The Common Sense Guide to Losing Weight

John Roland Stahl



By Lacky Pillpusher, M.D., Author of Drugs Will Make Me Rich, etc.

      After the Author’s flippant remarks about the uselessness of a medical degree, at least with regard to weight loss programs, it is amusing to be invited to write some introductory remarks to this surprising little volume.  

     As the Author will be telling you himself, however, all of his suggestions make an appeal to Common Sense which will be very easy to understand.  Having reviewed all of his suggestions from the view of a trained medical professional, I can verify that none of his suggestions are contrary to known medical knowledge, and, in fact, anyone following the program outlined in this volume will be as likely to achieve satisfactory results as they would from following any other weight loss program known to me.  

     However, a supplementary program of these little pills . . .

     And Blah, Blah, Blah . . .

Chapter I

In Order To Lose Weight, You Must Eat Less.

      No, I don’t have any medical degrees, or any other qualifications for writing this book.  However, I need some extra money, and I figured that I’m pretty clever, and have some facility with words.  A weight loss book is the easiest book to sell both to the general public and (for that very reason) to a publisher, and I actually have a lot of ideas that I think can be very useful for a serious weight loss program.  The degree carrying medical professionals can’t seem to agree anyway, and, besides, their diets are all so arcane that you have to just accept them on faith – eat these obscure foods, and don’t eat those obscure foods, for complicated medical reasons which the layman is not expected to understand anyway, so just pay me your money, buy my book, and let me get back to my holiday in the South of France.  

     In contrast with that approach, all of my suggestions are intended to appeal directly to your Common Sense – you should be able to appreciate all of my suggestions as reasonable on their face, taking nothing on faith.  In my arrogant opinion, I expect to lay out a program of eating habits that should actually cause you to lose all the weight you want, not gain it back, improve your overall health and happiness, make you feel good, and improve your sex life – all in one package – and save you money besides.  

     In order to lose weight, you must eat less.  What?  That wasn’t what you wanted to hear?  OK, let’s start again –

     In order to lose weight, there are many effective approaches.  One very effective approach which will guarantee that you will lose as much weight as you please while promoting an improvement in overall health, is to eat plenty of deep fried foods – French Fries, potato chips, etc, with plenty of salt, washed down with Coca Cola.  And remember, if you only eat one slice of cucumber instead of two, you might as well treat yourself to a big slice of New York Cheesecake, with sweet cherry topping.

     No?  Not buying that one?  Well, here is something a bit more substantial –

     So you think you want to lose weight?  Actually, that is not really the issue at all, is it?  What is really important is How You Feel About Yourself.  Now, if you will just send $29.95 to the Author, we will send you a tape of subliminal messages that you can play while you sleep.  Just pop the little speaker under your pillow at night, and you will be wafted to a gentle sleep while you learn to understand that you are Not Really Overweight At All – in fact, most men actually prefer a woman with a bit of meat on her bones, and you are actually just the ideal form and figure for optimum health and happiness, Just The Way You Are.  OK, if you are a man, most women, or men, whatever you’re into – they all want you Just The Way You Are Right Now.

     But if neither of those approaches will pass muster, then we are reduced to fall back upon our original thesis, that if you want to lose weight, you must eat less.

     This is not a frivolous suggestion.  I actually have some very specific suggestions which may help you to accomplish this objective of eating less.  But first, let me review the causes of excess weight (we certainly don’t refer to it, in these polite pages, as Obesity.) Some very small percentage of people are overweight due to some organic problem – a specifically medical problem unrelated to eating habits.  In spite of my glaring lack of qualified medical credentials, I will actually tackle this very subject, with all suitable disclaimers, of course – I think I know more about this anyway than all those fancy doctors.  Even if you have a specific medical problem, I can advise you how to overcome it and lose weight anyway – but all of this is for a later Chapter.

     Next, there are those whose problem with excessive weight gain is caused by eating the wrong foods.  This, of course, is the usual stuff of weight loss books, and I will not neglect this topic, but, again, it is the subject for a later Chapter.  

     So now I take up the problem of Why Are You Eating Too Much, Anyway?  Let us look at some of the more common reasons –

     First on the list is the issue of Food As A Substitute for Love And/Or Sex.  Many people are aware of this phenomenon consciously.  Others are aware of this subconsciously.  And some people, hard to believe, are actually not aware of this at all.  There you are – not enough love (and/or sex) in your life, so what do you do?  You Eat, Eat, Eat.  Now, the solution to this situation is rather obvious, isn’t it?  The old Freudian school of psychology held that you merely need to become aware of the underlying dynamic of your problem in order to solve the issue and move forward, onwards and upwards, to greater and better things, and health and happiness will follow you all the days of your life.  Well, you need to become aware of the underlying dynamic, and then do something about it, if I may somewhat modify the old Freudian approach.  

