Since 1998

A French IT professional on how to lose weight in 16 tips

There is no magical way to lose weight.  In the vast majority of cases it is all fortunately and unfortunately related to maths, very simple ones here: loss=output-input.
It can nonetheless be hard to make this substraction equal 0 or better, be positive, as they are a number of social, professional and mood factors that distract you from applying this equation in real-life. In this article, I particularly target working professionals with jut a little time to exercise, who already spend their working time and commuting time seating.
I will reveal what has been working for me for the past 15 years, since I am currently the exact same weight as I was 15 years ago when I was 23: 80.0 kg (176 lb) for 182 cm (6 ft).  It may or may not work for you, but remember we have more in common than we have differences, as we both are humans, and both obey basic biological rules that dictate our lives.  Good news, this is precisely the same rules that surround the weight loss equation.

I could just give you my sixteen tips as an ordered list and be done with it.  But I think you should first be confident you are ok with the principles below, as your weight loss target will be half reached if you are completely happy with the theory underneath.

The infamous equation

weight loss = input - output input is obviously what you eat and drink.
output is the total energy of what your body cells produce + what you eliminate in natural ways and did not get a chance to produce energy.  I will explain further down.

This equation regulates mass exchanges in your body, whether you like it or not, for the simple reason I did not come up with it myself, but common sense and biology came with it (not always the case that these two get along, but it is often the case, often enough to have led to the human species actually).

Cut the c . . . what are these tips?

If you are in too much of a hurry that you can’t wait start reading the tips this is for you.
For the others, get the most of my method and understand the underlying principles by reading on . . .


Your body does not generate energy by itself.  It transforms the energy contained in food and drinks (except sugar-free drinks), most often using oxygen in the air you breath, to produce a number of by-products, including, but not limited to, heat, and physical work (i.e.  muscle contraction, allowing you to breath, make your heart beat, stand, walk, run, jump, and so many other things we cannot quote here).
Input is the only tap that you could have virtually full control on if your will allows.


At the other end of the chain is output, which I think is the tap you have the least control on, as society, work, roster, will, weather, and a lot more other factors have got control over too.
Output is the total energy your body cells produce.
Some of it is simply used for the“infrastructure”, as in makes your own body work.  You really need this one, and you should not attempt to control the infrastructure needs (such as complete food deprivation for long periods, > 6 hrs, starvation diets, drastically hypocaloric diets).
Typically the output energy is heat to maintain your body temperature to 37°C (downwards or upwards by the way, sweating or producing heat inside); it is also fundamental muscle contractions to breath, make your heart beat, move your limbs, think, make your organs perform their job.
Another output energy is the untransformed energy, that is still“potential” as physicists say, but did not get a chance to yield anything, because your body simply rejected it, or let it through untouched.  I am thinking of vomiting, or eliminate through natural ways for all sort of reasons, e.g.  disease or sickness.
Hypothetically, I will here consider this“untouched output energy” component is negligible or null.

The extra work

The rest of the output energy that is part of the total energy is the extra physical work component you can make your body do without really needing it to live or survive short-term, such as sport! Or simply walk to the movies, run before work (or after!), do push ups, ride a bike instead of driving a car, use the stairs instead of the lift, well, all the activities that you could really live without on an hospital bed for example . . .
Remember that“optional extra work” will make a meaningful difference long-term, when you are in the second part of your life, therefore increasingly lose its“optional” qualification, and could well determine then if you live or survive . . .
The latter component, the extra physical work, is a tap that you sort of control; however, there are a lot of factors that, in modern life (as opposed to caveman life), are limiting this control.
e.g.  hard to go for a 5 hour bike ride in the mountains to stay fit when you have to run to school to pick up your kids after work and have to go and buy food to cook and feed them.  The only thing you want to do next is go to bed before . . . doing it all over again the same day.

Replace hunting

To add a bit of difficulty to the whole story, in its biggest unfairness, life made it so that the less extra work you put and the less fit you will be, the more in pain you will be, the less shiny your skin will appear, the more your back will hurt, the more you knee will deteriorate, the shorter your life expectancy will be.  Basically the less healthy you will be.  Overall, the less seducing power you will have, because let’s face it, this is all what the original aim of life is, isn’t it? Humans too do mate when they mutually find themselves attractive, a but like wildlife in fact.  Especially humans do that actually, although they complicated the story by adding other down-to-earth sufficient conditions to mate, such as material rules . . .

