PCFG Gives Four Practical, Cheap, Easy Tips For Losing Weight!
So it’s no secret that America is really really fat. I know it, you know it, we’re all aware of it and yet the problem gets worse and worse every year. Obviously, there’s nothing wrong with being a tiny bit overweight, and fat-shaming is bad. That said, trying to lose weight when you’re heavy, is a good thing, and millions of people struggle to try and lose weight every single day, to no avail. There’s eight billion different diets and weight loss programs out there, but personally, we here at PCFG are not fans of wonky regimens and huge, sweeping changes to diet. Both Meg and I have had to worked on losing weight at one point or another in our lives, so we’ve been there before. At the same time, we’re absolutely not dieticians or doctors, so any advice we offer is merely simple, practical advice for any of our readers. Food is slammin’! But so is self control! And obviously balance is the key.
Obviously, PCFG’s mantra has always been to offer tips and tricks and lessons for average people whom don’t lead extravagant lives. You can type in “weight loss tips” into Google, and search until your eyeballs explode, and still never reach the end of the list. Because of the commonness of this topic, our tips are more “outside the box” approaches to helping with weight loss.
1. Eat Home-Cooked As Often As Possible
Anyone who’s read PCFG for more than two articles knows that the one thing we costantly preach is to cook at home as much as you can. Not only is it cheaper and does it taste better, but 95% of the time it’s going to cut down on a lot of calories. When you control exactly what goes into your food, you have the ability to add OR subtract anything you’d like. Want to make a sandwich at home? Skip the mayonnaise. Need tomato sauce for a pizza? Make it at home, and cut out some of the sugar. Eating a breakfast muffin sandwich? Use two pieces of bacon instead of three. You get the idea.
Let’s look at a burrito for example.
Chipotle is the poster-child of dumb franchises with average food but great marketing. It targets college students and people craving “authentic” Mexican-American food, but also portrays itself as a healthy choice in fast food. Using their nutrition calculator, I put together a pretty basic burrito with chicken, white rice, beans, sour cream, salsa, guacamole, and cheese. I also selected a drink as well since most people tend to buy soft drinks when dining out. The grand total comes in at a whopping 1575 calories, just a few hundred short of what the average person should be eating in a frigging day.
Meanwhile, let’s look at the breakdown if you make a burrito at home.
- 1 burrito = 210 calories
- Chicken, we’ll call even with Chipotle = 180 calories
- 1/2 cup rice = 100 calories
- 1/4 cup guacamole = 90 calories
- Salsa, we’ll also call even = 80 calories
- 1/4 cup cheese = 100 calories
- 2 tbsp sour cream = 60 calories
- 1/4 cup black beans = 55 calories
- Iced tea = 80 calories
Grand total = 955 calories
So yeah. I’m not sure where Chipotle is cramming an extra 600 calories into their burrito, but it’s a pretty great display of how calories just sneak in, when you’re not in charge of the exact proportions of ingredients.
2. Eat / Split Food With Your Partner
This next one admittedly is unfortunately more for people with spouses, though technically you could have a friend stand-in for a lack of a boyfriend/girlfriend if you guys are really tight. But then again, this website is Poor Couple’s Food Guide, and is aimed at young couples, so single people knew what they were getting into when they clicked here.
As a tip, this idea is less of a real process, and more just psychology teaming up with pure math. Restaurants generally don’t accommodate you when you ask for a half of a plate, so that’s where your partner comes in. Besides emotional support, companionship, sex, friendship, mental stimulation, and all the other great things your girlfriend or boyfriend offers you, they can also be a vital team member when it comes to eating foodstuffs. And the best part here is that any food you double-team together gets its nutritional content cut in half.
For example, say you want to make a nice, big plate of disco fries, but (ballpark, here) they’re somewhere around 1000 calories after all that cheese and gravy. You’ll be blowing half your needed intake if you eat it alone, however team up with your spouse and suddenly it’s a much more manageable 500 calories per person. Yes, I absolutely admit this is effectively just portion control, but! Hear me out.
Portion control is tricky for lots of people because when you’re eating good food, you always want more of it, which usually drives people to just eat everything on their plate. It absolutely is difficult to stop yourself mid-meal and say “That’s enough, I will save the rest.” However, when you share a plate with your mate, they’re automatically taking away about half your portion no matter what. There’s no need to work up the nerve and tell yourself “No”, since the food is now inside your partner’s stomach. And the other reason this works out well is that (for most healthy relationships) no matter how much you love the food you’re eating, you love your spouse more, and won’t mind them eating sharing in the delight.