     So let’s not mince words here – if you are stuffing your face with chocolates because you’re not getting enough – well, you need to get some.  Love is most effective, of course, but, in a pinch, plain old sex will actually do the trick just as well, at least as far as your weight loss program is concerned.  Nobody loves you?  Not a problem.  In fact, as far as losing weight goes, you will find that loving other people is even more effective than other people loving you.   It should be relatively easy to find someone to love.  If you are a young woman, all you have to do is stop fighting them off – just let some of them in (OK, just one of them will do, if you have the old fashioned style – sorry if you find my breezy style too scandalous, but I’m just trying to sell books, here, after all.)

     If you are an older woman, try a young man – young men are usually ready to provide the services you require, and are actually better suited to the task than most older men.  There are so many available young men out there that it really shouldn’t be hard to find one.  In fact, here is your perfect come-on line – “Hello there, honey.  I’m actually pursuing a weight-loss program, and the author of this book suggests that I need to get a little action so that I can forget about food for a while.  So, if you’re into it, I’m ready to make myself available for you as often as you want.  So, what do you say?  Shall we get a bottle of wine and go up to my place?  Bring your friends.”  (Sorry – I’m just suggesting the general idea here and trying to be amusing at the same time, but you can modify the approach to suit your personal style.)

     If you are a young man trying to lose some weight, and you are too dorky or ugly or stupid to get a get a really fine young woman, you can always go for an older woman – single older women are very often surprisingly ready for a hook up with a potent young man who offers no complications, and just wants to pursue his weight loss program with a suitable partner.  

     If you are an older man – well, unless you are rich, who wants an old man, anyway?  You might as well eat those Cheesecakes and French Fries and stop worrying about it.  Life is short, and you can’t have everything.  

     Moving right along, let us look at some other strategies for eating less.

     Here are two very simple but very effective strategies for eating less –
     In the first place, there is the problem of feeling those hunger pangs.  When you are used to eating plenty of food, as soon as you cut down at all, you will feel that pang in your stomach that is sending urgent messages to your brain that you want more food going on.  Here, it is all a matter of interpretation of those electrical impulses surging through your pointed little head.  Here is the way to think about it – you are only losing weight when you feel those hunger pangs.   If you can get that idea going on, then you can turn it all around – whenever you find yourself “enjoying” hunger pangs, that is the time, the only time, in which your body is actually LOSING WEIGHT.   Once you get that notion implanted in your feeble brain, then you will not only be able to endure those hunger pangs, but rejoice in them.  

     I want to emphasize that, so I could either repeat that idea several times in different ways, or you could simply read that paragraph over several times – it will accomplish the same thing, and I want to move on, anyway.   So read that paragraph over a few times until You Actually Get It.  Learn to rejoice in that delicious feeling of being Hungry.  It means you are losing weight.  

     Next, there is another idea of very practical value.  In fact, I think I will start a new Chapter to celebrate this new idea.

Chapter II

Don’t Eat When You Are Not Hungry.

      Don’t eat when you are not hungry.  At first grab, this idea may sound as frivolous as the idea of the preceding Chapter, but my whole point is that the issue of excessive weight gain is not rocket science – it is a matter of Common Sense.  

     The issue here is a very simple one and a very common one.  Most people start eating, and then they go on eating until they are no longer hungry.  Wrong.  That is a Big Mistake.  Here is one of the most useful ideas I have to offer, right here.  Take a look, briefly, at the physiology of hunger – “Hunger” is basically a learned phenomenon – your body goes through its various trips and, from time to time, it gives off these “Feed Me” vibes that basically require you to stuff food into your stomach at regular intervals.  When your “stomach clock” goes off, you feel hungry, and your body is craving food.  This is a physiological response that you really cannot control.  What you can control is the way you respond to these demands.  

     As we learned in the last Chapter, you only lose weight when you are experiencing hunger pangs, so you might be tempted simply to ignore the urgent messages of your body, and glory in the hunger pangs that are slimming you down while you watch.   But that isn’t a friendly way of dealing with the issue, and I have a better suggestion.  

