It's January, the season of resolutions! How fun.
One of the most common New Year's resolutions is to lose weight and get healthy. What an admirable goal. We all want to be our best selves, don't we? Losing weight can seem like a daunting task, but it's easier than it looks.
There is even an entire industry built around helping us lose weight. There are fad diets (Atkins, Paleo, juice fasts, I did a cabbage soup diet in high school, oof) and trendy workouts (Zumba, ballet barre, Prancercise). But losing weight is much simpler than it seems.
What follows is a foolproof way to lose weight. No measuring, no agonizing, no books to buy - no money to spend at all, in fact. I guarantee that if you follow these three easy steps you will lose weight.
STEP 1: Be hungry
The first step is to be hungry. If you are not hungry, do not eat. When enough time has passed that you feel hungry, eat food. It's as simple as that. Now, don't eat too much food. Like, don't eat enough food that you no longer feel hungry. And by food, of course I mean seven almonds. (Limit one serving of seven almonds per day.) Make sure they are raw almonds and don't have any added sugar or salt or flavor.
Does it matter what you eat? I don't know. I'm not a doctor. What I do know is if you're not hungry, you're not doing it right. You know it's working when you're consistently hungry enough to be very, very grumpy. Let yourself get so grumpy that you are rude to your co-workers and it puts your personal relationships in jeopardy. That's how you know Step 1 is working.
STEP 2: Exercise way more than you think is reasonable
This step is easy! Put on a sports bra or boxer briefs, lace up your sneakers, and get outside! Once you are outside, move your body around wildly, until you feel very tired. When you feel tired, keep going. Keep going for, like, 45 more minutes after you think you can't keep going. Do this every day.
Walking is fine if you're interested in getting healthier in your heart or lungs or to avoid diabetes or whatever, but if you are interested in losing weight for the purpose of vanity, you'll have to do more than walk. You should run as fast as you can, sprint up stairs, throw your body to the ground and then quickly jump back up, over and over and over again, until you are afraid for your life. Be G.I. Jane. If you're not sweating and gasping for breath, you probably aren't doing it right.
It's raining? Too bad. Go outside and move your body. Move it fast. Or pick up heavy things, that's supposed to work too. Sure. Whatever thing you feel like you want to do that will make you sweaty and tired and filled with hate. This can be free or this can cost money. If you are rich, do CrossFit. If you are poor, just run outside and up and down stairs at the library or other places homeless people hang out.
"But you said I have to be hungry. How can I exercise when I am hungry?" Good question. Very good question. Here's the answer: shut up and do it. Every day.
Step 3: Tie your self-worth to the number on the scale
This step is the most psychological of the three, and arguably the easiest of all of them. This step doesn't even require you to do anything at all, except give in to your already powerful self-doubt. Have you never felt good enough? Use it. Did Amanda Cooper make fun of you for being fat in fifth grade? Amanda was right. You were fat in fifth grade. Use it. You'll show Amanda.
This step is easiest if you are a woman, as society makes women feel bad about themselves every day. Making women feel bad about how they look is a great way for companies to make money. But don't worry, everyone can tie their self-worth to the number on the scale. Gay men know about this as they have been pressured to be thin since time immemorial. Now straight men can get in on the action, too. Remember how much everyone freaked out about actor Chris Pratt? Chris Pratt's probably sitting in his mansion in the Hollywood Hills right now being like, "nobody called me fat before I lost a bunch of weight, but have they all been thinking it? This is terrible, now I have to keep up with this whole diet and exercise thing forever. This must be what it feels like to be a woman." Very astute, Chris Pratt. That guy gets it.
So, follow my easy, three step plan and the pounds will melt away. All you have to do is be hungry, exercise until you want to die, and give in to societal pressures to be thin.
But seriously, how does one do this? I still have 30 some odd pounds of baby weight to lose. When I was gaining too much weight when I was pregnant, I asked my obstetrician what I should do and she said, "Avoid certain foods, like some fruits and stuff. Avoid carbs." I said, "Wait, what fruits should I avoid?" And she said, "I guess like all fruits? I can refer you to a nutritionist." So basically even doctors don't know.
Probably the best thing to do is develop healthy hobbies, like running or biking. Get a diet buddy who you can hang out with and complain deeply about how hungry and grumpy you both are. Believe in yourself, that sort of thing. It might not actually be easy, but it can be done. Just ask Chris Pratt.
Emily Kaye Lazzaro is a writer, actor and playwright.