The ultimate new member welcome post


If you’ve been directed to this post then Hi! Make yourself a cup of tea and settle down as it’s worth reading properly, if you follow the advice it contains then it will change your life. If you get confused by any of this then just ask and someone will help.

This post assumes that you KNOW NOTHING about how to lose weight and seeks to give you everything you need to change that. If you want more info on any of this then the MAN v FAT Weight Loss Manual covers it all in detail. Buying a copy also makes @admin so rich that he can afford to eat swan for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Understand why you got fat

Unless you understand why you gained weight then everything that follows afterwards is like filling the bath while the plug’s out. Be really, brutally honest with yourself and take some time to list out ALL of the reasons that you’ve gained weight and honestly assess whether you’ve dealt with them and what your plan is for getting past that situation. To kickstart your thinking here’s the results of a survey of thousands of men that we did where men explained why they were fat:

That’s by no means an exhaustive list and misses out things like binge or compulsive eating, but it covers a lot of the main issues. On this forum you’ll find men who can tell you about their experience with EVERY one of those reasons. If you think you have another reason then post it on the forum and pretty soon you’ll see that you’re not alone and you’ll hear other people’s suggestions for how to overcome it.

What dieting system should I use?

We’ve rounded up and explained a lot of the favourite diets here. The truth is though that all diets work by limiting your calorie intake so that it’s lower than your energy output. There’s a lot of (fairly dull) discussion around which diet is best but the truth is that the best diet is one that you can stick to for a long time. It’s pointless opting for paleo if you’re skint as all that beef costs a fair amount.

How many calories should I be getting per day?

Great question - hold that thought while you go and take the Health Report on the main site. Add the details and you’ll get all the figures you need. Your:

  • BMR - Basal Metabolic Rate. How many calories you’d burn without any exertion at all.

  • TDEE - Total Daily Energy Expenditure - The amount of calories you’ll need including movement.

The base idea is that you figure out your TDEE and then minus some (the some being dependent on the rate of loss you’re after). This is NOT a precise science, but roughly a weekly deficit of 3,500 calories will give you about a pound of fat loss. So drop 7,000 from your weekly intake and you’ll lose 2 pounds.

If you’re going lower than 1,200 calories per day you need to see a doctor to get approval as this is entering dangerous territory. Typical targets are between 1500 and 2000 calories - but take the Health Report and get your own rate and experiment (safely).

But what if I go to the gym everyday and burn off 4,000 calories?

The MAN v FAT way is that we forget about calories burned from your daily equations. It’s too damned messy and it reinforces the biggest male myth about weight loss, namely that you need to exercise to lose weight. You absolutely 100% do not. Exercise is great fun, it massively helps your fitness, your metabolism and your mental health but it is about 20% of weight loss, 80% is what you eat.

But are all calories as good as each other?

No. Calories that you take in from simple carbs (think processed foods, white bread, etc) will not give you the same value that calories you take in from protein (great for building muscle) or veg (packed with fibre and nutrients) and good fats (keep you full for longer and taste great dammit).

It’s the subject of endless discussions but generally you want to aim for:

  • Clean eating - real foods without packaging
  • Lots of veggies and fruits
  • Good portions of high quality proteins (fish, meats, lentils)
  • A good mix of natural fats
  • Limit your treats in a way that works for you (cheat meal, cheat day, small treat per day, etc).

How quickly can I lose weight?

This question is different from the question How quickly can I lose weight safely? The overwhelming body of evidence suggests that losing weight more quickly than 1-2 lbs per week is just not a good and generally tends to lead to a weight gain going on just as quick.

Two really good videos worth a watch here from MVFer @maxnas:

Part 1 explains the Science, and how all diets do the same thing on the back end (put you in a calorie deficit)

Part 2 explains how to figure out your own personal (estimated) energy needs to trial & test.

Part 3 - Advanced nutrition



If you consider yourself ‘lean’ or ‘average’ shoot for 1g per 1lb of total body-weight.
If you consider yourself ‘overweight’ (25% bf+) shoot for 1g per 1lb of LEAN bodyweight (bodyweight - fat %)

Here’s a visual aid to help



Don’t even worry about tracking fats, it should easily fall into place by itself.

FAT INTAKE FOR LEAN PEOPLE - If you consider yourself ‘lean’ (visible abs) The absolute minimum you should take your fat intake down to for health reasons is TOTAL body-weight in lbs x 0.25. (or Total body-weight in KG x .05)

Setting your goals

This is a useful free tool for setting your goals.

