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Eating Paper to Lose Weight


Back in junior high school I was a typical fat kid. Uncomfortable in my own skin, I took the joke a science teacher once told and tried eating paper to lose weight. Now this isn’t a case of pica or some other eating disorder, I only tried it for a few days before I decided to stop being an idiot.

I remember it like it was yesterday. The school was David A. Stein Middle School 141 (M.S. 141) in Riverdale, New York. In eighth grade I attended the Academy (the Annex was the school in the 4th grade from P.S. 122. Thanks Jesse for setting me straight on that!), it was a section of the eighth grade that was housed in the basement of some tall building near the main school. I loved going there. I actually attended high school with some people from the Annex and recently found them on Facebook (add me as a friend if you on there by the way). I think the principal’s name was Mrs. Boothe. The science teacher’s name that made the joke escapes me. Any one from M.S. 141 remember him? He was the 70 year old science teacher that always wore the same suit and was always making unfunny jokes. He also wore glasses.

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On this particular day I was feeling extra self-conscious about my weight. The teacher, an older man with a toupée that always smelled like Pinaud/Clubman barber shop talc, made a joke about a friend having lost tons of weight by eating paper. According to his story, the paper would absorb the fat/junk/water from the body and cause you to lose weight. Coming from a science teacher, I was immediately sucked in. At that moment I decided that I would go to Woolworth’s on Broadway and pick up some construction paper. I told my mom that the money was for paper for an art project. Being the artist of the family, she never questioned me.

I chose construction paper because I figured that the thicker the paper the better absorption it would have. Rational thinking right? Well, let me tell you that this was some thick ass paper that was hard to swallow. I actually ate a regular loose leaf sheet of paper before diving into the thicker one but felt it was too thin. I’d eat about 2 sheets of construction paper before feeling full. The crazy thing was that I kept eating like normal for those few days that I ate paper. I could have really hurt myself now that I think about it.

Stupid, huh? Desperation kicked in man, I didn’t know what to about my fatness. And that solution, while stupidly insane, was a solution nonetheless for a young kid like me.

I’ve only told one person about this. And that was recently, which led to this post and video. I’ve kept this to myself for many, many years. Not out of shame for actually eating paper, but because I was embarrassed about having been so fat and desperate.

This is about eating healthy, nutritious foods and getting into good overall health. Stop it with the crazy diets and start taking baby steps towards a healthy way of life. It’s okay to eat junk in moderation if you need it, but know that your body would be better without it. It’s also important to know that no diet pill or miracle food is going to get you into shape.

Only you can do that. With that said, has anyone else ever eaten paper to lose weight?

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About the Author

My name is Israel Lagares. I used to be the kind of guy that was always in shape, but over the last few years I've fallen off tremendously. This site is my final attempt to get back into shape. So far I've lost 70.4 lbs. Check out my weight loss chart, weight loss videos and progress pics. Follow my journey, those of others, and read our thoughts on various health topics. Share your thoughts, experience, and journey here on FMU.

Community Thoughts (18)

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  1. Matt SNo Gravatar says:

    Good on ya for sharing bro.

    In the vid, I particularly like one thing you said. You talked about how a lot of skinny people are not in shape. You are absolutely correct!

    That was me. Underweight, 90% of my diet came from carbs, and I got sick every few months. Very little energy.

    A complete lifestyle transformation was in order, and now I’m getting closer to my goals every day!

    Keep on truckin.

  2. CindyNo Gravatar says:

    Righto! To build on the topic of skinny people being unhealthy…I remember reading an article where it discussed internal fat and it found a lot more skinnier people had internal fat wrapped around their organs. I think a nickname for it is Tofi. If you do a google search you should be able to bring up some articles and research info about it.

  3. Mr. MeltdownNo Gravatar says:

    Wow Israel!

    I am from NYC also and used to live on University Ave in the Bronx. I remember that school Middle School 141 (M.S. 141) lol.

    I know what you mean about some of those teachers and the crazy stuff they told kids.

    That story was crazy man but it is also an example of how cruel some people can be to children.

    Keep putting the word out man you’re a great inspiration to the weight loss community.

    • Israel LagaresNo Gravatar says:

      Thanks! I used to hand around University all the time. The support is welcomed and I wish you luck on your journey. Keep at it and you’ll be successful.

  4. JesseNo Gravatar says:

    Izzy his name was Mr. Antonelli and he was insane i am shocked you listened to a man like that . However , being in school with you and not i know it wasn’t easy with that group . You were a good friend then and now. I am proud of you for all of this Izzy. The academy sucked hahaha

  5. Matt SNo Gravatar says:

    Well, I basically just started lifting weights one day. Then I bought a protein supplement — then I realized that it would only *really* be beneficial if I ate well too. Then I ate more, ate too much (lol), and then cleaned up my diet.

    Currently I eat a minimum of 6 meals a day, almost no carbs except for beginning/during/after workout. I get a lot of healthy fats such as fish oils and flax. When I *do* have carbs, I try to keep the meals as fat free as possible. So essentially, I’m always eating either a protein+fat meal, or protein+carb meal. I learned that from Dr. John Berardi’s Scrawny to Brawny. He also founded Precision Nutrition.

    I’m following Eric Cressey’s Maximum Strength book (on a personal recommendation from Berardi).

    On non weightlifting days I am doing energy systems work such as HIIT or circuits!

    I try to hit about 4 20-30 min walks as well throughout the week.

  6. Matt SNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks! So far so good!

  7. Daniel RusuNo Gravatar says:

    Yes, very true, being skinny does not mean your in shape or healthy. A skinny person can be just as unhealthy as an overweight person.

  8. Todd29No Gravatar says:

    The only way to lose weight is to want to lose weight. It is not always easy to do, but eat to live don’t live to eat. Some type of daily regimen is needed by everyone; but stop dieting, your body needs nourishment. Diets and diet aids do not help anyone! The only way to successfully lose weight and get the body that you deserve is by using the right information.

  9. bubaNo Gravatar says:

    did it really work cuz i have a friend that loves to eat paper idk y she just started a couple of days ago. she kinda crazy but she looks like shes lost weight. well to all the peeps that read this EAT PAPER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! lol dude it works!!

  10. Eating paper to lose weight doesn’t sound really effective to me, lol. If you are serious about getting shape, then you should leave the jokes, take your ipod and start running ;)

  11. huh? eating paper? are you serious? Haha. but heeyy this one might be effective to fatty people. :D

  12. Joel HardyNo Gravatar says:

    I have heard it all now. No doubt there are plenty of other non-fat foods than paper. I do have to say that I eat the paper sticks from the bank’s little dum-dum suckers and I suppose that makes me a dum-dum. Good thing I don’t get to the bank very much

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