Hands up if you’ve stepped on the scales yet this year? Well, I have, and it’s not pretty.

Snuffle, snort, it's not that complicated you know…

In 2011, I dropped a whopping 20 kilograms by improving my diet and beginning to exercise. In 2012, I put 8 kilograms back on, by pretty much doing the reverse. I’m not alone: many people who lose weight put it back on as old habits return. And I’m hardly surprised: I remember all the chocolate bars, serves of chips, bottles of wine and nights on the couch that explain my regain.

But, alarmed at the prospect of becoming the next Oprah or Kirstie Alley, I’ve decided it’s time to reverse the slide. And I’m going to do it the only way I know how – with economics. The federal government’s budget bottom line may be blowing out, but I’m determined to get mine under control. Today I weigh 74.7 kilograms. By the federal budget in May, I vow to weigh 65 kilograms. To do this I will need to become the Treasurer of my own body.

Because weight management, like budgets, comes down to one very simple equation: calories in minus calories out.

Consume more energy than your body needs each day and the body does the only thing it can – it stores the excess energy in fat cells.

The good news is that your body needs a certain amount of energy each day just to grow eyelashes, pump your heart, grow skin cells etc.. You’re supposed to eat! How much, though, depends critically on how big your body is - your height and weight - and also your age and sex.

For me, at 1.79 metres and weighing 75 kilos, my body needs 1550 calories a day to perform these essential functions. Just search the internet for “basal metabolic rate calculator” to find out your own daily calorie requirement.

Of course, we also burn calories each day doing incidental exercise, like walking to work, to the toilet and getting meals. But if you’re fairly sedentary, like me, this may only add an extra 200 or 300 calories to your daily calorie needs.

I estimate that, all up, my body needs about 1800 calories a day (1550 plus 250). So, if I consumed 1800 calories a day, I should roughly maintain my weight over time.

The secret to losing weight is to eat less than your body needs, forcing your body to dig into your body fat stores for the fuel it needs.

Now here’s a scientific fact you need to know.

Studies have shown that each kilogram of body fat contains energy stores equivalent to roughly 7500 calories.

Create a calorie deficit of 7500 calories, over whatever time period you like, and you will lose 1 kilogram of fat as the body uses up the energy stored there.

It gets complicated because metabolisms vary, but I suspect it’s a good rough guide and I plan to test the theory.

So, starting yesterday, I am restricting my food and drink intake to 1500 calories a day.

Given that my body needs 1800 calories a day, this means I should open up an immediate daily deficit of 300 calories. Each week that adds up to a deficit of 2100 calories.

My goal of losing 10 kilograms means I need to build, over time, a cumulative calorie deficit of 75,000 calories. At this pace, it would take me 36 weeks to lose 10 kilos.

If counting calories sounds like a lot of hard work, that’s because it is. But with great websites and smartphone apps like calorieking.com.au and myfitnesspal.com.au it’s never been easier.

And once you know how densely calorific some foods are, it’s hard to forget. Did you know there are 181 calories in one slice of pepperoni pizza? That’s 1448 calories for the entire pizza – my entire daily calorie allowance.

A bottle of red wine will set you back 550 calories. A skim cappuccino about 150 calories. And here’s a killer – just one tablespoon of olive oil contains 146 calories.

So, take the time to educate yourself about calories. Read nutrition labels and remember one calorie equals 4.2 kilojoules. Make your calories go further by eating plenty of vegetables and lean meats and avoiding sugary and fatty foods. Another fun fact: white meats, like chicken, pork and white fish, contain one calorie per gram, half the calorie content of red meats and salmon, which contain two calories per gram.

So, step one, consume fewer calories than your body needs.

Step two, turbo charge the equation with exercise. Additional exercise builds the calorie deficit faster by increasing the amount of energy your body needs.

Time is scarce, so it’s important that you exercise effectively. The best tip I have is to buy a heart rate monitor. These monitors reveal when you are exerting yourself and when you’re not trying hard enough. They also tell you how many calories you burn in a session. For me, doing a slow jog burns about 500 calories in 50 minutes. And when I say slow, I mean I occasionally get overtaken by people walking.

