Thirty simple advices for those who are inclined to
dream to get rid of excess weight
(the recipe of weight loss by
If you are reading these words, then most likely we have the common
serious life problem – the tendency for excess weight.
Let me tell my story briefly: I was born in 1964 and all my life
gradually gained weight. As a child – of course, but in adulthood, I do not
remember any period when my weight decreased and did not increase. In the 2000s
I weighed more than
And in 2010, I managed to solve this problem: I lost more than
Take a look at my photos:
Before weight losing (in the 2000s)…
During weight losing (in 2010)…
Now (in 2018).
So I have the moral right to give you some simple advices based
primarily on my own experience. However, this experience is not only mine: when
I was losing weight, I studied a large amount of medical recommendations on
this theme, talked with a lot of people with similar experience (unfortunately,
not always successful), and constantly used the advices of my Taekwondo coach
Sergey Bubnov, to whom, taking this opportunity, I
express my deep gratitude.
And if you ask me why I did not write these advices before, immediately
after weight losing, I will answer: it took me several years to gain confidence
that I found and stabilized my optimal weight.
First of all, decide whether you need to lose weight at all. There are
cases of unambiguous and indisputable need (as I had), but it sometimes happens
that the desire to lose weight is caused by youthful complexes, by following
the fashion, by sarcastic remarks of family and friends, by momentary life
circumstances – up to the desire to put the favorite old dress on, as the woman
in the tragic American film "Requiem for a dream" (if someone did not
see this film, I recommend).
You can find on the Internet many tables and methods to calculate the
"optimal" weight depending on gender, height and age. But, as a rule,
these tables and calculations are only for general guidance, and it is
impossible to determine anything by them more or less accurately: all people
have different lifestyles, different metabolism, different health (not only
physical but also psychological) in a particular weight. So firstly think about
all the "pros" and "cons". Remember: no one knows you
better than yourself.
If you eventually decided that you need to lose weight, then read on.
Do not convince yourself (especially after reading different advices and
recommendations on the Internet) that it is easy to lose weight. It is easy to
advise and recommend, but it is difficult to lose weight, otherwise many
millions of people would not suffer of excessive weight. So set yourself up for
a long struggle. But the happier will be your undoubted future success. For
example, I still often remember what I was in the 2000s (especially when I look
at the photos of those years), and feel the joy of accomplishment: I was able
to do it! I was able to lose weight!
I have no doubt that you know your familiar diet, i.e. all that you eat
and drink now, and in what quantities. It is not so important, of what –
"useful" or "harmful" – products this diet consists (so
many people, so many opinions concerning benefit and harm of certain products),
it is important that it is familiar for you.
Remember this diet, at least approximately. This is your starting
position before losing weight.
Probably everyone knows a short, clear and indisputable recipe for
weight loss: "Eat less". Knows and is ready to follow it in theory.
But in practice, everything is much more difficult, because people want
So, your main task is to reduce the amount of eaten food and not to turn
into a psychopath, exhausted by constant hunger.
In this regard, let me remind you that hunger arises from two main
sources: emptiness in the stomach and psychological mood. Let's talk, what to
do with these two sources.
To reduce the amount of eaten food and not to suffer of hunger, do not
reduce the nutrition amount immediately and drastically. Divide your usual
daily diet into many small parts. Such nutrition is called
"frequent", or "regular", or "fractional", or
“multiple", it is usually prescribed for gastritis and ulcers, i.e. it is
useful by definition. And we will use it to accustom the body to a small amount
of food, so that the stomach gradually decreased and developed the habit of
And since in the process of losing weight our task is constant reducing
of the total amount of food, remember that it is easier to do this with
"frequent" nutrition: the reduction is not so noticeable.
