do it. So, for example, I don't eat fish, not shell fish nor tuna. So an anchovy only diet wont work.
These are the principles i measure any diet or weight loss plan against.

How about you? What matters to you?

You Must Know Your Ideal Weight

Don't even try to start losing weight without selecting your ideal / target weight.

Seriously? Why?

If you don't have a goal in mind, written down and memorised, you are going on a journey without a destination. In fact, the difference between a diet and strange eating habits is whether you know what the weight you are aiming for.

How to choose your ideal weight?

There are plenty of calculators or methods to choose from as a starting point. I like the Halls.md page because it gives you a choice of several. Body Mass Index, Medical recommendation, "People's Choice".

Guess what?  They all give out similar readings. So do the math, check out all the options and then PICK ONE as your target. It actually doesn't really matter what you pick, whatever you choose will be right for you.

You don't have to pick a weight measurement, but you must pick a measurable measurement. Huh?  That means, pick something you can measure consistently over time, like your waist circumference, or neck measurement or your BMI or percentage body fat. Don't choose something vague "I want to be thinner" or "I want to look good naked". They are vision, not targets. You need a target to work towards it. At the end of your diet, then check yourself out naked. If you don't like what you see, you may need to set a new target.

Once you've picked a target weight that's not the end of the story.

Using your target weight to lose weight.
  1. Select your target / ideal weight.
  2. Write it down somewhere you'll remember.
  3. Select a date to achieve that goal. The date you pick is really dependent on how much you currently weigh and how aggressively you plan to diet. As a simple rule of thumb, add a week for every pound of weight you hope to lose. So 10 pounds, pick a date 10 weeks in the future. Easy.
  4. Write the date down next to your target weight.
  5. Track your actual weight every day versus your target weight. I've previously blogged about the benefits of using a graph or spreadsheet to do this.
  6. Do your diet!

In a Nutshell - Pick a Target Weight and Track Towards It.


I Lost 7lbs in Weight in 2 Days - No Exercise

You know that feeling. Completely stuffed with Christmas Pudding and Cheesy Bites.

I put on 7lbs through Christmas indulgence. Argh. 7lbs above my target weight of 160 lbs.

I decided to put in an urgent action plan to reverse the swell. Below I detail what I did.

First, it was a bit cold outside so no exercise was allowed (apart from wandering around the house!).

Day 1 - Start of day weight - 167 lbs

  • Immediate starvation for breakfast - only 1 litre of water until 2pm. Zero calories
  • Very light lunch - Subway Salad - Turkey Breast and Ham. No dressing, no cookies. 112 calories
  • Pint of diet coke. I don't drink tea or coffee so this is my route to caffeine. Caffeine has a mixed reputation on diets, but it is a diuretic so is possible that weight will fall through dehydration. So keep other fluids high - water. Zero calories
  • Evening meal - Grilled lean chicken - four pieces - plus a huge bag of salad. Flavoured by a splash of olive oil and plenty of Chicken Piri-Piri seasoning, plus three Walnuts. 200 calories.
  • Wine - Red wine, two generous glasses. Tim Ferriss recommends Red Wine as the least snowball of the alcoholic drinks. You drink it slowly and tend to savour it, plus much less sugar than white wine. - 300 calories.
  • Whisky - small measure. Hey, its Christmas. 100 calories
  • Half litre of water before bed. Zero calories.
  • Total calories - 712 calories.
Day 2 - Start of day weight - 163 lbs
  • Two medium poached eggs. 1.5 minutes in the microwave with a spoon of water - 150 calories.
  • 250ml Grapefruit Juice - Low sugar content - 100 calories
  • Half litre of water. Zero calories.
  • Lunch - Same as yesterday's evening meal - Four pieces of Grilled lean chicken with spinach.
  • Snack - Four Walnuts. 50 calories.
  • Evening meal - Chicken goujouns plus salad -  350 calories.
  • Red Wine and Whisky as yesterday. An alcoholic Groundhog Day.
  • Sleep
  • Total calories - 650 calories
Day 3 - Start of day weight - 160 lbs. Target achieved!

Woohoo. Okay this wasn't feasting like a king, but I didn't suffer too badly!

I'm not saying this will work every time. But it worked this time.

5 Weight Loss Tips that Work

1. Work should be your best friend for weight loss

The busier you are the better whilst losing weight.  You burn calories, you have less time to eat. Perfect combination. Watch out for grazing though - don't be so distracted that you forget to control your food intake. No snacking!