So my plan is to boost my calorie deficit by burning an extra 2000 calories a week through exercise. In effect, this means four of my slow jogs a week.

Adding these 2000 exercise calories to my 2100 food calorie deficit should bring my weekly calorie deficit to 4100. At this rate, it will take a little over 18 weeks to build a deficit of 75,000 calories and drop the 10 kilograms.

Being the big dork that I am, this happily coincides with one of the highlights of my calendar – the federal budget, on the second Tuesday every May.

I’ll let you know how I get on.

Jessica Irvine is National Economics Editor. Weight: 74.7 kilograms. Goal weight: 65 kilograms. Weight loss this year: 0.0 kilograms.

Follow her weight loss journey on Twitter: @Jess_Irvine

Comments on this post will close at 6pm AEDT.

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    • craig2 says:

      05:47am | 02/01/13

      I’ve just discovered a painful and mind blowing routine over my three week holiday, sledgehammer workouts. I’m breaking down a tennis court using a 5.5 kg sledgehammer and the initial pain and fatigue of swinging the damn thing 3 hours a day has seen my shoulders and back get bigger and my waist line pull in dramatically.  I’m now thinking, after dismantling the concrete, that i’ll consider getting a tire and heavier sledge weights to beat the heck of it for 30 mins a day followed by a beer afterwards….....some things don’t change smile

    • scubasteve says:

      07:07am | 02/01/13

      Awesome. where can i buy the book?

    • craig2 says:

      08:07am | 02/01/13

      No book Steve, just buy different wt sledge hammers and find an old tire and simply beat the crap the out of the tire using good form (had to learn how to swing it properly), left and right hand, move up the weights when you find the current getting easy. Trust me, you’ll be hurting in ten minutes.

    • Nick says:

      06:59am | 02/01/13

      Good luck Jessica, I’m just beginning my own version of your attempts to improve your health.  I’m 183cm and 83kg on my way down from 91kg in September.  I was an extremely fit 77kg at 30, a very healthy and active 82kg at 40 and undeniably overweight and sporadically active at 48 so decided it was time to change.  It’s required more diligence than I was expecting to get my weight on a reliable downward trend, and more optimism that I expected to keep getting on the scales every morning.  Look forward to reading about your success in May.

    • Seano says:

      07:03am | 02/01/13

      I think a lot of people would be shocked at how just a few minor changes can really have a big impact. I’ve found cutting out sweets (which I don’t miss now that I don’t have them regularly) and adding a regular exercise that I enjoy (for me it’s running) has improved my life all round.

      Good luck to you Jessica!

    • John Dobbin says:

      07:05am | 02/01/13

      Makes perfect sense but might be difficult to maintain on a daily basis. On the strong recommendation of friend I am giving the 5:2 diet a try. Eat normally 5 days and fast for 2. It is supposed to be more sustainable.

      More info here:http://running-for-rights.blogspot.com.au/2013/01/the-52-diet.html

    • Wayne Kerr says:

      08:15am | 02/01/13

      Fasting is not the key.  When your body realises it’s not going to get food for a while it tends to slow the metabolism down which burns less fat.  It’s your body going into survival mode. I would also imagine after fasting for 2 days you’d be pigging out because you’d be so damn hungry.  Eat small amounts of “good” food more often and exercise. That would be more sustainable.

    • Smidgeling says:

      08:20am | 02/01/13


      The problem with that approach is that many, if not most, people who use that approach will eat an excess of calories on their two “off days” that is equal, or often over and above, what they lost on the days they were dieting.

      This leads to no results and a false belief that eating right doesn’t work, rather than acknowledging the two days of indulgance cost them the weight loss they desired.

    • Philosopher says:

      09:11am | 02/01/13

      @John: avoid anything called ‘The (insert snappy adjective/noun) Diet’ that is accompanied by a book, a meme, a Facebook page or a series of guest appearances. Instead, cook you own meals, excercise every morning and reduce your alchohol intake. And I know whereov I speak, believe me.

