So you need to shed some winter insulation. You took a strong first step by dropping $600 on new shoes and fancy athletic gear and reading this article. Good work. Now you need a nutrition strategy. The problem is that you have a mile-a-minute job that won’t afford you that solitary lunchtime salad at your desk. Odds are you are also a lazy and terrible cook.
What’s more, you are a man and you do not want to fess up to being on a diet. And why should you? Your grandfather never dieted. He’d probably slap you upside the head if he heard you talking about carb-cutting and the high glycemic value of corn. Would he ever think to order açaí berries online or measure out casein protein supplements? No. He would simply eat less and walk more. And so should you.
Your grandfather never dieted. He’d probably slap you upside the head if he heard you talking about carb-cutting and the high glycemic value of corn.
As such, you need to resist the urge to Google the nutritional construct of every item in your fridge and spare yourself the humiliating trip to the health food store. Do you really want to learn how to boil quinoa or toast flaxseed? Instead, go old school on your weight loss. Here’s how I lost 30 pounds eating out at restaurants and never going anywhere near a cup of wheatgrass. Hey, if a Canadian can do it, you can too.
1. Eat food that skinny people eat
Going old school means that you observe more than you research. It also means that you have to make sweeping general statements. Asian people tend to be skinnier than the average North American. Same with those from the Indian Sub-Continent and the Middle East. Even Northern Europeans tend to be svelte-er. So eat the food that they eat: Sushi, pho, shawarma, tandoori, smoked salmon, Swedish meatballs… the list is endless. Steer your lunch associates to these restaurants in an effort to eat better on the sly.
2. Eat what you grew up eating
Your grandmother would probably call a priest if you told her that white bread was among the worst things that you could ingest. Her idea of a healthy meal is a meat sandwich on glistening white bread with only one slice of cheese. And she’s right. I don’t know about you, but I was skinny as a child. What did I eat? White bread, white pasta and white rice. Like, every day. I continue to eat it, just less of it. Don’t deprive yourself of something that is so integral to your upbringing. You can’t blame your weight gain on the argument that pasta suddenly became the enemy. The enemy is your (lack of) self-control. Go ahead, have a sandwich and pasta salad for lunch. They are still better for you than the wings and fries you might otherwise consume.
The writer, before and after… and relieved to discover his sunglasses still fit.
3. Don’t compromise yourself
The biggest key to dieting success is limiting its impact on your lifestyle. You don’t want to completely change your way of being; you want to alter it slightly to encourage sustainability. You can’t assume that you will forever be happy drinking non-fat lattes or eating egg-white omelets if you are not accustomed to doing so. So don’t try to get into the habit. You can handle some cream in your coffee and some yolk in your eggs. This small measure of happiness will go a long way toward ensuring you don’t flip out one day and down five pints of Ben & Jerry’s. Plus, a bit of exercise will balance it all out. You’ll thank me when you don’t have to suffer the indignation of insisting on only a smear of light mayo on your 6-inch whole-wheat veggie sub.
4. Order like a man, consume like a child
On a similar note, you can escape the scorn of your friends when eating out by continuing to order like you always have. Go ahead, order the full rack of ribs. But only eat half of it. There is far less shame in ordering a full rack and failing to finish it than ordering the half rack and polishing it off. Your friends will not begrudge your lack of appetite, but they will mock your lack of spirit. The exact same theory applies to beer. Don’t order Michelob Ultra. Go with Guinness and drink half as many pints. Bonus: you’ll actually be able to drive home safely.