H2G2 Weight Losers

23 Conversations

A small group of Researchers are trying to lose weight together. (Follow this link to see the initial conversation.) We are now posting to this entry - see thread "The conversation continues".

The thinking is: if doing things like this in a group is supposed to be more effective, then the larger the group, the more effective it will be. Anyone can join in at any time. Obviously we are relying on each other to be honest and any extreme losses of weight reported within one week will simply not be recorded in the table below. Even if you really did lose that much, a loss of over 5 lbs in one week would not be healthy and will not count.

Trillian's Child; 26 September 2001

The members

Progress so far

Well - we used to have about a dozen members here, and their weight loss was shown on a colourful graph. This is no longer possible, so we are starting again from scratch as of Saturday, 23 September 2001. Aha! Christmas coming up again!!

The table starts at '0' for everybody, and recorded is not your actual weight, but your LOSS since that date.

Some people weigh themselves in kg (one pound = 500 g) and some in imperial pounds (454 g), so this is not for mathematical perfectionists!

Weight LOSS in pounds (imperial or metric) per week

 29 Sept 20016 Oct 200113 Oct 200120 Oct 200127 Oct 2001
Cheerful Dragon0    
St. Broelan0    
Trillian's Child0    


Well, allegedly, it

  • makes you thinner
  • makes you fitter
  • makes you more energetic
  • makes you more active
  • gives you a more positive outlook
  • improves your skin and general appearance
  • makes you more attractive
  • boosts your self-confidence
  • adds turbo to your libido…..

So why isn't the world full of thin, ebullient, extroverts with insatiable sex drives?

Well, you see, there are also the joys of:

  • chocolate
  • booze
  • cuddling up together in front of the fire (instead of going for brisk walks in the cold wind)
  • cocoa
  • chocolate cake
  • fruit cake
  • more chocolate
  • more cake
  • crisps
  • chips that warm you right down inside in a wet dark wintery street when you've still got quite a way home
  • more chocolate
  • more cake
  • chocolate cake
  • chocolate digestives
  • watching sports rather than participating
  • lifts instead of stairs
  • Roast potatoes, oozing with fat…

OK - So how do we do it?

There are, of course, many ways to go about this, and as everyone's make up is different, there is no ultimate solution - everyone must find out what suits their way of life, their temperament, their taste and how much their will power will take. Then you have to try these out and find which kinds work.

Maybe over the weeks the members of this project will find some good ways of losing weight.


According to women's magazines and half the books in the bookshops, there are as many diets as there are foodstuffs. In the long run, it is not considered a good idea to plump for a sherry and pineapple diet, or a yoghurt diet, or a dandelion diet, but to eat sensibly and varied and to set your sights at a less perilous height, planning to lose weight over a longer period.

Two systems that are more philosophies than diets, but which seem to come out on top when people have been asked for their success formulae are:

The Hay's diet…

where you avoid eating certain foods in conjunction with others. Although doctors cannot agree with this system, as there is no medical proof that it makes sense, it has caused weight reduction in so many people that it cannot be ignored. Very often, losing weight was not even the aim of the diet, just a straightening out of the digestive system or to reduce the strain on the system in other ways.

Fat reduction.

This may even be the only diet. We eat far too much fat, because the hidden fat content in many foodstuffs in a far higher than you would expect. And fat, let's face it, is what enhances the taste of all our favourite sinful things.

Cheerful Dragon recommends:

cut back on fatty foods - pizzas, chips, take-aways of all kinds. My weight really started to drop when I did this.

Red petals also had some degree of success with fat reduction:

I have however managed to lose about 7 kilos in 5 months but now I cannot budge the last few kilos. I did not do a strict diet I just counted my fat content and had what I call a proper food routine, for the first time in about 10 years I now have breakfast.

Also, there is the Atkin's Diet

Suggestions have cropped up in the forum (based on experience) that

  1. It is a matter of organisation
  2. Starting by cutting out caffeine (coffee and tea) starts a chain of developments which involve improved sensitivity of the taste buds, leading to a preference for fruits, vegetables and making you less crazy about that old devil Chocolate Cake and his friends.