    • Ridge says:

      09:27am | 02/01/13

      The concept of fasting is probably beyond most people here.  There’s a lot of research that backs it up as a sound dietary practice, but I would strongly suggest people give OP’s advice a proper shot before resorting to more advanced theories.

    • Smidgeling says:

      10:47am | 02/01/13

      Sorry John, skim read your post and mistook your intention. Intermittent fasting can be great.

      If multiple similiar posts come up multiple times it’s because the website is screwing up something shockingly.

    • John says:

      07:18am | 02/01/13

      It’s all food, dieting can be very simple. Just don’t buy instant foods. Keep bread, sugary stuff out. never bring home soda drinks, no chocolates or cakes. Since there are no cakes, biscuits at home, there will never be temptation. The reason why we have an overweight problem, is we have addictive processed foods, sugary, starchy. We get fix’s on them, and it becomes like some drug addiction. If you remove all man made foods out of the equation including bread, you will most likely loss weight and society won’t have an overweight problem.

    • Jack says:

      10:08am | 02/01/13

      A literacy problem, on the other hand…you make my brain sad

    • yeah-no says:

      07:22am | 02/01/13

      ‘...remember - one calorie equals 4.2 kilojoules’. - so why don’t we stick to kilojoules and leave the term calories to the US? We have the metric system in Australia and energy content on food labels here will be in kJ.

    • Rose says:

      10:19am | 02/01/13

      Simple, because many of us think in terms of calories. Much the same as many of us still thinking of baby weights in terms of pounds an ounces.

    • Tim says:

      04:02pm | 02/01/13

      Hear hear.  I’m sick of this slide back into the imperial system.  Our food labels are in kilojoules, so why not just use kilojoules instead of having to do a 4.2 ration conversion for every item?

    • Tubesteak says:

      07:31am | 02/01/13

      Your theory is sound.

      Although I think that I have read some studies that say there is no such thing of fast or slow metabolisms. Mostly it comes down to portion size and differences in what some people think is big or small portions. People that think they have fast metabolisms actually only eat less than larger people who try to blame their size on their slow metabolism.

      I know I can eat 1.5 large deep pan super supreme pizzas without any trouble as my third meal of the day. For some people even half that would be impossible. For others it would be even less trouble than it is for me.

    • Wayne Kerr says:

      07:33am | 02/01/13

      I’ve cut out beer :( and am running 3 days a week.  I don’t want to lose weight per se, just the gut and the moobs

    • Clara says:

      07:33am | 02/01/13

      During a recent trip to the US, I gave up alcohol completely (was travelling with Mum who doesn’t drink, so easy enough to do) and was very particular about what I put in my mouth - their bread is awful so I gave that away and since everything seems to come as a “sandwich”, which really means “in cased in a hamburger bun”, I ate garden salads for most main meals. Also, no snacks, just a coffee here and there. I didn’t weigh myself, however the belt buckle and fit of the jeans don’t lie! Now home and walking the dogs several times a day on the beach and trying to keep alcohol to one drink every few days. All feels good! And no real deprivation!

    • Chris L says:

      09:38am | 02/01/13

      I reckon dogs are the best fitness regime. You have to take them for a walk every day if you care about them, and they just love playing in the yard with their humans.

      I find exercising just for the sake of fitness to be too boring. Dogs make it fun.

    • Philosopher says:

      10:04am | 02/01/13

      Chris L, I find trying to outrun an American pitbull terrier is one of the best cardio workouts you can have. Plus the post-exercise therapy (saline drip, watery hospital food) also helps shift the kilos. I am thinking of a good title so as to market it.

    • Don says:

      10:37am | 02/01/13

      Bill Cosby nailed it decades ago:

      ” I am proud to be an American. Because an American can eat anything on the face of this earth as long as it is between two pieces of bread.”

      Good luck with your strategies everyone. I have started doing my workouts again and things are getting back to normal although the pants dont lie….

