I saw an ad on TV last night promising that I could shed 40 pounds in 40 days. This seems to be a time of year when you see a lot of ads and articles assuring you that you can lose weight, fast and easy, without dieting. (Is there a time of year when there aren't a lot of ads promising that you can lose weight?) I think it might have something to do with fitting into a bikini, not that I personally have ever tried.
I've lost a little weight in my day. For example, I lost eight pounds after my latest colonoscopy. But my true field of expertise is not losing weight. It's getting fat. I got fat in my 30s, because my wife got pregnant. I got fat in my 40s, because I was middle age. I got fat in my 50s due to my slowing metabolism. Now I've passed the 60 mark, and I'm getting fat because I don't give a damn anymore. You see? I always have an excuse!
Since I know all about how to get fat, I thought I'd pass on some of my expert advice. Here are five of the fastest ways to pack on the pounds.
Don't eat breakfast. You'd think if you skip a meal, it would help you lose weight. But it doesn't work that way. Everyone I know who pats themselves on the back for not being hungry in the morning (myself included) ends up with either a pot belly, or a rubber tire worthy of a hybrid car, if not a monster truck. I think it has something to do with balancing things out. If you don't eat in the morning, you implicitly give yourself permission to stuff your face at 10 p.m., just before you go to bed.
Drink diet sodas. I don't know why – they only have 1 calorie, or sometimes no calories. But drinking diet soda conclusively and inevitably leads to gaining weight. It's not just what you consume along with the diet soda (for surely you've seen the person at the fast-food place with a double cheeseburger, french fries, a sticky dessert ... and a diet cola. Yes, that was me!). I don't know exactly how diet sodas add on pounds; I just know that they do. They must stimulate something in the sugar part of your brain that goes unfulfilled with the diet drink, and so you subconsciously make up your sugar quotient with more pie, or more whipped cream with your pie. In any case, whatever you do, if you're trying to gain weight, do not drink water. Water is just empty calories!
Take full advantage of your spouse. When you're sitting on the couch watching TV – by the way, watching TV, playing video games and sitting in front of your computer are all fully approved activities for the aspiring fat person -- and want a snack from the kitchen, do not trouble yourself by giving up your comfortable seating arrangement and walking into the kitchen. Instead, call out to your spouse. Or a kid will do, if there's one around and they'll cooperate. Ask them to get the snack for you, and bring it to you on the couch. By the way, potato chips make an excellent snack, especially of you have dip to go with them.
Do not own a pet. After all, you might have to change their bowl, clean up after them, take them for a walk, throw a stick for them. All of these activities burn up those precious calories you want to horde in your belly fat. So relax. If you want animal companionship, put up a picture of a pet as the screensaver on your laptop.
Drive everywhere. You have a car. Why not use it? It's silly to spend 20 minutes walking down to the corner, which might be almost a mile, when you can jump in the car and be there in three minutes. Similarly, when you go to the mall, and have to shop at the two anchor stores at either end of the building, park at one end, and then when you're done there, get back in the car and drive around the mall to the other store. There's no point in walking the whole length of the mall. And by the way, if you have to go from one floor to another, never, ever take the stairs. Use the escalator or elevator. They're there for your convenience.
I'm sure you know some other ways to gain weight. Drinking beer, for example. Or, as I once did, giving up beer – then making up for that sacrifice by indulging yourself in all the dessert you can eat. You probably have your own guilty pleasure, which is fine ... in moderation, of course!