In all cases, it is certainly better, even if you are not on a diet, to eat "little and often", i.e. five small meals spread evenly throughout the day, rather than bingeing in the evening after not eating at all at breakfast or lunch time.

queeglesproggit has the following expert advice to add:

Our lady at the club talked at great length about various diets yesterday, not being
pleased with most of them.

The High Protein diet, mainly means eating lots of meat and fish and cutting down on
carbohydrate to a maximum of 20 a day. That's how many are in 1 apple! Plus
because you're skipping carbohydrates, you're not retaining water (hence the weight
loss) so you're thirsty all the time. When you're finished with this (it's not healthy to be
this way constantly) I presume you'd get back to retaining as much water as your
body needs to, so anything you've lost will just go back on again.

The Low Fat diet, which can actually be dangerous if you live this way. You need fat
for your brain, and there have been studies that show mental deterioration if you cut
out the fat in your diet.

Don't always go for more because it's less calories, i.e. pasta or bread, because
they're packed with carbohydrates, which turn to sugar in your body, have a little less
of something with more flavour that you'll enjoy more!

A balanced diet is the key.


They're always saying exercise is just as important as a healthy diet
Cheerful Dragon
Try to work some exercise into your day, at least 3 times a week. This not only makes you fitter and firms you up, it actually helps you to lose weight more quickly. Don't overdo it, though. Muscle weighs more than fat, as well as burning up more calories. It may be better if you look at what you measure as much as what you weigh.

Fat won't budge without exercise. Try to find an activity you enjoy and build it into your day. A brisk walk for half-an-hour at lunchtime is good. It doesn't require special equipment or sportswear, can be done anytime and you don't need to be fit to start off with
C Hawke

found out that it needn't be expensive, either:

I was thinking of increasing excercise by by an excercise bike but the cost put me off, then …. I was taking some oil to our local dump and sitting there in the For Sale part (a contractor goes through all the stuff dumped and sells the best) was an excercisebike, adjustable tension, computer (that works) hand action - all for £5. I couldn't let it go. So @ 13stone 5 (started the year @ 14 4) I am on the road again.

Just Zis Guy has spent most of the year 2000 working on his extra weight and recommends going to a gym and having a plan devised specifically for you. Determination is the clue. Here is an Entry he has written on the subject 'How to change the shape of your body'.

At the end of three weeks, having gone to the gym at 9pm every evening and arrived
home at 10pm, I had lost 14lb - one stone. After six weeks I was down to under 13st
1/2 stone...... I get a new programme every six to twelve weeks, because
you tend to hit a plateau about then where you're not improving. That's why all the
new years' resolution people leave in the middle of February. They get disheartened....What works: circuit training (or aerobics classes, but high-energy ones, like pump
classes). Cross-trainers - I burn a minimum of 350 calories per visit in one 15-minute
burst on the cross-trainer. Keeping in the weight-loss zone - get a heart-rate monitor,
and if necessary jog on the spot between exercises. And PACE yourself.

A short survey of our members as to which is their favourite form of exercise came up with

  • Walking, for the convenience
  • Swimming lengths


So how do we keep at it? Changing habits and willing yourself to diet must be the hardest challenges some of us ever take on.

  • Some people might be kept in line simply by following a strict food plan, or writing everything down that they eat
  • .
  • Others may find it helps to set yourself certain times to eat and sticking religiously to these.
  • It may suit some to eat alone.
  • Or it may help to do it in company
  • .
  • A letter to a woman's magazine I once read recommended only ever eating everything out of one very expensive dish.

If you turn to "comfort eating" when you are worried, upset or depressed, it's time to start looking for alternatives. broelan has this suggestion:

try this.....
find your favorite CD, with the best music on it, nothing depressing, put it in your
stereo and turn it up real loud. if you can't do this at home, try it in the car.

this works. if it is music that you truly love, you can't help but get caught up in it and
even better if it is upbeat or swingy, so you want to move to it too. dancing burns

The key criteria are that the music is:

  • loud - drowns out anything, including anything trying to keep you from cheering up,
    plus loud music just refuses to be ignored.
  • upbeat - something to get you moving, even if you're just wiggling around in the
    driver's seat. it's better than sitting there and brooding (or eating!)
    move! - dancing is excercise! burn calories, have fun, lose weight, and it beats the hell
    out of doing reps in a gym.

queeglesproggit's ultimate incentive :
I saw a programme once where a lady had received liposuction in a last effort to shift the pounds, she kept the removed fat in a jar in the fridge, to put her off gorging herself. I think that would makeanybody turn to rabbit food.