    • willie says:

      07:34am | 02/01/13

      I’m pretty sure Australia converted wholesale to the SI system a fair while back. This means hat all nutritional labels are presented in kilojoules rather than kilocalories. Surely as someone claiming to be measuring their energy consumption you would know this.

      So why use kilocalories in your article? You even give the conversion factor.

      I appreciate the article it gets to the undeniable fact that if you eat less you lose weight.

    • Lyn says:

      07:39am | 02/01/13

      Hi Jessica - good luck! I’m exactly in your boat as well. I’m 78kg and would like to lose 15 kgs this year. Can’t wait to read about your progress as it will be great motivation!

    • Gregg says:

      07:44am | 02/01/13

      It’s so easy to put on those extra kilos over Xmas and NY and then well before Easter there’ll be all those hot cross buns in the supermarkets.

      You’re really up against it Jessica but then in getting married recently, maybe there’s plenty of motivation and also extra exercise for the shedding.
      Just do not model yourself too closely on what Wayne might achieve with the budget for watch all the finessing with figures and a deficit to still blow out.

      And something you might not have known but 36 weeks for you is about that length of time in which you could get all sorts of food cravings so if the family start comes along, you might have to reset your goals.

      But good luck and just like Wayne and Julia telling us about how all that excess expenditure is good for us, also remember with increased exercise you can muscle up a bit more and muscle is more dense than fat and that will also affect the weight loss.

    • iansand says:

      07:47am | 02/01/13

      One thing I did was use a pedometer.  If you aim for 10,000 steps a day you have a cold, hard readout at the end of each day telling you whether you have succeeded or failed.  It also teaches you what you have to do to achieve those steps.  I have not worn it for a couple of years now but I know what I have to do to get the kilometres in.

    • willie says:

      07:50am | 02/01/13

      Why would you measure in kilocalories, every single nutritional label presents information in kilo joules. For the most rational article on weight loss I’ve ever read it really stands out.


      07:57am | 02/01/13

      Hi Jessica,

      Most certainly I have to agree with you on that the things that have talked about make real good sense. But why is it that when it comes to putting all that into practice, it becomes a little bit tougher to stick to the actual plan? Healthy eating habits mostly seem to be about having life long plans and we seem to forget that very easily. I have recently met a seventy one year old retired female teacher and she said that the best trick to maintaining a healthy weight wasn’t so much about scales and kilos but being able to fit into the similar size clothes year in and year out.

      She seemed very stylish and color coordinated for her age that it did make perfect sense in a way.  Instead of constantly being obsessed with being the perfect weight and height.  We seem to forget that we could be at our ideal weight but still very unhappy about own figures.  I must also say that as we get older keeping that ideal weight becomes a little harder simply because as we tend to go on these healthy diet regimens our bodies become a little resistant as we decide to lose the excess weight once an for all. 

      It is also very important to have regular check ups to see if we actually have the ideal results when it comes to having healthy levels of cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure as well.  Olive oil may be very high in calories however it tends to have the right kind of good cholesterol that we all need. The biggest factor to losing weight in a healthy way is to keep busy with other things that we aren’t constantly thinking about being hungry as well as craving for sugary and fatty foods, to give us that lift as we go on crash diets. Kind regards.

    • Catt says:

      07:58am | 02/01/13

      This isn’t really a healthy or sustainable way to look at weight loss. Sure, calories in must be less than calories used to lose weight but some foods that are calorie dense are full of nutrients that are essential to normal and healthy bodily function. It’s much more healthy to focus on what the food you’re putting in your mouth can do for your body rather than just eating foods because they have a low calorific value!

    • Ridge says:

      08:58am | 02/01/13

      Here we go with the ‘weight vs health’ crowd.  I’d bet Catt self-identifies as a BBW.

      Calorie sparse is not necessarily nutrient sparse.