2. You can lose several pounds in one day

Okay. After lost of good work you have a blow out. A big night of beer, curry and more beer. You get on the scales and have put on three pounds. No panic. The next day, wake up, eat only lean protein (that's eggs, lean chicken, beef, turkey plus spices), drink lots of water. By the next morning you should have lost two to four pounds.  Just like that!

3. You don't need to exercise to lose weight

Its a myth. And we've all seen that chubby guy pounding the treadmill and wondered whether its really going to do him any good. Exercise is slow, high effort, high demand on your time and relatively ineffective.  Just control you calorie intake. Lose weight, then get fit. Not the other way round.  I'm not saying "Don't exercise",  just don't use exercise to lose weight.

4. The Chicken is a magic beast for excercise.

When in doubt, choose the chicken dish. Whether that's the egg variety - Omelet, boiled, poached - or the meaty version - wings, breasts ( but perhaps not nuggets). The chicken is a low fat, high protein marvel.

5. Read the label.

Always be looking out for how many calories is in a meal, snack or dish. Two good reasons - first, if you are calorie counting, this knowledge is power.  Second, you'll learn what's good for your diet (low calorie) and what's bad. Yes nuts are protein but they are killers on the calorie front.

Hope you enjoyed the tips. Happy weight loss

You Only Know After Losing Weight... Clothing

Clothes manufactures are conspiring to keep you fat!

That was my conclusion after dropping from a 38 inch to 32 inch waist.

What do I mean?

I discovered the shirts that I thought made me look good had great big belly panels built in to them, allowing my stomach to spread out with ease. You buy shirts by neck circumference surely, not waist size. And yet the shirts were comforting me when really the shouldn't. 

I think the shirts they call "slim-fit" is really a code for shirts without these special belly panels.

Be aware - and start losing some weight today.

Fat Cat Picture - Moe

Innocent Smoothies - not so innocent to dieters

An early lesson in my diet journey is that healthy does not equal good for weight loss.

The Innocent Smoothy is a perfect case study for this.

Is packed with fibre, vitamins, minerals. It hydrates. It tastes great.

But its also FULL of sugar and calories. Sometimes more sugar than a can of coke. And when it comes to losing weight, sugar is sugar is sugar.  It doesn't matter - its all crammed full of calories.

The 1 litre Pineapple, Banana and Coconut, for example, has 730 calories!!  I used to polish one of those off and feel like I'd just leaped off the treatmill.

No more.  If you are on a proper diet - avoid all Smoothies!  Sorry.

Read more: Smoothies have more sugar than cola and  High calorific content in Smoothies

Fruit and Diets - Don't Do it


 Fruit and diets do not go together.

This was one big revelation when I was looking into losing weight.

Don't be deceived by all that fancy marketing. You know the sort of thing.  "Eat 5 pieces of Fruit a Day" and the like.  No, no, no.

Instead - think - in terms of dieting, Food is like a Mars Bar with Vitamins.

And would any self respecting dieter eat a Mars Bar without trepidation and guilt.  No.  So why ignore the calories in fruit - just because they are called Fructose instead of Glucose.  Its still sugar.

 So fruit, fruit juice, smoothies, wine gums, none are a dieter's friend.

Don't believe me? Here's some of the offenders.

400ml of Orange Juice =  yummy = 166 calories.
One Banana = 100 calories.
200 grams of grapes = a healthy handful = 124 calories

So a nice fruit salad breakfast and you've managed to consume calories equivalent to a Mars Bars 448 calories. Wham!

In a nutshell: Fruit is calorific - eat with caution.

Want Fast Weight Loss - Keep a Graph

 So,   I've blogged about keeping a DAILY RECORD of your WEIGHT.

Its so important. Even better, turn your record into a graph.

Here's mine over the last 6 months. The RED line was my target weigh loss. The BLUE line is my ACTUAL weight.

Take a moment to study the chart. I dropped from 190 to 155 pounds in three months  - that's 35 pounds weight loss through my diet.

I'd only targeted to drop 10 pounds in that time!

What amazed me most was that losing the weight was so much easier than I'd expected. I had aimed to get down to 160 pounds in 365 days, which seemed like an achievable target. The truth is, I was able to shed many more pounds per week that I'd imagined.

The graph told me every day how I was doing versus my target. I knew my diet was working!

One other thing to note is that after I lost the weight - I kept it off.  Look how flat my weight curve has been since I hit target.  Maintaining the weight loss is as important as keeping it off.