     The key is understanding the time delay between your feeding activities and your “hunger response.”  The way your body works (unfortunately) is that once you are in “feeding mode” your body is going to continue sending out “Feed Me” signals until long past the time when you have actually had enough food.  So here is the solution: When your body sends out its “Feed Me” messages, you should respond to it by supplying food – but only a carefully measured amount.  The problem is that you might eat what you know to be enough food, a reasonable and modest amount, yet your body goes right on sending out that insistent “Feed Me” business.  So here is the way I trick my body.  I don’t say, “Just forget it, food-brain.  That’s all you’re getting.  I’ve given you plenty of food for now, so just take a walk.”  Oh, no.  That’s not the way to deceive a hungry food-brain.  What you do is say, sweetly, “Oh, my dear food-brain – I am merrily feeding away over here, and it is all just lovely.  Presently I will be feeding you some more, but I am going to take a short break for right now.  In a short time, I will resume the feeding, so, not to worry.  I’m just taking a very short break –just hang in there.”  And then you get up from the table, fully intending to eat another whole plate of food, but just “not yet.”  You must find some distraction – argue politics and the state of the world, or the spiritual crisis of the Modern Predicament with your companions, or spend half an hour in your garden, pruning your fragrant roses, fully intending to return to the table for another session of gorging yourself on more food.   In order for this ploy to work, you have to retain the conviction that you are just taking a short break – if your food-brain ever gets the notion that you are not actually intending to return to the feed trough, you are in trouble.  So it is imperative to retain the fiction that you are just taking a short break.  

     Well, you see where I’m going with this.  After about half an hour, to your amazement, you will not feel any more hunger pangs.  In fact, the whole “Feed Me” hunger thing will have passed on.  Oh, well, just put away the food, and that’s that – another round won for the home team.  

     This cycle has to be experienced consciously to be believed.  But it is a fact – if you take a moderate amount of food and then “wait a while” before “finishing” your meal, you will discover that you don’t actually need or want any more food right now, after all.  

Chapter III

You’re Eating the Wrong Foods.

      OK, here is what most people would consider the heart of the diet – what do you actually Eat, anyway?    You are what you eat, so you might as well select your diet very consciously.

     The diet I recommend has the following advantages –

     1. You will lose weight.

     2. You will enjoy better health.

     3. You will feel great.

     4. You will look great.

     5. You will save money on food.

     6. Meals will taste better to you.

     7. You sex life will be improved.   (I’m not kidding.  I’m not just trying to sell books here.)

      I could almost make this Chapter really short – nothing here is going to be news to anyone who has read any of the most obvious dietary recommendations of the last twenty years.

     OK – low fat, high fiber, fresh fruits and vegetables, less salt, less sugar, fewer processed foods – is any of this news, yet?  Let’s get specific – Low Fat.  Just completely trash all deep fried foods from your diet.  No more French Fries, potato chips, tempura, bacon, fried clams, fish and chips – just scratch all that off the list as bad juju.  

     Next to go is processed foods.  Processed foods are the biggest scam going.  You may pay the highest possible prices for the flimsiest food-stuffs imaginable.  Half the time they even advertise their products as Low Calorie, which simply means that all the nutritional value is long gone, and you are just paying for expensively packaged fluff and chemicals, from which all nutritionally valuable components have been systematically removed, to be used in other food products.   Disgusting.   Criminal.  (Clever?  One man’s cleverness is another man’s stupidity.)

     Now eliminate all coffee, tea, and “soft drinks.”  By “soft drinks” is usually meant carbonated beverages.  Here is a bit of a digression, but all those funny little bubbles are carbon dioxide, which only encourage and support all the anti-life aspects of your bodily organism.  Carbon dioxide supports viruses, AIDS, cancer, and all manner of diseases.  What you want in your body and your lungs is fresh air from the mountains, full of fresh Oxygen, not carbon dioxide.  For the same reason, you have to give up Smoking.  If you think that all you need to do is take enough ginseng, or whatever, and you will live forever, you are dreaming.  Before you even bother to take anything good into your life, you must first give up all the harmful substances, activities, and practices.  (“Do no harm.”)  Smoking is the dumbest practice known to medical science, short of bungee jumping without a bungee cord.  Filling your lungs with smoke on a regular basis is about the dumbest thing you can do to your health.  The function of your lungs is to transpire oxygen into your bloodstream, to be carried throughout your body.  To coat your lungs with a foul layer of smoke and tar is just way beyond stupid.  If you can’t quit smoking, you might as well sniff glue, or drink some turpentine, and be done with it quickly.  (Drinking turpentine will kill you very quickly.)

     So there are some of the negatives – clear out all that junk from your diet.  It is more important to eliminate the toxins than it is to introduce good healthy food into your system.  But, if you give up your doughnuts, y