    • Rose says:

      10:26am | 02/01/13

      No Catt, it’s healthiest to look at BOTH!! It doesn’t even need a lot of thinking. Basically, if your diet includes plenty of vegies and minimum processed foods you’re on the right track. If you eat meat, cut off the fat and drink water to quench thirst. It doesn’t matter how ‘healthy’ a food is, if it takes you over your daily calorie requirements you will not lose weight.
      Watch portion sizes, make sure what you eat is nutritious but not fattening and exercise….that is how to lose weight!!

    • Smidgeling says:

      10:56am | 02/01/13

      Catt, being accountable for what you put in your mouth IS a healthy AND sustainable way to look at weight loss. It fact it’s the only effective way of loosing weight.

      The example of “calorie dense food” that the OP has used is pepperoni pizza. There is no way this calories dense type of food is everr going to do anything for the body other than give it excess fat.

      If what you mean by calories dense food is nuts, avocadoes and the like, THEN maybe your post has any basis whatsoever.

      Zombiejesus christ I wish anyone who submits dietary advice would need to submit photos and fitness test results along with it.

    • Victoria says:

      08:03am | 02/01/13

      If you can, find the doco ‘The Truth About Exercise’. It was recently on SBS, definitely worth watching.

    • Chris says:

      08:14am | 02/01/13

      Jessica Irvine has one of the prettiest faces I have ever seen.

    • Cry in my Gin says:

      09:54am | 02/01/13

      Not ugly!

    • Smidgeling says:

      08:16am | 02/01/13

      Why do something like taking responsibility for what you eat when you can whine about how you need to “starve” yourself to get thin?

      But in all seriousness, good work. A smart approach to a simple problem. Good luck.

    • Ladyjane says:

      08:18am | 02/01/13

      Some tips from my doctor:
      - never eat everything on your plate.
      - eat only fruit between meals.
      - eat slowly. It takes 20 minutes for the message to get from your stomach to your brain that you have had enough.
      - eat what you like most first, don’t leave it until last. According to him, studies have shown that people who do that weigh less than people who leave their favourite until last. It makes sense. If you leave your favourite until last, you will eat everything on your plate. If you eat it first, you are more likely to stop when you’ve had enough.

      Following these steps and cutting down on sweet things (my achilles heel), I found it worked. I don’t deprive myself of anything. The focus needs to be on a sustainable, healthier lifestyle, not losing weight. The weight comes off anyway.  Good luck!

    • Tory Maguire

      Tory Maguire says:

      09:03am | 02/01/13

      That’s such a waste of food! No wonder we throw out a criminal amount each year.

      I think smaller servings are the go.

    • Ridge says:

      09:17am | 02/01/13

      - Waste food?
      - How much fruit? how big should the meals be?  What should the meals be compromised of?
      - Eat what you like most first - such as cake and nachos?

      No, OP’s advice is good enough.

    • PsychoHyena says:

      04:04pm | 02/01/13

      @Ladyjane, the other option is that you buy a smaller plate, eat everything on it and not waste food.

    • Ian1 says:

      08:19am | 02/01/13

      If you borrow too much (overload with calories) you will notice a weight debt forming.  Growth (exercise) will be good for your “economy”.  Avoid crash dieting (recession) at all costs.

      Meanwhile, Australia has largely swollen out of shape under Swan’s debt binge.

    • Elphaba says:

      08:29am | 02/01/13

      I consumed a whopping amount of Coca-Cola over my holiday.  I’m on Day 3 of cold turkey and the headache still won’t go away.

      Bloody evil stuff.  I reckon by the end of the week it’ll be gone.  In the meantime, water, water everywhere…

    • Tim says:

      09:11am | 02/01/13

      The cold Turkey is probably starting to go bad.

      Maybe thow it out? Christmas was over a week ago.

    • Feeder says:

      09:18am | 02/01/13

      Good news for the tuba.
      “An analysis of nearly 100 studies found that people whose body mass index ranked them as overweight had less risk of dying than people of normal weight.”