I was mentionning unfairness, In fact I think it is fair.  It made it to make the fittest survive, at the time where you actually had to run and be clever to catch that injured wild deer or something to hunt, take it back to the cave, and clean it and cook it to feed your family and older relatives who could not make it anymore.
In today’s life,“thanks God” some will say, we don’t need to run after deers to survive.  Modern life created both an exceptionally high quality of living in the material world, and an exceptionally poor quality of living in one’s body.
Note that all the progress in health, starting with Pasteur’s work in bacteriology and virology, allowing an increasing number of humans to now live closer to 70 or 80 years old in good health, is not incompatible with a caveman style physical training, closer to bootcamp I guess.  So don’t think I want humanity to regress, but rather to replace the vicious sides of our modern life with items taken from the good side of what they had in their daily routine, such as walking long distances, lifting, running, and all sorts of physical activities.

It’s your lucky day, because you know what? Life being“good”, sometimes, it was designed to tap into your body fat (wherever it lies) when you do a moderate intensity physical activity.  I am not talking about weight lifting at the gym here, or running like a hare ou riding up a mountain.  I refer to active walking, slow running, or even 3 hrs of exhaustive housework! In technical terms, we say that the fat channel is being activated when one exercises at around 70% of their maximal heart rate.  If you haven’t understood anything to that phrase, no worries, just remember that "long (several hours) yet moderate activity taps into your body fat."

Achieveable goals

Aware that the component I called the extra work is harder to have control on because of lack of time or resources to do it, I wrote this article with in mind the normal people, where I define here as normal a working person with just a little time in their life to do sport, because they do have other priorities, whatever they are.
Therefore my tips do not require more time, but rather a different approach to perform tasks you anyway already do.  This allows me to call these goals achievable.

The unfavourable context

My sixteen tips below have worked for me.  I did not have a particular helpful background to help me as I am the type to quickly put on weight if I do not follow any particular diet other than eat balanced and drink water only with meals.  I know people who can eat whatever they want in whatever quantity and still not put a single kilo on.  One of them even desperately tried to put on weight as he thinks he is too slim, and never managed to do it.
Please consider if my tips can apply to you, based on your own way to consider yourself and the image you want to give to your own eyes, to others eyes, and the lifespan in good health you are targeting.

Another part of the unfavourable context you may experience in your daily“living hygiene”, is that when you are passionate about your job or activity, and this activity is everything but physically demanding, you may spend far too many hours not exercising, because you are sitting, yet getting hungry at regular intervals, so tend to make that damned input increase without increasing the output accordingly.

If you have stopped looking for someone, for whatever reason, it is not the point here, therefore the context is even further unfavourable, as you do not really care about your image shown to others, and maybe even reflected by a mirror.

My tips worked for me even in the worst case scenario of unfavourable context, and I consider it healthy as they do not rely on any food deprivation, diet unbalancing, excessive sport or exaggerated practices whatsoever.  Therefore I am confident I can now describe it on the Internet to anybody who is willing to try it.  They simply rely on decreasing or limiting the input and increasing the output of the infamous equation.

My ten tips, ordered by descending priority


If you think the complete set of these tips would just make your life dull, boring, machine-like and eventually antisocial, then try at least to apply as many as possible.
If you think you just can’t make it, well stay with your problems then, what can I say?

