Trying to Lose Weight in December? Try This.

Are you trying to lose weight in December?  Are you hoping to lose tonnage for the annual “Wear your bikini in December!” office Christmas party?  I hope not.  First, you cannot lose more than a few pounds in December unless you don’t mind gaining them all back (and more) in January. Second, if everyone in your office is going to wear bikinis, you had better wear a blindfold.

See the new poem at the bottom from Kate Jones.

Yes, The Holiday Season is here, along with multiple merry temptations.  The good news: it’s possible to lose weight in December, although we are all better off simply trying to not gain weight.

How to Lose Weight in December

This brings me to my book, The 16-Word Diet.  It makes a great, inexpensive Christmas gift – for yourself or for a friend.  If you read this blog regularly, then you know what you’ll get: sensible, science-based advice with no advertising or hype, plus frequent, unexpected humor.  And just in case your friend still loves Donald TrumpThe 16-Word Diet never mentions him.  Yes, that was hard for me to do.

The 16-Word Diet will teach you how to survive the Holidays without gaining any weight; even better, it will show you how to get off the weight loss roller coaster and maintain your new, slimmer body forever.

That’s correct: ‘slimmer’, not ‘SLIM!’.  The 16-Word Diet isn’t another ‘miracle instant weight loss!’ fantasy; it’s a survival guide for people who are tired of fast, fake ‘solutions’ to age-old problems – people who want a book written for adults, not for junior high school students. Check out the back cover:  The 16-Word Diet - for a thinner Christmas

No Fad Diets, No False Claims

I’m a mathematician with a thorough grounding in science. That’s why I frequently make fun of fad diets that promise quick-and-massive weight loss, or that recommend programs based on astrological signs, blood types, mysterious ancient herbs, magic combinations of foods, superfoods that burn fat, etc.  All those impressive-sounding fad diet claims are junk science. Fad diets are like a rash: they appear overnight, they spread at an alarming rate, they make your entire body feel miserable, and then they quickly disappear.  Avoid both.

The 16-Word Diet has a more permanent (and less itchy) approach. It uses real science to help you determine the best diet for your lifestyle. Personally, I prefer a protein-centered meal-plan, but if you prefer low-fat, go right ahead.  It’s your body, and all the research says that either eating plan can be successful if you simply build a healthy life around it – by following The 16 Words.

A Minor Insight, a Major Step Forward

This relatively minor insight – that both low-fat and low-carb can be healthy and successful – is unique in the stagnant diet book industry, which hasn’t had an intelligent new idea in decades.  Significant insights about weight loss have been drowned out by chest-beating authors who hang by their tails from every tree, loudly screeching that they have discovered the ‘Amazing Unique Secret to Successful Weight Loss”. Unfortunately, there is no amazing unique secret. However, if you promise to buy The 16-Word Diet if I hang by my tail and screech loudly, I’ll consider it. A guy has to make a living.

The 16-Word Diet explodes dozens of popular myths about dieting and replaces them with three simple keys to losing weight permanently and (more important) living a longer, healthier life. As an example of its unusual approach, the book begins with a surprise: Don’t start to diet. Seriously!  Here’s an excerpt from the introduction that explains why:

Start with a Realistic Plan

Confusion“Most dieters do no planning before they start, unless you count reading the directions on a bottle of magic diet pills as planning. And yet, if those same people wanted to go on vacation, they would prepare carefully. They would choose a destination, book a hotel, purchase plane tickets well in advance, buy some clothes, and then pack their things a day or two before they left. Shouldn’t a new lifestyle be planned as carefully as a vacation to Disneyland?”

“That’s why The 16-Word Diet is so different. It doesn’t focus on what you should or should not eat; it focuses on how you can live a slimmer, healthier life for the rest of your life, regardless of what you eat. Just as important, it shows how to have less stress and guilt if your body isn’t a Perfect 10. Mine isn’t, and I love my life.

“I started to diet when I was four (seriously!) and kept failing until I was past fifty. Today, I’ve been successful for more than a decade. You can be successful, too, despite previous failures, if you are simply patient. Are you trying to lose three sizes for that wedding/bar-mitzvah/communion/reunion/clothing-optional-booze-cruise that you are going to attend three weeks from Saturday? I can’t help you. Do you want to lose weight and maintain it for years, until it becomes your new normal? Read the book. And while you do, remember that it’s a survival guide. And fun. Not as much fun as a clothing-optional booze cruise, but fun.”

End of excerpt.  As I said earlier, this isn’t an ordinary diet book.