    • Elphaba says:

      09:41am | 02/01/13

      @Tim, true! smile  Nah, all good.  It’s just all the sugar.  I normally have one can a week, if that, but the fridge was stocked with it, and it was icy cold, and it was stinking hot in Cairns… mmmm, delicious…

    • Ridge says:

      08:53am | 02/01/13

      Losing fat is like quitting smoking, the best way to do it is to not get there in the first place.

      But thank you OP for having the common sense to at least do some research and explain in simple fact, how it’s done.

      Best of luck.

    • Anne says:

      09:28am | 02/01/13

      Check out facts more accurately before committing to print.
      A bottle of wine is worh double in energy what you have quoted and fish of whatever sort has a much lower value than meat of any variety.
      Good luck also if you think you can burn the amount of energy you have quoted over an hour of slow jogging.
      I am 69 165 cm tall and maintain 65 kgs by continuting to work as a chief executive (being fat does not help employability), eating as much as I need each day (coming to a good understanding of what a daily necessary intake of food looks like) and working with a bodybuilder for exercise (stay on your feet and remaining nimble good for health)
      While good to have an angle (fed. govt. budget time) maybe better to have a good understanding of your own pattern of eating and tweak that first instead of adopting an external plan. Can be confronting
      One last thing, as a mother and grandmother of girls..65 kg at your height not sustainable,. Try for 70kg and do yoga/pilates for posture

    • look at moi says:

      10:41am | 02/01/13

      That’s nothing, I am the chief executive head director partner president chairman of bighead enterprises

    • bretto80 says:

      10:42am | 02/01/13

      Anne maybe you need to have a bit of a refresher course yourself… I am Jessica’s height and a male. Ideally I should weigh 70kg. I know BMI is quite a poor indicator but not knowing Jess 60-65kg is a healthy weight to maintain.

      Bottles of wine are also what Jess has quoted (around 550 calories, red or white).

      Check out facts more accurately before going to print…

    • Ridge says:

      11:52am | 02/01/13

      Hah, thank you for the laugh miss chief executive woman.  If your appeal to your own authority didn’t do it for us, I’m sure your other appeal, ‘a bodybuilder’, must have.

      If you want to discuss facts, then shall we actually use evidence instead of silly claims?  Calorieking.com.au lists wine as having around 550 calories (and that’s generous) per bottle.

      You’re also completely and utterly wrong on fish vs ‘meat’ too.  As if land or ocean flesh is somehow calorically different?  Go on Calorieking again and check out fatty salmon vs lean chicken.  Which is better?

    • Ridge says:

      12:04pm | 02/01/13

      Oh and further to my previous point, Anne, while you may be a mother and grandmother of girls (is that a third appeal to authority? Bingo!) I certainly hope that they would look elsewhere for physical and intellectual role models.  Out of curiosity, do you have any sons or grandsons?

      An ‘external plan’ can be fine in some instances (such as this one) because all normal people fit very comfortably into the constraints.

    • John says:

      10:03am | 02/01/13

      Firstly Jessica, you on a scale could never be anything but pretty.
      Secondly, my personal key to weight loss was a bout of generalised anxiety triggered by work stress. I dropped about 10 kgs and found myself not eating for a couple months.
      Not recommending it for everyone.
      Otherwise, can I suggest some weight training in amongst any aerobic activity you do. Building up muscle not only improves weight loss but it also builds bone density - a useful thing for all of us, particularly for women and older people.

    • Boss says:

      11:57am | 02/01/13

      And building muscle through weights also allegedly increases metabolism.  Great advice this.

    • I hate pies says:

      01:27pm | 02/01/13

      Weight training is very important - you burn more energy just keeping the guns fed…it’s that simple

    • PP says:

      10:09am | 02/01/13

      I hopped on my scales this morning, too. It said would one of you please get off.

    • PP says:

      10:09am | 02/01/13

      I hopped on my scales this morning, too. It said would one of you please get off.

