Weight-loss Tips From Someone Who Should Know

David Kirchhoff still trembles and sweats at the sight of ice cream.

Perhaps thats what makes him the perfect person to run Weight Watchers, one of the biggest weight-loss companies in the world. He knows what its like to struggle with the scale, and now he can say he wrote the book on it literally.

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Mr. Kirchhoff, 45, president and chief executive officer of Weight Watchers International Inc., spent a grand total of nine years losing about 45 pounds. He became a member of the Weight Watchers program after becoming an employee of the company in 1999. At that time, he was clinically obese, weighing 242 pounds, with high cholesterol. Over the next nine years, he set about losing the excess weight, including after being named company CEO in 2006.

During that time, he learned a thing or two about how to get motivated, why men shouldnt be afraid of talking about weight-loss struggles, and why its important to never feel deprived all topics he covers in his new book, Weight Loss Boss. He spoke to The Globe and Mail about the lessons he has learned, and why people should cut Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, who recently gave mixed messages about his public commitment to lose 50 pounds, some slack.

Its time for men to talk about their body issues

Mr. Kirchhoff said he was inspired to go public with his weight-loss story because so few men do. Weight-loss companies and products have typically been geared toward women, but men are just as affected by issues related to being overweight or obese.

I will admit at first it felt a little bit off and vulnerable to put myself out there, Mr. Kirchhoff said. Yet I think in a positive way the discussion around obesity is becoming less and less focused on weight and body image and more and more focused on the health. The reasons for doing that are as strong for men as they are for women.

The ground appears to be shifting, he said, with more men being targeted by weight-loss companies and also more willing to talk about the issue.

Taking nearly a decade to reach goal weight isnt a bad thing

Mr. Kirchhoff said the most positive feedback he has received about his book is over the fact he stuck with his weight-loss plan, even though it took nine years to lose 45 pounds and reach his goal.

It wasnt as though it took me nine years because I was losing 20 grams a week. Id lose weight, then Id bounce around at some plateau, he said. A lot of people have this image in your mind: You start a program, you start an effort and three months later its done and its solved. In truth it takes a while.

The real change occurred a few years ago, when Mr. Kirchhoff experienced a breakthrough. He realized that he needed once and for all to get serious about changing underlying bad habits, and his approach to food and exercise.

Timing is everything

Mr. Ford announced on his radio show this week that after several months public weigh-ins, ups and downs on the scale and being mocked after a YouTube video captured him entering a KFC restaurant, he was abandoning his public weight-loss odyssey. He later said he would do a final weigh-in on June 18.

The mayor took a lot of heat for failing his mission, but Mr. Kirchhoff said he isnt surprised Mr. Ford is having trouble reaching his goal, given the huge amount of weight he wanted to lose, the pressure on him to do so and the sheer difficulty of shedding pounds.

I give the mayor a huge amount of credit for putting himself out there, which I think took a lot of courage to do, he said. But I would also have a lot of empathy that this particular time may not have been the right time for him to do it. There may have been some other things going on in his life and it wasnt the right level of priority for him.

For so many people, losing weight is a process that can be filled with many ups and downs before something finally clicks, Mr. Kirchhoff said.

The notion of somebody failing in a given attempt is simply part of the process, he said. My point of view is, cut the guy a break. If one particular effort didnt work, dont call it a failure, it doesnt make him a failure. This particular time at bat he didnt swing well, but thats not to say that he should quit baseball.

Dieting and deprivation dont work

For Mr. Kirchhoff, the real change took place when he stopped looking at weight loss as a one-time goal and began viewing it as a shift toward a healthier lifestyle. I think one mistake people make is they try to change every single thing in their life at once and they try to do it very fast and that never works, he said.

The reason why so many people tend to fail when trying to lose weight is they expect a miraculous and massive achievement to happen overnight. The truth is, success comes from slogging it out over years, not days or weeks.

Eventually, healthy routines become automatic. Mr. Kirchhoff now exercises every day and eats a breakfast of plain oatmeal loaded with fruit every morning. Compare that to a few short years ago, when he rarely hit the gym and would regularly indulge in greasy meals.

My point is that these things arent conscious decisions that Im making day in and day out, he said. Theyve really become sort of automatic. Really, the only way to permanently deal with a weight issue is not to make it a test of willpower but rather to make it an automatic behaviour.

Thats why Mr. Kirchhoff doesnt believe in deprivation diets or banning certain types of food. Instead of doing without, he has tailored his diet so that it features food that is satisfying and filling. You have to lose this notion of living in deprivation, he said. I eat a lot of food. I really do. If you saw the quantity of food I ate, you might be a little bit shocked.

