I am a true believer in that there are basic components, or a foundation, to basically anything. From math to language to exercise. When it comes to losing weight I believe that foundation is fairly simple, burn more calories than you consume. How you go about that is your business and in part that is why I chose to start this thread. I want to share my specific journey and invite you guys to share what has worked for you, or if you don't care about weight loss and why. I think we have all seen this video at some point: I'd like to address each point as it has related to my journey. Step 1: No Beer. I no longer drink in the quantities I used to. 12 years ago I used to go out A LOT and get drunk often. even up to 8 years ago I was able to drink a beer every night with dinner and be fine. But starting about 5-6 years ago I noticed that if I had a beer everyday with dinner by the end of the week I had a little belly. So I cut back. I hardly drink now, can't even say how often like once a month, because I have completely lost track. It has been about 6 years since I started cutting back and it is usually relegated to special occasions like watch a sporting event with friends or dining out with family. Step 2: Portion Control. This is a big one. In the U.S portions are HUGE, not to mention the quality of the food isn't the greatest. combine that with late, heavy dinners and it is a recipe for fatness. Since moving back to Mexico 6 months ago to the day, portion control has been easier, finding fresh foods/ingredients has also been easier and cheaper. Our heavy meal is lunch, not dinner, between 1 and 3pm instead of the 6-9 dinner schedule in the U.S. Thus eating smaller portions, culturally being able to have lighter dinners, etc. has aided in that regard to. Step 3: Get your heart broken. I'll be the first to admit, this is more for the sake of humor in the video than a necessary step. Hell in theory they are all unnecessary as long as you burn more than you consume. Your diet is different than that of an athlete as you don't burn as much as they do. Also, people handle depression very differently. For some it can be counterproductive as they "eat their feelings" to cope with it and eating MORE instead of less and usually junk food with little to no nutrition and high empty caloric content. I am of those that when depressed doesn't want to do ANYTHING, including eating. I don't even get hungry. I force myself to eat even if the food doesn't have any flavor, because I have to for survival, not because I want to or am hungry. I am currently going through a divorce which will be finalized in just a few days and in a way, because of the depression, it has helped in eating smaller meals. I do have to go off on a tangent here. Again, everyone reacts to their depression differently. Also, there is a difference between being depressed due to an event (break up, death of a loved one, losing your job, etc.) and SUFFERING from depression. People who suffer from depression are depressed with seemingly no apparent reason. They have a job, a good relationship, friends, etc, but are still depressed (not sad, there is a difference). It is a constant demon that one has to learn to live with and channel as it can never be slain, only kept at bay. Thus dealing with situational depression while already suffering from depression makes it extra difficult difficult. [/tangent] In the video, to deal with the depression the narrator says to get your shit straight and join a gym. I don't fully agree with that. The point is not to join a gym, the point is to do exercise and KEEP BUSY. Exercise and social interaction (hang out with your friends) releases endorphins and make you feel better. But you don't have to spend money on a monthly membership. My exercise has been taking public transportation. Walking to the bus, holding on to dear life while on the bus (Mexican public buses are like riding roller coasters and can be a full body work out), then walking to the light rail station then to school/work and back home. I walk so much my legs are rock solid. Something that hasn't happened since i did track and field in high school. Even my arms and chest are slightly defined from just riding the bus. I also take my dogs out for walks. 6 months ago I was 220lbs (100kg) and Have lost 39lbs (18kg) in said 6 months just doing the above. This week was the first week in 3 months I worked out consistently and at home with cheap dumbbells I got at Wal-Mart and using my home's staircase for inclined workouts (push-ups, triceps, etc.) I only do 30 minutes to compliment the 2 hours of walking/riding I do a day and only after a week I can see results, not to mention feel GREAT. Step 4: No Fruit Juice. This one I don't follow. I decided to cut down on sugar, but it is VERY hard to eliminate it as it is EVERYWHERE. I like to joke that even salt has sugar, because of how pervasive it is. It is easier to just cut it down than eliminate it. So, no point in not drinking fruit juice if you are still eating chocolate/candy bars, drinking soda, eating ice cream, etc. What I have done is I eat as much candy/chocolate as I drink beer, VERY rarely. I water down the fruit juice by filling half the glass with juice and the other half with water. This lowers the sugar content I am consuming and makes the juice last longer. Also careful with brand and packaging of the juice. As an example, when I was still in the States, Wal-Mart brand Guava juice had 40 grams of sugar per serving. Yes you read that right, 40 grams. The Mexican brand JUMEX Guava juice in a carton package had 22. However the JUMEX aluminum can version had 30 grams. Still less than Wal-Mart's, but still fairly high. In Conclusion, do you HAVE TO go to the gym to lose weight? No, just burn more than you consume, I am currently working out for definition, more than weight loss. Do you have to have your heart broken? Of course not, but correctly channeling negative emotions like depression and anger can be very productive. What I'm saying here is, you don't have to QUIT anything, cut back on it, modify it sure, but you can still eat and drink what you love AND lose weight. It does, however, take commitment and self-control. What do you guys do or don't do?