Summer's here and the time is right for getting super duper skinny! Where to begin? Since there are always approximately one point seven two zillion stories about how to lose weight, you might be confuzzled. Don't be! We collected the most important weight loss stories we've seen over the last couple of months and compiled them into one handy guide. If you do everything on this list, you will absolutely, positively lose weight — and maybe your mind.
1. First of all, don't work out.
2. Or, wait: Exercise. But not too much. If you're doing intense exercise, then it's time to exercise less.
3. But this thing called cardio is good.
4. And you should definitely do Zumba!
5. No, actually, you should do interval training.
6. Really, what you should do is exercise for 250-300 minutes a week. That's four or five hours. And don't you dare reward yourself with a yummy snack afterward.
7. Get inspired by Chris Pratt, who says: "You can do it. You could. You really could. You could do it in six months."
8. Instead of a regular vacation, go to a weight-loss spa. Doesn't sound expensive at all.
9. Oh, hell, go ahead, take a vacation! As long as it's at the $2,995-a-week Biggest Loser resort.
10. It's important to eat your largest meal earlier in the day, say, before 3pm.
11. Actually, no. Eat whenever.
13. NO. WAIT. Only eat two meals a day. Do not graze.
14. Skip breakfast.
15. Nevermind. Don't skip meals.
16. And like, definitely don't skip breakfast.
17. Well, you can skip meals and lose weight if you do a cleanse.
18. But smart people and scientists want you to know that cleanses are garbage.
19. Sleep more, because lack of sleep is turning you into a whale.
20. But! Get up earlier in the day.
21. Have one of your friends or loved ones bribe you.
22. Or try an app that allows users to place bets on how much you will lose.
23. And forget about willpower: It's more important to remove temptation.
24. Don't trust nutrition labels. They lie!
26. For real, the no-diet diet is fab.
27. That said: Change what you're shoving in your mouth. Eat chia seeds.
28. Nibble nuts.
29. Drink coffee.
30. Maybe even try weight-loss coffee! Although it could lead to nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
31. Put olive oil on whatever you can.
32. Only eat things that have been blended into smoothie form by a celebrity weight-loss guru.
33. Take green coffee bean extract capsules.
34. Take Garcinia Cambogi, which is not a character in the Godfather but the HOLY GRAIL of weight loss.
35. Pop mangosteen caplets.
36. Although… Plenty of herbal supplements are poison and killing you.
37. So actually, just eat more green foods.
38. Really, though… Eat blue foods.
39. And! Eat red foods.
40. Don't forget yellow foods. Duh.
41. For real. Eat black foods. Word. Superfoods.
42. And sweet potatoes at every meal should help.
43. Okay, just eat eggs, kale, lentils, hot peppers, yogurt and grapefruit.
44. Um, also eat celery, quinoa, avocado, oats and chia seeds.
45. And don't forget seaweed.
46. Probiotics may be good for fat loss, but the strain researched isn't commercially available in the U.S., and "independent research is either inconclusive or contradictory." So, uh, ignore this.
47. WAIT! Eat like a caveman, even though they were not very tall. Or bright. They didn't have yogurt, did they?
48. Never mind. Don't eat — just ingest the slop known as soylent.
49. Or how about this: Eat for five days and fast for two.
50. If you're doing a gluten-free diet to lose weight, well, stop. It's not helping.
51. And definitely eat less.
52. Although snacking is important.
53. B12 shots might help?
54. The alkaline diet — in which you eat according to your pH balance — sounds good, if you are Jennifer Aniston.
55. Remember to savor your food, like you're in beautiful, thin Paris instead of gross, fat America.
56. Or, instead of savoring your food, barely taste it at all! Get a mesh patch stitched to your tongue — makes it hard to eat.
57. Get off Facebook and clean up after your husband.
59. Implant a mechanical monster-leech into your body that causes you to "discreetly" shit out of your own abdomen 3 times a day.