    • Amac says:

      10:54am | 02/01/13

      Thanks for the inspiration and encouragement Jessica!
      Received as intended… as I glance down at my own Christmas excesses.
      Wasn’t sure whether to laugh or smack my forehead at the over simplistic ex-spurt advice from some of the ‘perfect’ people commenting here - but duly ignored.
      I would say a self righteous, arrogant attitude towards anyone who struggles with weight smells worse than a gym instructors armpits!

    • Mat says:

      11:16am | 02/01/13

      Had a similar experience to Jess - dropped 12kgs (98kgs to 86kgs) last year in 9 weeks (‘Body for Life’ diet and exercise routine) but then lost focus, got lazy and have put all but 2kgs back on over the past year and a half. Its back to the gym for me, lifting heavy things seems to calm my mind and supercharge my metabolism. Foodwise its oats for breakfast, skinless chicken breast and veggies for lunch, fish and veggies for dinner and try to avoid the hot cross buns (they’re in Woolies already).

    • Anonymous says:

      11:32am | 02/01/13

      Wow, Jessica OTT much? At 74 kilos, you are hardly on your way to becoming the next Oprah Winfrey or Kirstie Alley.

    • Ridge says:

      11:57am | 02/01/13

      Thank you for demonstrating the other side of the factor with weightloss - enablers.  These people can be anywhere in your life, ready to sabotage you for whatever intent (good or bad).

      It’s attitudes like this which have enabled (heh) Australia’s obesity rate to rival the USA.

    • encee says:

      12:36pm | 02/01/13

      I agree - especially at her height!

      Oh don’t you just love a slow news day.

    • Boss says:

      11:47am | 02/01/13

      Good luck Jessica.  You have a beautiful, exquisite face and no doubt you’ll soon have the body to match.

    • SAm says:

      11:52am | 02/01/13

      The documentary ‘Fat Head’ pretty much expelled everything printed here and by most nutritienists using actual science, not what people think is ‘good or bad’.
      Highly recommend it. Very funny too

    • Al says:

      12:09pm | 02/01/13

      One trick I have known to work is to simply change the size of the plate that you serve the meal on.
      If you serve a meal of the same size on a smaller plate it can actualy provide the illusion that you have eaten a larger serve.
      The brain and placebo effect at work. (You believe it so your body ends up responding as such in many cases).
      Of course this doesn’t negate the effectiveness of reviewing what you are consuming and what exercise you get.

    • jane says:

      12:36pm | 02/01/13

      Great article… overindulgence ends today! I got 5kg to drop.. I restrict myself to 1000 calories, that way I drop up to 1kg a week, but allowing for hopefully extremely rare slip-ups, my goal is 10 weeks! I’m using mynetdiary app to record my calories (in and out) and doing weights, yoga and running as exercise! smile i’ve tried many other diets previously, but the BEST way is calories in/calories out! smile

    • Smidgeling says:

      01:56pm | 02/01/13

      You aren’t eating enough. Anything below 1200 will engage starvation mode…unless you are literally 5 foot tall.

    • Philosopher says:

      02:22pm | 02/01/13

      a thousand calories a day? That sounds like fun. One thing to look forward to: no more annoying menstruation to deal with. And good luck when your hair becomes dry and brittle. Finally, think of the inevitable bounce-back of your weight when you inevitably go back to a half-normal diet.

    • ??? says:

      12:41pm | 02/01/13

      I put 6.5 kegs on from eating a sweets, processed foods, drinking coke etc.. I was always naturally thin, but by eating a bit here and there, I put the weight and flab on. I’m going to cut all the sneaky fats out and try and go back to 54kgs that I’ve always been. At least the holiday season is over, and I can get away from going to my parents home and eating too much and all the parties.

    • RG says:

      12:52pm | 02/01/13

      I hope you’re not basing your new eating habits solely on how many calories/any other energy unit are contained food. You should also be looking at what your food is doing to your insides, not just the outside.

      Unless, all you’re worried about is getting thinner and not getting fitter. In which case, just spend the next 6 months saving up the cash for lipo. Cut out the middle man, so to speak.

