The diet and exercise program we outline above is pretty hardcore. Most of us like to eat more and exercise less. The reason we have to eat less than we need and exercise more than we're used to is that we have to shock our bodies to force them to lose weight. Once you've reached your target weight (note that it is not weight that is important, but bodily fatness -- look at yourself, not the scale), your life can become less hardcore.

Your life should not, however, go back to normal. "Normal," to most North Americans, means complete inactivity coupled with near-constant corn chip consumption. In order to keep the weight off you need to keep some moderate aspects of the extreme weight-losing life you've been living.

If you've been on our diet for a number of weeks, you've learned to count calories pretty well. You know what a 600-calorie meal looks and feels like, and you know that if you eat twice that much at a sitting, every sitting, you're almost certainly eating too much. Be conscious of how much you eat and remember the calorie counting tips you've learned, such as the number of calories you can unconsciously add through drinks, and the insane number of calories in high-fat foods. You don't have to keep religious track of every morsel you eat anymore, but you do need to be aware of what you eat. That should be good enough.

Now that you've slimmed down, you don't have to exercise every single day. We're not discouraging it; in fact, it would probably do you some good to get in at least a walk or something every day. We are aware, however that it takes up a lot of time and that it can be a pain. Why don't you try exercising three days per week? Or try four days. We aren't going to set an upper limit on it, but we'd like to propose a lower limit: more than nothing. Don't go back to a completely exercise-free life because it's not good for you, and it's going to be much harder to keep the weight off if you're sedentary. You've gotten used to doing a lot of exercise, so it's going to seem like a holiday if you cut that in half. Walk to work one way four times a week, or go swimming, or get in fights with cops (we're definitely kidding about this last one). Just do something.

And lay off the goddamn Slim Jims. You know what they put in those things?