The 16-Word Diet: A Survival Guide for Dieters

To be successful, you don’t need magic supplements or fancy recipes; you need skills. Specifically, you need skills that will teach you how to live a healthy life at a significantly lower weight. For example:

  • How do you prepare yourself before you start to lose weight?
  • How do you choose reasonable, achievable goals?
  • What are the most common mistakes people make when starting a diet?
  • How do you choose between low-fat and high-fat?
  • What do you need to know about sugar and fat? (No technical jargon or confusing chemical lessons, just practical advice.)
  • What makes us slip after months of success? How can we recover?
  • What is the true value of exercise to your body?
  • How should you handle weight-loss plateaus?
  • How can you stop bingeing?
  • How do you manage vacations and holidays?

Ten important topics (there are many others) yet only one specifically describes the food plan you should choose; again, dieting is about so much more than food.

Okay, so it’s useful. But is it fun?  A few random quotes:

Diet Books Should Wake You Up, Not Put You to Sleep

  • Ponce de Leon's route on four voyages to the New WorldOn Finding the Best Diet: Most dieters spend their lives in a futile search, like Ponce De Leon, for the Eternal Fountain of Skinny.  Sorry, Ponce, it doesn’t exist.
  • On Finding the Worst Diet: People on the Raw Food Diet don’t cook anything, including meat. Raw vegetables make perfect sense, but… Raw pork? Raw chicken? They may lose weight, but who wants to kiss them?
  • On The Paleo Diet: If you want to live a true Paleo lifestyle, you can’t shop in the supermarket. You’ll need to move to the Amazon rainforest and become a hunter-gatherer, or stay home and learn to live on wild plants and road kill.
  • On Crash Diets: Sooner or later, every crash diet is broken.  Breaking one is like falling off a cliff – you scream and flap your arms and curse the Gods, but nothing can stop your fall. That’s why it’s called crash dieting, not smart dieting.
  • On Finding the Best Diet #2: Every year, US News and World Report ranks The DASH Diet as the best. They never learn. When illustrated on an attractive spreadsheet, DASH is excellent. However, it flops when followed by actual humans, who prefer food that does not taste like an attractive spreadsheet.
  • On a Study of Eating Patterns and ED: The study was based on questionnaires asking men to remember how often they had experienced ED during the previous four years. Seriously? I can remember how often I’ve slept in an igloo with Jennifer Lawrence during the last four years, but not much else.
  • On Hydration: Drinking eight glasses of water a day is great advice if you’re a flounder. If you’re human, it’s a silly myth that refuses to die.
  • On Exercising: “I can’t exercise because it’s too cold/it’s too hot/it’s raining.” That’s the old ‘bad weather’ excuse. I used it when I hadn’t finished my homework. I was eight. How old are you?
  • On Juicing: Juicers are to fine dining what organ grinders are to fine music. Best enjoyed in small doses.
  • On Vitamins: Has a single emergency room doctor ever left a single operating room to proclaim, “If my patient hadn’t been taking that daily vitamin pack from Costco, we would have lost him!”?  Probably not.
  • On Magic Supplements: I refuse to swallow green vegetable supplements, dried algae, spirulina, or anything else that looks like a powdered leprechaun.
  • On Maintenance: Losing weight is a hard fight, but maintaining a weight loss is mixed martial arts combat. If you don’t prepare in advance, you will be clobbered.

The 16-Word Diet - Front coverIf you want a thinner Christmas, this year and every year, The 16-Word Diet can help.  Order it from Amazon, as a softcover or for your Kindle.   Questions?  Write to me:  


From Poet Kate Jones, a long-time Reader:

Jay’s book is a bonanza

For not getting fat from Kwanzaa.

I’ll be thinking of getting thinner

While I’m having Christmas dinner!

You’ll be more svelte, not gaucher

If your Chanukah is kosher.

And since Festivus is secular,

Eat to keep your BM’s regular.

Happy holidays, Jay!

— Kate

Note: Please feel free to forward this post to your friends, relatives, and co-workers. Better yet, buy several copies and give them to your friends, relatives, and co-workers.  It will make a wonderful gift for Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, or Festivus.


Jay Wiener, humorist and wellness writer, is the author of The 16-Word Diet.  He’s also the mathematician who wrote the algorithm for WeightZone, the elusive, long-awaited scientific replacement for the BMI.  After surviving a massive heart attack at fifty and then losing over 100 pounds (45.5 kg.), Jay began writing about wellness. He is a popular motivational speaker; write to him at: at