60. Drink eight glasses of water a day.
61. Stop drinking booze.
62. Go ahead and drink diet soda, though.
63. NO NO NO DO NOT DRINK DIET SODA DON'T DO IT.
64. Quit talking to your fat friends.
65. But tweet all about your weight loss goals!
66. Reminisce about the yummy stuff you used to eat by looking at old pictures. Instagram your way to skinny!
67. Watch an avatar exercise and learn healthy habits in the virtual world. Fun.
68. Seriously, just try to remember what you ate.
69. And for Chrissakes count calories.
70. Take a new drug called Belviq with side effects like dizziness and fatigue.
71. Or maybe beloranib, a new experimental drug with side effects including trouble falling asleep, nausea and vomiting?
72. How about Phentermine, a very effective drug for fast weight loss? Watch out, though: It's only approved for short-term use for a period of 12 weeks or less. If you stop taking the pill, "you will most likely regain the weight you initially lost." Also side effects include abnormally high blood pressure, yikes.
73. Okay: Try DHEA, aka dehydroepiandrosterone, a natural steroid hormone produced by the adrenal glands. Research shows it has a significant effect on decreasing in abdominal fat. But! Side effects include facial hair growth, oily skin, and acne. Adorable.
74. Take the awesome-sounding drug called Reversatrol... which GlaxoSmithKline plans to discontinue working on. Oops.
75. Busy yourself by filming a reality show in which you feed your daughter Mountain Dew and Red Bull.
76. Have a lot of sex.
77. Actually, have an affair! You eat less when you're happy, and also maybe extramarital sex totally burns a lot of calories because you're worried about getting caught?
78. Buy clothes that will shrink.
79. Deal with your negative emotions, depresso.
80. And stop being so stressed out.
81. But be diligent and record everything you eat in a food journal.
82. If you work at a desk, hide the shit you need from yourself so you have to go looking for it. Instant workout!
83. Realize that there's actually not much you can do, because your idiot parents fed you high-carb baby food and programmed your metabolism ALL WRONG.
85. There's always lap-band surgery.
86. But doctors say that weight-loss surgery is just a tool, and the hard work comes after the surgery.
87. FYI: Keep in mind that your body will fight weight loss and some people are "unusually resistant to weight loss."
88. Plus, remember that science doesn't even understand how obesity works, and, as Judith Shulevitz writes for The New Republic, "It’s hard but not impossible to lose weight. But it’s nearly impossible to keep it off."
89. In all seriousness, read this Aeon article on obesity in which David Berreby writes about how complicated the issue is. For instance:
Over the past 20 years or more, as the American people were getting fatter, so were America’s marmosets.
Obviously, if animals are getting heavier along with us, it can’t just be that they’re eating more Snickers bars and driving to work most days. On the contrary, the trend suggests some widely shared cause, beyond the control of individuals, which is contributing to obesity across many species.
…Many researchers believe that personal gluttony and laziness cannot be the entire explanation for humanity’s global weight gain. Which means, of course, that they think at least some of the official focus on personal conduct is a waste of time and money. As Richard L Atkinson, Emeritus Professor of Medicine and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Wisconsin and editor of the International Journal of Obesity, put it in 2005: ‘The previous belief of many lay people and health professionals that obesity is simply the result of a lack of willpower and an inability to discipline eating habits is no longer defensible.’
A study by Laura Fonken and colleagues at the Ohio State University in Columbus, published in 2010 in theProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reported that mice exposed to extra light (experiencing either no dark at all or a sort of semidarkness instead of total night) put on nearly 50 per cent more weight than mice fed the same diet who lived on a normal night-day cycle of alternating light and dark.
It’s possible that widespread electrification is promoting obesity by making humans eat at night, when our ancestors were asleep.
There is also the possibility that obesity could quite literally be contagious. A virus called Ad-36, known for causing eye and respiratory infections in people, also has the curious property of causing weight gain in chickens, rats, mice and monkeys. Of course, it would be unethical to test for this effect on humans, but it is now known that antibodies to the virus are found in a much higher percentage of obese people than in people of normal weight.