Out of sight, out of mouth

Everyone has at least one unhealthy trigger food that can make them want to quit any diet. For Mr. Kirchhoff, its ice cream. Last weekend, he spotted some in the downstairs freezer in his home and his knees started to shake.

Surprisingly, he said people shouldnt give up their trigger foods and instead should learn to live with the temptation.

Since we live in a junk-food-saturated world, Mr. Kirchhoff says the best way to avoid temptation is to adapt your personal environment. Avoid keeping tempting foods in the house, or if you cant, at least keep them out of sight.

Mr. Kirchhoff accomplished this by asking his daughters to keep ice cream downstairs in the family home and serve it there so he doesnt have to always see it. Out of sight, out of mouth, he said. If you have a trigger food, dont fight it because youll lose. Its kind of like water torture or something. Eventually youre going to break.

Its not a huge setback to occasionally indulge in bad foods, but the key is maintaining control. One of the reasons some people get frustrated and quit is that they cant resist their trigger food, he said: They have this notion that I should be strong enough to have the willpower to not have any of the ice cream.

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  1. Reply

    I Am A Teenager What Are Some Weight Loss Tips And Ways To Appear Thinner? I am a teenager and I need help so please help me… I’m desperate. I want a higher self esteem.
    Please, can someone give me some weight loss tips like high calorie burning excersices, health food, some sort of plan and also tips to appear thinner. Thanks!

      • HealthNut
      • June 20, 2012

      Some easy weight loss tips :

      Eliminate Eating Junk Food.
      Drink a Lot of Water
      Reduce the Size of Your Portions
      Lower Your Calorie Consumption Without Deprivation
      You Want to Start Exercising Regularly
      Sleep Well- Practice a Good Night Sleep

  2. Reply

    Does Anyone Know Any Good Weight Loss Tips? I’ve been struggling for the past few months to drop the last few pounds I need to fit in my cheer uniform from last year. Does anybody know any good, fast, sufficient weight loss tips that can help me drop 10-15 pounds by at least January? Please help!

      • HealthNut
      • June 20, 2012

      The best advice I could ever give you is losing weight takes time. If you’ve tried and failed many times (which is what I am going through), you have to start slowly. Maybe start cutting out bad things in your diet little by little. You can’t expect to go from eating sugary processed foods and not exercising much to extreme healthy eating and exercising 7 days a week in one day, or even one week. You have to learn to control yourself and that means start small and keep everything under control. Another VERY important thing to remember is to NEVER EVER EVER give up! No matter if you go a whole week eating junk foods and not exercising, that does not mean you have to give up and never reach your goals. Just think, well, next week I’ll do better and get back on track. You have to believe you can do it. You have to want it for yourself and no one else.

      Exercise at least 5 times per week. I suggest strength training and cardio. Let’s say Monday you walk/run for 30 minutes, then Tuesday you would do push ups and sit ups and planks, and squats and then take a break Wednesday and start back up on Thursday.

      As far as your eating you really need to watch what you eat! That is the most important step. Portion control is important. If you normally get a big dinner, then cut the amount of food you get in half and that will help a lot. Another way is to get your plate and only eat 3/4 of the food you have on your plate.

      Eating healthy, lean meats, whole grain breads, and staying away from sugary things and high calorie foods. Always remember that cutting out something bad with something healthy really makes a difference. Drinking sodas and eating candy bars is empty calories. If you replace those things with a whole grain waffle or one small piece of dark chocolate it will really help.

  3. Reply

    What Is Are Some Of Your Favorite Weight Loss Tips? What are some of your most succesfull weight loss tips?? I have my few that I live by, but I am looking for some tips on cutting down. Please only share different/ unique tips.
    I know about all the common ones…. lots of water lots of rest six small meals etc.

    thank you so much in advance!

      • HealthNut
      • June 20, 2012

      Hi CollegeGirl

      In my opinion, no weight loss tips are truly successful on their own. Lots of water is not necessarily a good way, because how much water a person needs depends on the BMI of the person. 6 small meals maybe hard at times, especially when you are stuck at school or office and have no chance to eat, and then you need to eat more when you have the chance. Well, dieting is a good way to lose weight, but then it is hard to stick to a diet. For example, something like this:

      2 egg, low fat Cheddar cheese omelette – 320 calories
      2 slices wholemeal toast with thin smear butter – 200 calories
      Large slice melon – 47 calories

      Spicy Turkey Salad recipe – 304 calories

      Muesli or honey nut Health Bar “Sainsbury” – 180 calories

      Baked potato with 100g “Heinz” baked beans &/or Cottage cheese if desired – 300 – 400 calories (350 average)
      Large helping salad fruits &/or vegetables – 100 calories

      Another weight loss tip is to do interval and turbulence exercise.