Personally, even now, when I have the stable weight, I eat at least five
times a day, and most often six. And when I was losing weight, I ate even more
Do not overeat at feasts. After all, your global task is to reduce the
stomach gradually, and overeating stretches it again, besides feasts exclude
regularity of nutrition (you have the feasts not every day, don’t you?). So sit
down at the holiday table, only if you feel the strength to resist the temptations
(and persistent proposals of neighbors at the table) to try different
delicacies. If you do not feel the strength, it is better not to sit down at
Try not to eat delicious food, which causes the desire to eat more and
more. This can be difficult, especially if you are used to a good kitchen. But
at the stage of weight loss this is, unfortunately, necessary.
So-called "food culture" helps a lot. Eat slowly, do not
swallow food in large chunks. Take the example of travelers in the desert: even
if they have enough water, they drink slowly, in small sips, as they know that
otherwise the stomach will be filled before the thirst is quenched. Such is the
In principle, one can take medications against obesity, the choice of
such medications is now huge. In principle, one can even do the stomach
resection. But remember that all this is not only very expensive, but also
extremely dangerous, especially if you do not reduce the amount of food. After
all, it takes a lot of gastric juice to digest a large amount of food, and in
the stomach, cut and (or) unbalanced by medications, there is not enough
gastric juice, and the stomach begins to work in an abnormal, extreme mode. A
huge additional load falls also on a very capricious organ – the pancreas. As
they say, nature can not be fooled.
In 2013, I survived the death of my close friend – a famous sculptor,
who had spent a lot of money on the stomach resection surgery. The operation
was successful, he lost
You have probably already guessed that I lost weight without any
medications and surgeries.
Human is a mammal, a part of the animal world, and he is arranged so
that any stress associated with a long feeling of hunger and large breaks in
food (let's call it nutritional stress) is perceived by the body as a signal to
the accumulation of fat: who knows, what is coming – starvation, or drought, or
the rainy season, or something else what can happen in the jungle, where our
ancestors, monkeys, came from? And fat helps animals to survive the coming
"hard time". We have already said that nature can not be deceived.
So we should avoid nutritional stress. Our body should feel stability
and confidence in the future (or rather, in future food), then it will not need
For the same reason, I can not recommend "fasting days",
which, in fact, are the notorious nutritional stresses. Only the stability of
food guarantees that even if we eat something extra, the body will not feel the
need to accumulate fat, and will remove excess food in the natural way (simply
put, through the toilet).
Our body is a system of unimaginable complexity. Let's at least imagine
how the children grow up and gradually turn into adults, how balanced this
long-term development is, and understand that we must trusted our body; we
simply have no other choice. And if you gradually bring the body into the
balance with a small amount of food, it will understand that global hunger is
not expected, so excess fat is not needed. Then this balance (primarily
metabolism, but also psychological attitude) will be very stable.
By this time you will already want to eat much less, and even if you
somehow overeat a little, the body will give you a signal: enough, the stomach
is full! So, trust your body and never eat "through force".
Is it useful to "snack", "seize something on the
run", if it is not possible to eat normally (i.e., by your normal regular
diet which has already been worked out)? Yes, because in any case you must not
bring the matter to hunger and the notorious nutritional stress, after which
the body will decide that you have problems and urgently need to accumulate
fat. So it is better to "seize on the run" a candy or a lamb, just do
not suffer hunger!
But remember that such "snacks seizing" should take place very
rarely, otherwise the problems of overweight may fade against the background of
problems with gastritis, ulcers and other unpleasant illnesses of the
The Internet is full of offers like following: "Lose weight in a
month – it's easy!", "We shall help you to lose weight in a
week!" (two weeks, three...), "If you want to get rid of obesity
quickly, ask me how", etc.
But don't hurry! Remember that in theory it is possible to lose weight
in a month, even in a week, but in practice it means to starve. And this,
first, is the terrible wear of all internal organs, and secondly, the
nutritional stress, i.e. as soon as you stop starving, then will gain weight
again, but get such global health problems, which will fade problems with
Yes, there are professional athletes (especially bodybuilders) who gain
and lose weight very quickly before the competitions. But they are
professionals, plus they often use some sorts of harmful chemicals... And we
are not bodybuilders, but ordinary people.
