I have a weight loss plan for you and I 100% guarantee it will work. In fact I am living proof that it works and am enjoying the considerable fruits of it right now as my formerly tight jeggings become looser and looser with a speed that makes me feel like Alice in Wonderland after drinking out of that little bottle on the table. It’s a good thing it works too because I am petite everywhere (everywhere), so Zaftig  or even “plump” never really works for me so well, I tend to look more, like, fat.

What, you ask, is my super-special-secret diet tip? What is the regimen that can allow someone who weighs more than they’d like to be certain to lose weight all the way down to their ideal size? And if  weight loss is so easy to accomplish why has everyone not followed this unique and extraordinary plan? The answer to the last question is simple. Everyone does not follow a weight loss plan because for the most part–it sucks losing weight.

Tips and tricks:
1. Consume less calories and just deal with the suckyness. I know, I know, it isn’t a trick anyone wants to learn but it really is my number one tip for weight loss. And I’m sorry for that. But, seriously,  in order to succeed at losing weight you really have to actively want to lose it, and you have to retain this idea for more than just the few minutes while you notice that skinnier people are eating fewer cookies than you are. You have to be willing to accept that no matter what diet books or infomercials may tell you –the sucky deprivation feeling is an integral part of the process–in fact it is somewhat in proportion to the amount of weight you want to lose. Learn to enjoy the self-control.
2. You are not going to starve to death.  You think I am kidding? Not at all. You know what your brain is great at? Finding you things that are edible as often as possible and making sure you eat them. You know one of the most brilliant ways your brain does that? It convinces you that you are in danger of starving to death every damn time you pass up food or get a little hungry. Your food-finding brain is like the perennial Jewish mother who honestly believes that you will starve every time you refuse food. Look, it makes sense, being normally hungry can be a sign of health, and losing interest in food can suggest real illness or depression–so being hungry is great–it’s just eating all the time that’s not. Be hungry sometimes. More if you want to lose weight. It’s ok.
3. Drink a ridiculous amount of green tea. This is the only bit of advice I have for you that sounds even a little like a classic diet trick.  Green tea contains some caffeine which speeds your metabolism (though not so much that you are feeling completely neurotic all day if you drink it steadily), and we know that drinking lots of anything can act as an appetite suppressant, but in my experience there seems to be more in terms of the weight loss benefits too–though I couldn’t honestly tell you why it works. There has been some research into green tea and weight loss, but I have not been super impressed by any of it. I do however, personally, believe that it has made a difference in terms of the amount of weight that I have been able to lose at any given time. There are also abundant health benefits associated with drinking large quantities of green tea and no potential for overdose, so I figure if I think it’s working for me–why not.  I tend to drink approximately 5 cups a day.
4. Exercise and take a multiple vitamin and omega supplement every single day. Since I am clearly going out on a limb telling you that you should just deal with the pain of eating less–risking that you might actually stop eating completely and thereby harm yourself–it is now time for a test. If you feel that you are eating so little that you lack the energy to exercise every single day– you probably need to be eating more. It is a balance. And that balance includes making sure that you are consuming enough calories to function properly throughout your day and have some left over for exercise. Like really, every day. I think the steady exercise routine helps keep you honest–leaving you no haziness about how often you have exercised in a given week– and if you focus on weights and cardio–it’ll help keep your energy up and will burn calories. The multiple vitamin and omegas is important all the time and especially important while you diet.
5. Get 7-8 hours of sleep – or as close to it as you can. Here is one of the cruel jokes of dieting. It is really hard to sleep when you are hungry. Almost impossible. and if you are dieting in a way that you will lose weight–as mentioned in tip #1, you are going to feel hungry. However, study’s show conclusively that lack of sleep will result in elevated Cortisol (stress hormone) and that elevated cortisol will make you feel hungrier (in that desperate–’I’m going to die’ way) and also make it harder to lose weight. So do what you can to get sleep–one tip is to eat  a little more at night. From what I have read, despite the suggestion that eating more at night somehow makes people gain weight–there’s no real research to suggest that that is actually true whereas there is plenty of research about lack of sleep and weight gain. Recent research, though, does suggest that there may be weight loss benefits to waiting 12 to 16 hours between your last meal of the day and first meal in the morning.

So that’s really it. No magic. No drugs (except caffeine). But I can honestly promise that having dropped 5-10 pounds this way again and again, if you are willing to just deal with the pain– it will work for you too. There is nothing about this plan that is unique to metabolism or lifestyle. Less calories, daily exercise, a lot of tea, enough sleep, and voila. So enjoy the suck comrades–and the looser pants that come with it.


Alexandra Florio is the proud mom of two surly teenagers and President of the at-home fitness company Beautiful Fitness (www.beautifulfitness.com). Her other jobs include selling real estate in NYC with TOWN Residential, distributing lovely smelling soy wax candles from single-parent-owned L.A. candlessentials.com, and editing the dystopian Young Adult novel she wrote years ago, for which she is hoping to find an agent soon.

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