      Turbulence Training is a fresh plan that requires finishing three 45-minute exercise sessions each week with marginal equipment. It is an increasingly trend-setting fitness plan with the intention of helping you in the reduction of weight.

      Interval training is the fitness world’s equivalent of a visit to the in-laws. The shorter and more intense the visit, the better. An interval is a short period of exercise performed at a given intensity for a specific length of time. Each interval is separated from the next interval by a short rest or lighter activity. There are no strict rules on how long or how intense the interval must be, however, changing the interval length or intensity changes the way your body works and responds to exercise.

      But people have a short willpower. It may be strong at the beginning but will eventually fade as time goes on- as they realize that going on a diet is not actually as easy as they think it is. Of course, the strength of willpower differs from one person to another. This is the reason why there are people who can actually maintain a diet and exercise program for 1 year and there are people who can only maintain it for few months. Nonetheless, willpower is a big factor that dictates someone whether to continue losing weight or not.

      And in my opinion, besides sticking to a diet and exercise plan, it is the ultimate willpower to stop yourself from overeating that is the #1 tip to lose weight. But that is the hardest part if you are accustomed to eating lots of food even though your body does not need it. It is partly because of the delicious taste of the food causing a craving for more. There are certain ways to fight this craving ad I found one that maybe helpful. It is a type of chocolate that can actually suppress your appetite. It will can provide Good Energy that promotes a healthy weight by providing energy while burning fat. And it helps suppress cravings for sugary snacks.

      Good luck!

      PS: Information on the Special Chocolate that I mentioned can be found on the website in the source box. Recently, they are giving away a one month free trial.

  4. Reply

    What Websites Have Good Weight Loss Tips? Does anyone know of any websites that have helpful (and free!!) weight loss tips?

      • HealthNut
      • June 20, 2012

      Try this AWESOME diet program — “Spark People”. It’s a FREE website (www.sparkpeople.com) that actually works!! It’s SOOO helpful in losing weight, finding exercises, and tracking your progress! It is run by nutritionists, and it encourages a healthy/balanced diet (no fads!). You can track food eaten, read articles about nutrition, exercise, and motivation, talk to experts, receive motivation from other dieters, look up exercises that will work for you, and SO much more! I belong to it and LOVE it!!!! Please check it out – you won’t be disappointed!!!!

      If you join, please state that I (matcm81) referred you. Thanks and GOOD LUCK!!

  5. Reply

    I Am 5foot 11 Inches Tall And Weight 230lb. Can Any Body Give Me Some Weight Loss Tips Or Diets? Hi. I am a 15 year old kid, who is 5’11, 230lb. And I need some weight loss tips before school starts. I work out alot. I play high school football, and competitive baseball in the summer. During football I lose all of my weight, but after that I gain all of my weight for baseball season. Please HELP!!! What can I do?

      • HealthNut
      • June 20, 2012

      No fats , no sugars and no junk food plus all the exercise you can manage ,

  6. Reply

    Can Somebody Give Me Some Weight Loss Tips? I’m sixteen, six foot one and play Volley Ball like nine months out of the year between School, Club and my Advanced Volley Ball gym class, but I can’t seem to get my weight under 200lbs. I know it’s not terribly bad because of my height but just knowing that I’m over weight puts a real damper on my self esteem can anyone help by giving me some weight loss tips whether they be exercise, healthy foods, or anything else you’ve used to lose weight?

      • HealthNut
      • June 20, 2012

      Of course, physical activity helps lose weight, but do not over exert yourself. Do not skip meals either and do not try and starve yourself! There are plenty of healthy foods out there to eat. You can just stay away from fast foods, fatty foods, foods with lots of sugar and lots of salt. You can stay away from carbonated drinks. Water is really good for you. Do not try and lose a lot of weight in a short period of time, usually a rebound effect will happen and you will gain it all back. So, lose weight in a reasonable amount of time. I’m trying to drop some weight myself. I try not to eat as much, because I love to eat! It is better to eat in smaller portions more times a day than eating 3 huge meals daily. Like you can have a little breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner but in smaller portions. I like to get on my Wii Fit Plus because it records my weight and the exercises are not that intense. But you can try walking, running if you are in shape for it. Do not do more than you can handle. But while exercising make sure you drink plenty of water but NOT too much water! Just enough. You dont want to dehydrate yourself or overhydrate yourself. Plus it is a lot of online tips out there for weight loss. Hope this helps and Good Luck!

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