Forget facts. Here’s how to lose weight.

By Leila Sales

At the beginning of 2006, a good 60 percent of the U.S. population resolved to lose weight. Admittedly, this may not be a true statistic, but it probably is, since I know about three people who are content with their weights, and all of them are under the age of seven. (This, too, may not be a true statistic, but whatever. You know my heart is in the right place.)

Fortunately, I am here to share poorly researched and scientifically invalid weight-loss tips. Unlike Dr. Atkins or Dr. South Beach, I am no health expert, nor am I obscenely wealthy. However, I have had weight for at least 21 years now, so I think I know a little something about which weight-loss techniques do and don’t work.

What doesn’t work:

All-Liquid Diets: I tried this once. I ate only chocolate milkshakes and vodka for a couple days, but I didn’t actually lose any weight. This method is a scam.

Exercising: OK, I’ve dealt with this before: exercise is demeaning, debilitating, delegitimizing, etc. Moreover, exercise makes you sweat, which in turn makes you thirsty, which means you have to drink a lot of liquids, like chocolate milkshakes and vodka. As I may have already mentioned, consuming liquid is a bad plan.

Counting Calories: Calories are little units of things that measure how good a particular food tastes. I don’t know what a calorie looks like because I’ve never actually seen one. I assume they resemble cells, or possibly atoms. Once you consume a calorie, it links arms with those cells (or atoms) already living in your thighs, and they become BFF and stay 2-gether 4-ever.

Counting calories is supposed to make you stop eating so many, but I’m not sure why. Personally, I can count to 3000 just as easily as I can count to 2000. Such is the value of a U of C education.

What does work:

Being Poor: Sometimes I consider buying a Hostess Cupcake, but then I realize that, no, I can’t, because the sum total of cash in my wallet is $1.31, and I’m saving that to buy a functioning highlighter. So then I don’t eat the cupcake, thus losing weight. Even if I later find myself hungry, I make do by eating nutrients that are easily found around my apartment, such as brown sugar. Brown sugar is not a “refined” sugar, nor is it a “carbohydrate,” so, as far as I can tell, it is a health food.

Being Rich: Have you ever noticed how all rich people are really thin? For proof, I refer you to Beyonce, Tara Reid, and Kofi Annan. There is a clear causal link between celebrity and waifness.

But how do the wealthy maintain their bodies? Easy: They hire people to exercise for them. If Beyonce wants to lose five pounds, she just pays some poor sucker to run a hundred miles on a treadmill while she, Beyonce, eats sundaes.

I admit this may seem improbable. However, Beyonce does use her money to attach expensive electrodes to her ass, which then work her individual butt muscles without her ever having to stand up. I know this is true because I read it in the Red Eye.

Being Neurotic: Neuroses burn a lot of calories. This is why people who constantly fret about dying in freak accidents are so spry and often live into their 90s (unless they actually die in a freak accident, in which case they’re not spry so much as dead). Of course, if you’re one of those people who continually snack, when anxious, then you should skip this particular technique and move on to

Being Late: Much like being brunette or sociopathic, being late is a character trait that some people are born with and few people manage to overcome without intensive psychotherapy. Late people are usually despised by their classmates, professors, and coworkers because they are a huge inconvenience, but you know what? This doesn’t matter because they are so thin. They get to be this thin because they always have to run to get to meetings. It’s like exercise, without the bit where you have to put on gym shorts. Meanwhile, everyone else gets to meetings early and spends the extra time talking about how they hate late people.

Sleeping: If I ever decide to become a millionaire, I will write a weight-loss book and entitle it “The Sleeping Diet.” Here’s a brief synopsis: Sleeping is eight hours a day when you cannot possibly be eating food. If you’re me, sleeping is 12 hours a day when you cannot possibly be eating food. It’s foolproof!

Does this sound like a bestseller, or what?