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Two Guys Lose Weight: The nighttime is the wrong time

Day 11: Tony learns to keep his big mouth shut after he eats his dinner.

January 20, 2011|By Tony Pierce, Los Angeles Times
  • About 12,000 young people jam the beach near UC Santa Barbara for Floatopia, a beach party organized by students via Facebook.
About 12,000 young people jam the beach near UC Santa Barbara for Floatopia,… (Santa Barbara County Sheriff's…)

NOTE: This is a blog about two guys attempting to lose weight over a six-week period.  They kicked off their weight loss "strategies" on Jan. 10.

I was lucky enough to go to the greatest university in America. The picturesque beach-side school called UC Santa Barbara.

Besides the high-quality education, the respectable athletic teams and the ridiculously mild climes, UCSB also has a well-deserved reputation for being fun.

It's so fun that students often struggle to balance the good times with the primary reason for being there. And because the students wouldn't have been accepted to the school if they didn't have, among other things, a decent GPA (the average freshman enrolled in 2010 had a 3.92 high school GPA), they learn to adapt and be industrious. Particularly when hammered.

It was in that state that I overheard one student berate another for being too drunk too early in the school day. The tirade ended in a mantra I wish I had learned on my very first day. "If it's light out, study. If it's dark out, party."

Wisdom even the most simple student could remember.

RELATED: Join Tony and Jimmy in a live chat Today at 1 p.m. Click here and share your diet tips.

So many kids tried to "cram" late at night while the adjacent student ghetto Isla Vista raged. An impossible task for even the most well-intentioned student. Because how can you concentrate on the adventures of Robinson Crusoe, the philosophies of Jung or the sonnets of Shakespeare when 1,000 feet in one direction was the glorious Pacific and 1,000 feet in a different direction were hundreds of parties featuring free booze and fascinating peers.

Likewise, how is a guy not going to eat in the middle of the night when snacking and nibbling and savoring only compliment the television viewing and writing and video-game playing?

Here's how: When it's light out, eat smarter. When it's dark out, drink water.

If I have a small breakfast, a decent lunch and a normal, healthful dinner, there's no reason for me to put any more food in my big fat mouth that day. And the only reason I would be doing so is out of habit, not hunger.

RELATED:  Soul food is not sinful.

Well-intentioned commenters and doctors have criticized what I've eaten, but none of them has said the most simple thing: Keep your mouth shut after you leave the dinner table and you're bound to lose pounds.

Reduced-fat Wheat Thins, peanuts, carrots with hummus are all better than the Ding Dongs and Jack in the Box deep-fried tacos and Ben & Jerry's I have been accustomed to scarfing, but it's not like my new snacks are devoid of calories.

But water is. And water, going forward, will be the only thing I will ingest after dinner. And if I have to party, it will be a light beer, the closest thing to water you need ID for.

As always, I'll tell you how I do.

Food for the day: Granola bar and 8-ounce orange juice for breakfast. Chicken salad and Diet Dr. Pepper for dinner. About 12 pieces of sushi (salmon, albacore, scallops, tuna) and a Diet Coke for dinner. Granola bar and grape juice as a snack.

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