Cheerful Dragon has had some experience, here too, and joined us having already lost some weight. She recommends:

  1. Don't concentrate on your final weight. Set yourself 'milestones' - I use half-stone (7lb) milestones, and have a minor, non-food, celebration when I hit one.
  2. Give yourself incentives to lose weight. I'm paying myself £10 for every lb I lose, so I'll have £500 to spend when I hit my target.
  3. *Don't* use food as treats or rewards - it doesn't help.
  4. And don't regard certain foods as 'forbidden' - it makes the dieting process harder.
  5. Don't worry or give up if you 'break' your diet one day. Average out your calorie intake (if you're counting calories) over a week. If you go to a party one day, be a little stricter with yourself for the rest of the week.
  6. Other than that, ignore the height/weight charts and tables. Some are OK, but I've seen some that put my 'ideal weight' (even taking frame size into account) so low that I'd have to be anorexic to achieve it.
  7. The recommended rate is no more than 2lbs a week

Remember, it's not how quickly you lose the weight that matters. It's that you *do* lose it, and then keep it off. Good luck!

(Borrowed from another thread: Our friend Tiger Lilly, who is at the moment, pregnant, is not being so strict with herself at the moment, but she says that beforehand, she

"denied myself that cake with the use of a mental image of Kate Moss compared to myself in a bikini - it usually worked!"

Tashall's who joined us in mid-December, has started fully equipped:

I have got a diary where I log down everything I eat, how much exercise I do and how I felt that day. This means any "trouble spots" can be spotted before they cause me to eat badly, such as depression, anxiety. I can also look out for social functions, and "save"
points (i am following Weight Watchers eating plans) for then.

She also says:

I know from past experience that weight tends to drop quite quickly in the
first few weeks, particularly if you are very overweight like myself, but that soon
slows down to about 0.5 to 1kg per week if you are doing it sensibly and not
starving yourself.

I did not find the time nor the motivation to do much exercise, but this is going to
be key to budging the weight when I hit a plateau, so I am going to have to get
moving soon!

EVERYONE's so enthusiastic

Wandrin' Star's words of encouragement:

Thanks for starting this TC. Even if I don't knock any off I'm paying more attention to what I'm eating already

And broelan

bless you tc for such a wonderful idea. having a group to suffer with without the hassle of going to group meetings i love it!!!

I've never been comfortable revealing my weight, but i think converting it to stone might make it bearable (much smaller number, you see).

Other entries on this subject

A call for contributions on this subject produced masses of comments - some from our own members here and some from other Researchers. The final result appeared on 20 January 2001 and can be checked out here: How to lose and control weight

Outside the H2G2 Site

A web search has shown up the following links - does anyone want to try any out and report back as to their reliability? Or does anyone have any specific recommendations?

  • A Vegan Diet
  • Fit-ness. Will work out an individual diet and exercise régime.
  • Weight Watchers - From the Start Page you can select your home country. This one has already been recommended to us.

Some American-based sites:

  • e-dieting - draws up an individual diet for you. I went through the registration questionnaire and found it easy to answer. The 'blurb' is then most convincing, but for the moment, I didn't join ($25 for 3 months)
  • Diet DivasJazzy sort of page - all pink! Costs $94 for life.
  • Judy Citron This one crops up in great amounts in all searches.
  • Diet tip of the dayA free service "Tip of the Day" is e-mailed directly to you. The tip for today didn't seem much help, though, and I couldn't find a link to check out previous "Tips"
  • A Personal Dietitian. Tasteful site - looks quite helpful. You have to register, though.


I think we have done enough reading about it. Now to put the theories into practice!

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