  1. Don’t buy or accept crap.
    The simplest way not to eat crap is not buying it and not accepting it, for you or your kids (lollies, lollypops, etc).  Once it’s in your fridge, in your pantry or in your drawer, it’s much harder not to get it at some point . . .
  2. For breakfast, eat well, eat carbs, eat bread, eat fruit.
    Get a fruit instead of cordial or fruit juice, unless 100% pure fruit juice.  Yep, be ready to make a mess on your hands.  Be ready to spend an extra 5 minutes to have it.  So what?
  3. Change your food habits when it comes to fats, espacially oil, butter and cream.
    Brush your food with olive oil using a kitchen brush, instead or frying your food, where applies.
    Try to avoid cooking with cream or butter.
    10 or 20 g of butter a day on your bread in the morning is perfectly fine unless you’ll get more butter during the day.
    Cooking in cream is really bad.  Pasta swimming in cream is disgusting for your arteries and tummy.
    Don’t accept that ladle of sauce on your pasta or rice.
    Just crack a bit of salt (a very little bit actually) and pepper, and add a spoon of olive oil, or lean tomato paste and she’ll be fine.
    Look for saturated fat in food contents on packages.  Say no to high levels (over a few grams per 100 g).
    Say no to hydrogenated fats, partially or completely.
    Finally say no to palm oil.
  4. Eat before going food shopping.
  5. Eat well and balanced at regular intervals as opposed to eat anarchically at any time.
    Starving towards 5pm? Oh well, walk out and buy an apple.  Don’t make a stock.  Make a point getting out through the stairs and buy one individual apple everyday!
  6. Drink water only with your meals,
    and ideally water only, whatever BS they say about one glass of wine a day keeps whomever away ta da da.  That’s a myth to make people have good conscience about that unnaturally drunk compound that alcohol is.  One glass a week as apéritif is fine, but don’t make it a habit.
    Don’t drink sweet drinks between meals unless it is in a pre-sport, sport or post-sport context.
  7. Replace as many quick sugars and fatty food with low-GI carbohydrates.
    It’s better to eat a good piece of bread and a good plate of rice for brekky or lunch, an intake that will last 8 hours, than eat chocolate or nuts bars throughout the day.
  8. It is absolutely ok to eat bread, provided it doesn’t contain added sugar.
    I’m lucky French bread is the best I think, followed by lebanese bread.  It is ok to replace some carbs with bread if you think you eat too many carbs
  9. Reduce your serving sizes.
    It’s the same logic as the "don’t buy if you don’t want to consume it at any point".  It’s easier to avoid an intake when a step is taken early in the consumption chain.
  10. Replace as many automated systems and self-carrying systems with moving/carrying yourself.
    You can do this virtually everywhere, street, shops, work.  Actively commute to work.  Walk, ride, run, use stairs, carry heavy stuff yourself instead of using trolleys as much as your current healt permits it.  Carry your kids, play with them lifting them.  If you live in the city, sell you car actually.  Rent one when you need one.
  11. Use your TV time to be active.
    Ha ha, now you can’t say you’ve got no time, you’re in front of your TV.  Use that time to go and walk fast, run, swim, ride, jump, push, pull, spin, oh well, you get the point.
  12. Move fast.
    Walk faster, move faster, jump on and on (watch out for your ankles . . . ).  You’ll save time and increase your output.  Actually this concept can be enlarged.  Lift more, walk longer, go faster, ride faster, live faster, and when it’s time you have a rest, have a deeper sleep!
  13. No“treat yourself” BS unless you’ve done an outstanding physical workout.
    It’s Friday night, I can have this or that . . . Cut that BS actually.  This is on that Friday evening that you’ll typically put all the weight you’ve lost hard during the week back on.
    What worked for me is to have just a few grams of“crap” once a week.  Like twenty peanuts or two fat crackers, with a tenth to a fifth of a glass of a Martini.  If you stop crap at 100% chances are you’ll crack soon, and crack badly.
  14. Get a second fridge that you place far from your living areas (garage, cellar).
    Put in the fridge all the food that you should limit consumption of.  Since you can’t see it often, you’ll quickly forget about it, and eat less of it.  Only bring back to the main fridge an individual item from that spare fridge, or a limited set of items.  Watch for expiry dates though! No waste please.  Don’t buy too much if you think you’ll blow the expiry date every time.
  15. Be proud of yourself and your image when you finally drop sizes and look good.
    It is ok to be looked at by whichever gender you want on the street even if you are married.  As long as you look back but don’t touch, a bit like in a porcelain shop.  A good image reflection can largely be self-motivating in this life.
  16. And, most importantly . . . Don’t stop these 15 tips above until dead.
    The worst thing would be to stop this method once you get results.  You’ll quickly lose all the effects and benefits and you’ll be back to square 1.  This regression is also known as the "yo-yo effect".
created 30 December 2012
revised 19 July 2017 by
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