Honestly, this is probably my favorite tip of all. Everybody wins. You both get food, you both control your portions, and you actually end up saving money when dining out because you’re only paying for one menu item at restaurants, instead of two. Meg and I do this almost every time we eat out, especially at lunch.
3. Dilute Your Soft Drinks With Water (Or Really, Come On, Just Drink Water)
I know what you’re thinking. Oh nooooo, that sounds soooo grossss.
No, trust me. This one is something I’ve been doing for most of my adult life, and it works out better than you’d imagine. Soft drinks you get from the store are loaded with insane amounts of sugar and calories. I’m not one to hop on the sugar-hate wagon, but I absolutely will say that soft drinks are absolute shit for you.
Let’s take a look at Snapple. Snapple uses real sugar in its drinks, which is a great step in the right direction. Despite that, one of my favorites, Snapple Strawberry Kiwi, has almost 200 calories, and 45g of sugar per serving. That’s not a TON, necessarily, but if you drink multiple soft drinks per day, it’ll add up. Similarly to the previous tip that cuts your caloric intake in half, this tip is another that will legitimately cut calories out as well as having the bonus effect of saving you money.
What I like to do is if I have a bottle of Snapple or something similar, I will pour it out into a glass. I’ll pour about half of it in, then I fill the rest of the cup with water. Yes, this weakens it, but let’s all recall that the drink has more sugar in it than a white-footed mouse weighs. So the lesson here is not that BRAGH SUGAR BAD EVIL, but rather you can totally afford to dilute your soft drink with water and it will still taste fine. To be quite honest, I actually prefer my soft drinks cut with water now. In their pure form, it’s just too sweet. And again, the bonus effect here is that it will take twice as long to finish that soft drink now. If you have a bottle of Snapple, well congratulations you now basically have two bottles of Snapple!
Also, while we’re on the subject, seriously, just drink water. I don’t want to make that its own entry because it’s such common advice, but seriously. Stop drinking soda especially. There’s about 150 calories in a serving, and some people chug that shit like it’s nothing (also, bout half of Americans say they drink soda daily). Three servings in a day and that’s 450 calories for the day. You could seriously eat a small sandwich for that many calories… why waste it on soda?
4. Weigh Yourself
This one just sounds like common sense, but freaking seriously. There’s a lot of people out there that simply don’t weigh themselves, despite the fact that doing so regularly actually helps. And this often results in people not even realizing how much they weigh, misjudging themselves. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any statistics on the percent of Americans that own personal scales, but I’m assuming it’s probably somewhere in the range of “just some”. Or at very least, many people whom do own scales don’t actually use them.
It may sound silly, but Meg and I still play Wii Fit on the Nintendo Wii U on a weekly basis. Back in 2008, as a video game, Wii Fit was huge and popular and every single mom on the planet received it as a gift for Mother’s Day. But as the Wii trend died down, so did Wii Fit. As anyone whom visited a Gamestop between 2009 and 2014, Wii Fit Boards (the thing you stand on to check your weight and balance and do exercises) can attest to, those things were literally piled on top of each other at stores, going for as cheap as $15 (originally sold with the game around $100). Obviously if you were buying a used Wii Fit Board from Gamestop, make sure you clean the hell out of it, since God knows what trolls set foot on it before it was traded in to that store.
But I digress. Meg and I both play Wii Fit still, and it tracks your weight for you. You can see any progress you’ve made long-term, and set goals for yourself. Obviously, you don’t need to own a game or piece of technology that does all this for you. All you need to do is have a scale and weigh yourself on a regular basis. Just the fact you’re AWARE of your weight and any fluctuation will be a great help, as compared to someone who randomly stands on their scale as a fun novelty after 8 months, only to discover they’ve somehow gained 50 pounds. And long story short, it’s a lot easier to lose 5 lbs than it is to lose 50 lbs.
All it really takes is awareness, and that alone will help you keep your weight in check. Just recently I started to pack on a few pounds from the surge of Summer parties and the delicious food at them. Obviously I’m still relatively slim compared to other guys my size, but I was actually the heaviest I’d ever been in my entire life. It wasn’t a huge change, but just enough for me to be aware of it. So know what I did after I found out about that weight? I cut back on my food for a couple weeks, made an effort to increase my exercise a bit more, and soon after I’d lost the extra pounds and gone back to my normal range.
As mentioned, nothing here is concrete, professional advice. But it’s advice from people who enjoy cooking and especially eating food. We may not be experts on dieting or fitness, but sometimes personal experiences that you can relate to are all you need to get motivated. If anyone reading is legitimately struggling with weight loss, we hope our tips help you out, but obviously keep sticking to any other methods you may have already been using, and best of luck!