Losing weight is hard even if you do not intend to break all records. It is hard because it is unpleasant. It means restriction. This requires discipline.

Life style

You sleep 8 hours a day, you dwell in an office cubicle from 9 to 5 and you have 8 hours of free time. Your BMI is 33 and you love eating.

However, in the mornings you hate your mirror for being so brutally honest to you. You detest to see that movements like bending over seem to be somewhat difficult. You look at your fat belly, your shapeless waist and upper arms and see the scars. When walking the streets you hardly ever get smiles from the other sex.

You start to ponder on how to fix all that.

It starts by changing your life style.


Difficult weeks lie ahead of you. If it's a relief the first two weeks are the worst. Change your feeding behavior to eating much less than a normal portion. A male body of normal weight requires approximately 2000 kilo calories per day. Reduce  from day one to 1000 or 1200 kilo calories. Fight your hunger by drinking water.
Your body will adapt to the new situation by shrinking your stomach's size accordingly.  This will keep you from eating the quantities you ate before.
After two weeks raise to 1500 kilo calories per day. The worst hunger will go away. Keep going until your BMI changes from obesity to light overweight. This will take some time unless you raise your energy consumption by doing light exercise like going on one or two hours walks. You can try exhausting exercise, however you probably soon will lack the energy to continue. 

What to eat

When doing it the hard way the most important question is what to eat. The simple answer is: diverse, but not everything. Avoiding food with more than 1g fat per 100g is a good possibility, especially in the case of animal fats. In the super market inspect all products for their fat content. It's impossible to avoid fat completely and it would be wrong anyway. It is the right mix of saturated and unsaturated fats that makes the music.
To function normally the body requires approximately 70 grams of fat per day. Since you have built up a considerable storage, try to reduce your fat consumption by 50-75% down to 25g - 35g per day..

Here's a list of products that are low or very low on fat:

  • Meats: turkey, chicken (~1% fat)
  • Milk products: Cottage cheese, low fat milk (~1% fat)
  • Breads: whole grain bread like Graham (~1,5% fat)
  • Vegetables: tomato, onion, paprika, salads, ...
  • Fruits: apple, orange, pear, grapefruit, cherry, ...

Of course there are many more low-fat products. Just search the internet. A word of advice: 1/2 fat cheese still contains huge quantities of fat. Go for the per 100g ratio instead. In the case of cheese, if the food advisory reads something like 5g fat per 100g cheese then that's the product you want to go for.

As said, there are important fats. These products contain Omega-n fatty acids the human body cannot produce by itself and are required in small quantities:

  • Fish: herring, salmon, white tuna, tinker, anchovies
  • Oils: rape, hemp, walnut, soya, linseed, olive

Not consuming these fats can have negative effects on your well-being.

Carbon hydrates versus fats

You will find a lot of carbon hydrates in all basic foods like bread, rice, potatoes, sugar and bananas.
You will find a lot of fat in cheese and chocolate, in bacon, sausages, salami and ham, in all kinds of desserts made on butter, full-fat milk, and chocolate.

Both, carbon hydrates and fats, are energy (kcalories) suppliers. Without consuming enough of them, hard physical work is unthinkable. However, mixing them in quantities that deliver too much energy will make you putting on weight.
Since you want to lose weight, reduce both, carbon hydrates and fat as much as possible. From my experience a reduction of fat by 2/3 down to 25-30g per day and carbon hydrates to a total of 1200 - 1500 kcalories per day quite did the trick.

The end of the self-torture

Will this torture ever end? I lost from BMI 33 to BMI 25. Is it over now? Simple answer: No! Although you are not fat anymore you still are not in shape. There is this ratio total body weight versus total amount of body fat. If you are male the normal amount of body fat is around 15%-20% of your total weight, depending on your age. If you are female it's a bit more, something between 19% and 24%.
So, losing weight down to BMI 25 still does not mean that you are slim. It just means that your overall weight is in a better balance compared to your overall height. It also means that you now can go to the next clothing store and finally dress yourself again like a healthy human being.
Unfortunately, it does not mean that your body fat ratio is OK.

The JoJo effect

The method I describe means losing weight quite fast. Even doctors will tell you that you are prone to succumb to the JoJo effect if you lose weight fast, meaning e.g. 30 kilos within 6 to 8 months. You might put it on again within the next 2 to 3 years.

This is true if you return to your old life style. Really, say goodbye to your old life style forever. Find your balance between using up energy and eating. Counting the kilo calories you burn and eat is a very good way to estimate the balance. By time you will get a feeling for what you can or should and shouldn't do.

Effects on well-being

Losing weight leads to being hungry. I'd like to summarize the effects of hunger on me.

Bad effects

  • generally not in a good mood
  • easy irritable
  • partly unable to deliver continuous strenuous physical efforts

Good effects

  • mirrors never lie: success soon became visible and strengthened my will to carry on
  • recognition by other people
  • a very very tasty pizza with tuna and onions once per month
  • lower costs on clothing and better looks
  • much lower costs on food and better food quality