On the Internet there are not only catchy advertising headlines, but
also quite serious and reasonable calculations, at what speed it is desirable
to lose weight. But the metabolism of all people is different, so the
probability that if these calculations are suitable for you, is very low.
So do it easier and more reliably: set a goal to lose your excess weight
in a year. And may be not in a year, but in a year and half, or in two. What's
the hurry? (Personally, although I dropped the main excess weight for a year,
then for two more years achieved weight stability and "balanced"
metabolism in the body).
Then define, how much you would like to weigh (for example, in times of
my youth so-called "
And what is the most important: always remember about the plan of weight
loss and strictly follow it.
During weight loss, weigh yourself twice a day: in the morning and in
the evening. Do not be lazy and do not forget to weigh yourself, do not spare
money for good electronic scales. If you leave the schedule of weight loss, it
will be more difficult to overtake it. And the changing day by day digits on
the scales create the spirit of competition, which is important
Remember that in the evening a human weighs about half a kilo, or even a
kilo more than in the morning, that's normal. So if the difference between your
morning and evening weight is small, do not be afraid that you "gained
weight during the day".
Although we are not professional athletes, it is desirable to engage in
sports (or rather, in physical culture), – at least for general health and
tonus. And in any case, physical activity is necessary, it will help the body
to find the optimal balance of metabolism.
But remember that sports, physical culture and physical activity do not
reduce weight by themselves. They strengthen and increase the muscles, but do
not remove the layer of fat on them. On the contrary – after a good workout,
like after a good walk, the appetite usually increases. Therefore, physical
activity does not negate the need to reduce the amount of food.
There is a huge number of opinions, often diametrically opposed, how
much water and other soft drinks to use: from the mandatory 2-
Again, all people have different metabolism, and it is almost impossible
to calculate more or less accurately the amount of water you need. So my advice
is such: as much as you reduce the amount of food, so reduce the amount of
When you reach the desired weight and stabilize it, then drink as much
as you want (and you will want to drink much less). Then, even if you drink too
much water, its excess will be removed in already mentioned natural way –
through the toilet.
Do we need to use any of the food supplements "for fat
burning" etc., which advertising is met everywhere on the Internet? I will
tell frankly: I tried several times, and the allergy began at once. So, my body
did not take those supplements.
If your body takes them, so use them, it is up to you, but I can not
recommend them to you, as it is still a load on the stomach, liver, kidneys,
endocrine glands, etc., and it may happen that obesity problems fade before
much more serious problems with the health of the internal organs.
I can not recommend for you any special diet, but for another reason:
any change in the usual diet is the notorious nutritional stress with all its
unpleasant consequences, which we have repeatedly talked about. So eat
everything what you are used to, only, of course, reducing the amount of food.
Well, you can also refuse of the products which lead to obesity quite frankly –
cakes, buns, white bread, butter, lard, mayonnaise... But personally, I removed
nothing from the diet, and lost weight only due to the proportional decrease of
the amount of eaten food.
You may change the diet (but carefully), only when you reduce and
stabilize your weight.
Is it necessary to calculate your diet according to the standards of
nutritional value (calories, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, etc.), to weigh the
food before eating? You can do this, if you know your norm. But these standards
are designed for the average person, and the metabolism of all people is
different, so you can know your norm only by your actual weight. And if you
have already learned to control your actual weight, is it worth it to bother
with a complex calculation of the nutritional value of a considerable set of
We can often hear the advices "not to eat in the evening",
"not to eat after 18.00" and the like. Should we follow them? I don’t
recommend. In theory, in the night (or rather, during sleep) metabolism slows
down and the food is digested worse, but in practice, if you are hungry, you
will sleep worse or even suffer of insomnia, which in itself can be no less
problem than overweight. Nature, as we have repeatedly said, can not be fooled:
human is a part of the animal world, and nature requires that a hungry animal
should not sleep, but should rise and go to look for food. And only after eating,
the animal can sleep patiently.