    • Ridge says:

      01:47pm | 02/01/13

      So the OP is recommending solid fat loss advice backed up by science and practice, and you’re recommending lipo.

      I don’t know what I’d vote for the worst comment in this thread yet, yours or Anne’s.

    • Tango says:

      01:05pm | 02/01/13

      As portion size is a big factor, to reduce the amount of food I consumed, I weighed each plate full of food and removed 10% (particularly items with carbs), stayed at that level for a week, then removed another 10%, stayed at that level for another week. Then removed another 10%. Such a gradual reduction enabled me to get used to eating progressively less - you don’t notice a 10% reduction, but you would notice a 25% reduction all at once.

      As for exercise, using weights to build muscle mass is the way to go. The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolic rate (to a point). Sandbags or pebble bags are cheap and convenient and can be used aerobically and anaerobically. There are many web sites on this. The basic idea is to fill bags of various sizes with either sand or smooth river pebbles. That way you don’t have to buy expensive weight sets and don’t need much room to store your weights.

      The cheapest form of bag is the plastic bags into which the supermarket stuffs your groceries. Put three or four inside each other and put sand or river pebbles into them. A broom handle works as a bar for curls and chin pulls. I still have the original bags from a year ago. If you want to make heavier weights, buy a duffle bag or sports bag and put several lighter bags inside.  That way you can have 15 or 20 or 30kg (or whatever) in single bag for exercises using heavier weights. Additional items you can use are water buckets (just add as much or little water as you want), large soft drink bottles, or any container to which you can add water. A 20 litre water bottle is also a great addition. Even an esky with a strap is useful - just add water.

      Bottom line, you don’t need to pay for expensive equipment, shoes or gym memberships and the exercises are freely available on You Tube.

    • J.t says:

      02:46pm | 02/01/13

      Urban Dictionary Word of the day: Resolutionist
      A person who joins the gym in early January because of their New Years Resolution. Resolutionists can be spotted by their pasty white skin, excessive fat, poor form, and blank look on their face as they stand next to any piece of gym equipment. Resolutionists usually migrate back to the couch any time from mid-January to early March.

      “This damn Resolutionist has been on the Smith machine for 30 minutes. Maybe if he put more than 30 lbs on the bar and stopped taking 10 minute rests it wouldn’t take so long. I can’t wait until March”

      As a regular gym user who takes pride in his apperance, I can honestly say I hate this time of the year.

      So many NY’s gymers who take up space, don’t understand gym etiquitte and always manage to annoy me.

      I look forward to late January when most have given up.

    • PW says:

      03:21pm | 02/01/13

      No wonder people are not prepared to start up an exercise regime when they can expect existing gym users to look down their nose at them like this. It’s a bit like cycling in that way.

      And while I’m here, the author’s 74.7kg/179cm (BMI 23.31) sounds perfectly fine to me.

    • Nick says:

      03:42pm | 02/01/13

      Don’t worry PW, most gym users are nothing like this guy.  I wonder if ‘hubris’ and ‘tosser’ appear in that urban dictionary of your’s J.t?  Back when I was a fitness instructor people like you were the bane of my working life.  You’re heaping scorn on people who have recognised that they have a health problem and are trying to do something about it.  Congratulations mate.

    • J.t says:

      03:50pm | 02/01/13

      “No wonder people are not prepared to start up an exercise regime when they can expect existing gym users to look down their nose at them like this. It’s a bit like cycling in that way.”

      Well they have started because I see them in the gym everyday.However their obvious lack of will, mental strength and desire to better themselves is all self inflicted.

      I don’t speak to them, say anything to them. I quietly fume. However I know that due to their own lack of ability, my anger will subside as they crawl back to the TV and bad food.

      Make your own choices, don’t blame it on others. The gym requires consistancy, not a few sessions where you inevidably don’t hang around long enough to make a difference (and learn gym etiquitte-btw its not some big secret, the rules are displayed all over the gym. Put your weights away, wipe your machine down, don’t use more than 1 machine at a time, no more than 10 mins on any machine..geeze)


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