In a Nutshell: Keep a weight-loss graph, and set a benchmark target.

Best Fast Food on a Diet - McDonalds, Burger King, Subway?

Quick tip.

If you are trapped on the high street, on a Slow-Carb, Fat Carb, No Carb diet or whatever, which fast food retailer should you choose?

Every time for me... Subway.


Because they have the lowest calorie main meal with meat that I've every found on the High Street. The Turkey Breast Salad.

Just 105 calories!!

With Turkey and all the salad you can shake a lettuce leaf at. Its surprisingly filling. Especially if you include a pile of Jalapenos.

Don't believe me - check out the  Subway calorie counts

Ground rules apply though:
No dressing - liquid fat!
No Cola or Doritos as a side order. (No cookie either)
Don't be afraid to ask for MORE. More salad that is. The Subway guys always oblige.

And, in a weird quirk, the salad actually costs more than a Sub with bread included. No idea why, very disappointing Subway.

Even better news - if you can bare to go veggie, their Veggie Delight is just 52 calories!

What if there's no Subway?

McDonalds - Grilled Chicken Salad with no Bacon is a tempting 115 calories. McDonalds Nutrition info

Burger King - Flame Grilled Chicken salad - 128 calories -    Burger King Nutrition

Anyone got any better ideas?

Secret of successful dieting - Know Your Weight

How much do you weigh?

Most people have a number in their head. But is it up-to-date? Is it the truth o what you wish you weighed? Is it what you weighed when you were 21??

If you don't know your weight right now, you don't know if your weigh is going up, down or sideways. So how can you lose weight?

Here's my tips of my ideal way to track me weight whilst on a diet and beyond!

1. Good scales

If you make one investment in your plan to lose weight, forget Ski Machines and Blenders, buy good scales.  You want accurate, quality scales that give a consistent reading. Don't use the old scales that have been lurking in your bathroom for years.  Buy new.  I prefer digital because the read-out is more accurate.

2. Three weigh-ins rule

Each time you weigh yourself, do it three times and pick the middle one. Even the best scales throw up crazy readings from time to time. Have you really lost 5lbs in a day?

3. Write down what you weigh

Its no good trying to remember what you weigh. Jot it down. This could be on paper, an iPhone or a full-blown spreadsheet.  Whatever method you use, keep track each time you weigh. Ideally, the date, time and weight.  Incidentally, I prefer to weigh in pounds.  Not stones or kilograms.  Pounds allow you to easily see relatively small changes in your weight.

Even more important, when all your friends are commenting on how great you look in a few months time they will always ask how much weight you've lost. Make sure you can tell them.

4. Same time, every day weigh

Not once a month, or when you remember, or when you've been to the gym or whatever. The one reading that matters will be the same time every day. My weight can go up or down 5lbs in a day (sometimes more). The main factors that change your weight are what goes in your mouth (Food and drink) and what comes out the other end!!  I prefer to weigh after I've woken up in the morning. At this stage I expect to be my lowest weight all day because I've been burning calories and sweating all night, but not yet eaten or drunk anything in the morning. If that time doesn't suit, choose a different time, and stick to it.

Whether you are on a diet right now, planning to go on a diet or maintaining your weight after the diet - you must Know your Weight.

In a nutshell: Weigh every day!

Weigh yourself EVERY DAY to lose weight


This is so simple, so obvious, so why doesn't everyone do it?


If you don't, your chances of losing weight are dramatically reduced in my opinion. 

This is all about applying the principle - "Measure to manage". By measuring your weight every day, you can:
  • Tell people (and yourself) how much weight you've lost (or added)
  • Assess what effect that late-night curry and 6 pints had on your body as well as your hangover.
  • Measure your progress as you smoothly drift towards your ideal BMI.
  • And much more.
Frankly, if you can't pluck up the energy and discipline to clamber on to the scales every day, are you really going to find the willpower to avoid the next cheeseburger?

First step to losing weight fast - the slow carb diet.

 The first step for me in losing weight was reading Tim Ferriss awesome book, with the catchy title.

The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman

 This book is huge. But the great news is, you only need to read and digest a few short pages to get started.

Fortunately, those pages are actually available on Tim Ferriss's blog too.  Its called the Slow Carb diet .

What made me gasp about the slow carb diet, was how easy it was to remember. Even I could do it!

So my first recommendation for you all is to buy the 4-hour body, or check out the blog. It worked for me.

Lose weight now

I lost 37 pounds in weight last year.

It was... easy.

I share some of my tips here.