Therefore eat in the evening, but, again, in the limits of established
norm of "frequent" nutrition. Even if some part of the food is not
digested – do not worry, it will be removed in the natural way. And the stomach
"works" better in the morning if you eat in the evening. And this is
good again: visit the toilet in the morning and be free of this problem for a
The same is if you by some reason wake up in the night and want to eat:
do not suffer, get out of bed, eat a little and patiently go asleep again.
Do not worry too much about the hormonal background, and especially do
not refer to it as a factor that makes it impossible to lose weight. Hormones
are an important factor, no doubt, but not decisive. Hormones affect
metabolism, food absorption and hunger, but if you strictly observe the
stability of nutrition, hormones will sooner or later stabilize at the desired
level (which is useful also for the general hormonal background).
Again, our body is a system of unimaginable complexity, and it struggles
for balance restoring. Of course, there are very serious endocrine illnesses
that can not be cured without medical intervention, but in most cases it is
enough to create conditions for the body to ensure effective functioning, and
it will not let us down.
The same is with heredity: it's an important factor, but not a sentence.
People inclined to corpulence since the birth (I'm one of those, my father was
relatively corpulent) must make efforts to maintain a normal weight, and
non-inclined, who eat as much as they want and get no fat, do not need such
efforts. That's the only difference. I've lost weight – so you can.
Sometimes people say: I eat almost nothing, almost starve, but my weight
is still too large…
Since no one has yet been able to take from the air the nutrients needed
to deposit fat, there are two possible explanations for this situation. The
first – you have relatively slow metabolism and, accordingly, large inertia of
the body, i.e. you have not yet had time to lose weight. The second (more
likely): you still eat too much in the total amount. Maybe you excluded some
products from the diet, but began to eat more of something else.
In both cases, continue your efforts, sooner or later they will bear
If possible, avoid any stress, not only nutritional. Practice shows that
most people "snack" stresses, with all the consequences in the form
of excess weight.
It is clear that there are stresses that can not be avoided. It is clear
that against the background of the stress, a person sometimes loses appetite
and, consequently, weight without any effort. But we don’t need such excesses,
fatally detrimental to health, right?
Even if it sounds corny, but avoid bad habits.
First of all, let’s talk about smoking, as there is a legend that it
"dries". This, of course, is nothing more than a legend: smoking
itself does not "dry", unless it caused so serious problems with the
lungs that "oxygen starvation" began. But smoking decreases the
appetite, it is a fact. I smoked many years ago and know it. But nature, again,
can not be fooled, and even if we decrease the appetite (that is, drown the
psychological source of hunger out), the stomach still remains empty, and the
body reacts accordingly – by nutritional stress with all its consequences.
The same is with the methods of appetite reducing with the help of
drugs. Remember, as in the already mentioned movie "Requiem for a
dream" the doctor ordered to the woman some version of the easy drug
"ecstasy". And the woman eventually lose weight, but what did she
Alcohol carries a lot of calories itself, and is usually accompanied by
a "snack", the amount of which it is impossible to control while
And coffee increases appetite. Only the tea remains. I drink it, by the
During weight losing, it is desirable not to get sagged skin, many
people are afraid of that and do not want to lose weight because of that. But,
firstly, health is more important, and secondly, in our time there are many
means against skin sagging: sports, massage, bath, contrast shower, a variety
It is important to remember that it is necessary to fight against skin
sagging during the whole time of weight losing, otherwise later only plastic
surgery will help. I managed to do without the latter.
From a certain moment you may face a new problem: to stop losing weight,
so as not to come to anorexia.
If possible, try not to "fall" below your optimal weight (once
in a hot summer by the sea I "fell" to
But be careful not to "enhance" the stomach again, so don't
exceed your norm. Otherwise you will have to reduce weight again.
Keeping the right weight is much easier than getting rid of excess. But
having lost weight, do not relax.
Determine for yourself the optimal weight range of 2-
A lot of things in life change, but when you do the main thing – lose
weight, your body will learn to respond flexibly to any changes of internal and
external factors, and you will never get out of optimal weight.
I believe in you, wish you health and good luck!
S. V. Zagraevsky
© Sergey Zagraevsky