The 4 Physical Laws of Dieting

Physical Law of Attraction and Dieting
Photo Courtesy of Michael V Sutherland

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Charlie Hills who can be found at Back To The Fridge. He is the author of Why Your Last Diet Failed You and How This Book Won’t Help You on Your Next One, a humorous commentary on dieting not designed to help anybody.

Odds are you’ve been dieting for just as long as I have. And by now you’re familiar with the mechanics of weight loss. You know the basic premises. (“Burn more calories than you take in!”) You know the numbers. (“It takes an extra 3,500 calories to gain a pound.”) But I bet you haven’t heard these laws. (Probably because I made them up.)

Here they are: The Physical Laws of Dieting:

Law I. Weight returns at five times the velocity at which it was lost.
Unfortunately, most of us are all too familiar with this law. In some ways, this seems impossible. “How can it take five days to lose two pounds and only one day to get it back!? That’s not fair!” Well, unfortunately, life isn’t fair and this is just the way it works. Why? Because you can’t eat fewer than zero calories per day but you can eat five thousand or more if you really put your mind to it. What to do: If your diet is going well, here’s a helpful tip: don’t blow it. How? Well if I knew that, I’d be king of the world.


Law II. Any dietary straying, no matter how seemingly insignificant, causes instantaneous Diet Reversal.
Oh, we’ve all experienced this. You do well all week long then on Friday night you figure you deserve a little treat. So you have pizza. Oops. Does your body forgive you? Are you allowed to take a mulligan? Of course not. What to do: Giving yourself a food treat for losing weight is a lot like winning a Million Dollar Bake-Off and then shredding the check to celebrate your win. What’s wrong with you?

Law III. No diet, no matter how well it’s going, can survive Thanksgiving.
I don’t know about you, but the forty-day feed fest from Thanksgiving to New Year’s gets me every single time. I try. I really do. But no diet in history has ever been built to withstand a head-on collision with pumpkin pie. What to do: Remove all possible temptation by relocating to an uncharted island. There Mary Ann and Ginger can keep you on a strict diet of coconut and crab. In fact, you might enjoy this so much you’ll find yourself sabotaging the Professor’s rescue plans every single week.

Law IV. Informing others of your progress immediately halts progress.
I can’t be the only one this has happened to. You start your diet on Monday and by Thursday morning you’re miraculously down six pounds. You’re so excited you tell everyone you know, whether in person or by keyboard. But come Friday morning, you’re suddenly five pounds heavier. It’s a sinking feeling, but you brought it upon yourself. What to do: This one is obvious: never, ever tell anyone how well you’re doing. Even when you’ve lost fifty pounds and everyone asks, “Have you lost weight?” tell them, “No, I’m just wearing vertical stripes.”

So there you have it. I know it’s not pretty, but it’s the truth. I’m actively lobbying to see if I can get any of these laws repealed. So far, no such luck. I’ll keep you posted.

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. Very funny… Thanks.

  2. JohnNo Gravatar says:

    Then there is also Murphy’s law…

  3. TomNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah these are all spot on. I don’t see how anyone’s diet can survive Thanksgiving, or any of the other winter holidays. This is a good piece, thanks for posting it.

  4. Wow that’s brilliant never saw it like that. Thanks.

  5. Ha! Great article… so true… Unfortunately we are all on a diet – our diet is what we eat! Without our diet we’d die… These days I don’t eat sugar and only eat raw foods during the day. I just tell people its my choice of lifestyle – that has such a better ring than ‘I’m on a diet’. That way when you ‘slip up’ you don’t find yourself falling back quite as far!

  6. NecklaceNo Gravatar says:

    Oh, great!
    It’s my first time to know LAWS of Dieting.

  7. You got Law 1 absolutely right. If you start on a healthy diet, don’t stop because it could spell disaster for you and you’ll end up putting a bunch back on.

  8. Stron OneNo Gravatar says:

    Maybe you could incorporate these laws with Murphy’s Laws?
    Great post.

  9. …not very inspiring for losing weight. I think these laws only further highlight the need for a balanced diet approach which is not too restritive. Gradual weight loss is much more sustainable. Any time you lose weight quickly it is because you have taken drastic measures, which also mean it is hard to follow and then easy to give up when things get too tough.

  10. Coral SnakeNo Gravatar says:

    it may be difficult .. but one has to keep stron and not give into temptation!

  11. Well, interesting ‘laws’ to have made up, but I completely disagree with all but the first (which is more of a feeling than a law anyways).

    I think it’s perfectly fine to have a cheat meal in a week, it’s helps you stay motivated and not feel like you’re always missing out.

    If that cheat meal is turkey and gravy, so be it.

    And informing your friends is a good way to motivate each other.

  12. II – I have done this so many times, it’s called the weekend. I do great during the week, then the weekend comes and put most of my weight back on.

    III and IV – Hilarious.

  13. SwarovskiNo Gravatar says:

    These are 4 nice tips, especially the second one.

  14. Funny laws! One has to be very determined and have will power in order to meet and exceed a goal.

    Great post!

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