You may want to lose 10 stone or 10 lbs, regardless having one target that seems far away is going to make it tough going if you slip. So there’s two elements to use to keep you going when you hit the inevitable bumps in the road. Smaller realistic goals and rewards along the way.

So how big should my targets be? Well that’s up to you but you’ll know what you can achieve and how quickly. So think MvF badges, every half stone or even measuring your fat percentage. What ever you use it will help you celebrate along the way and always be looking at something achievable. It’s much easier to look at half a stone at a time than one big number. A rough guide is that you want to be celebrating a minor goal every two weeks and a major one every month - set your goals accordingly.

Rewards will also help to keep driving you on, we discourage the use of food and drink rewards but there’s all kinds of things that you can personally use. Exercise tech, experiences (too heavy to bungee - make it a reward), clothes also help to keep you motivated. By having things along the way it will help keep you going and also act as a reminder of how hard you worked to get to that point


Lots of popular ways to track i.e. record what you eat, what you drink and what activity you do every day.

We’ve found that by far the best way of tracking is to join a MVFIA group. It’s a free, secret group in this forum that you join with other men who are all posting what they’ve eaten, drunk and done during the day (two posts a day) and you keep each other on track. Think of it like the MyFitnessPal that will call your bluff when you tell it you only ate lettuce all day. Join a group for free here.


We’ve found a great source of inspiration can come by searching out the Amazing Losers. These are people who have succeeded in overcoming the many obstacles of weight loss. Anybody that is active on the site and still posting regularly (from Amazing Loser to someone in their first MVFIA 30 day group) is probably more than willing to field your questions and share their experiences with you. You can just message them privately (click on their username and then hit message), or put an “@” before their name and they will get a notification the next time they log in. If they are busy or not big on sharing, just try someone else. You’ll get whatever information or help you need.


Even before you start to lose weight there are several things that are going to be useful.

  • You’ve already sorted your support network as you’re on MAN v FAT!
  • You’ve already decided how you’re going to track every day haven’t you?
  • Take photos - lots of photos, from the side, back, clothed, unclothed. Then lock them away. You’ll hate them now but you will not believe how grateful you’ll be for them when you’ve lost weight.
  • Don’t just take weights also get your waist measurement (round your belly button as it’s easiest to remember and find again!), fat percentage, BMI - also a really good close up photo of your face. All of these things will help you see your progress.
  • Find somewhere you like to record your results

Told you it was a long post. Hopefully, it’s given you the basics to begin with, now introduce yourself on the newcomer board and get going.

Jason Manford is a (not-so) secret MAN v FAT fan
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Hi,Newbie here

Goals: quantifiable and achievable
Tracking- exercise and food
System- sustainable but something that will work for YOU
Link to the “what do I actually need to do” text that is always quoted in joining a mvfia group
Rewards- recognized for smaller milestones
Reminding that none of us probably found this site or started our journey in our prime.
An open invite to read our profiles and message members who they think may have a similar story
A link to the amazing losers to show that it can and is done daily…
That’s all I’ve got :slight_smile:


Members of their first Team to show an interest a applaud their success and provide the right level of support when in the early days it doesn’t quite go the way they had expected.

Publicise past and present successes of the successes achieved by so many on MvF. Others may not have seen them and we all know how inspirational success can be.


Just a thought guys. Make it easier to get into your first team. Delay the posting or bio requirements until they join the second Team. Get them in and on their MvF journey as quickly and as openly as possible. Let them experience the benefits as quickly as possible. Please ignore this if you think it’s necessary to keep time wasters away from existing members?


Answer the basics first, maybe with an FAQ - who’s in a group, what does the group do, what do I need to do, how successful is it, how often do I post, is it private, who can see posts, how do I set my goals…all that kind of stuff.


Missed the most important thing at the top of the list - WHY

The what, when, how and where will all develop over time, but only if the WHY is a big enough reason.


As a newbie, this would be good!


without why, the rest is irrelevent


Good idea. Need to keep it short and focused. That might mean you have a few posts with different titles. I’ve been idly thinking for a while there should be one with the title. “Why you should join a MVFIA group”


How about a Basics vs Fact/Fiction section where all the obvious myths about weight loss - magic beans, cling film, pills/potions whatever are dispelled and the calories in/out is explained in layman’s terms.

Also, some motivational quotes would be a nice idea “cant out train a bad diet” “eat less & move more” type of thing.

Anything really that emphasises discussion, communication and ongoing support.


Ok - I’ve changed my first post into a Wiki post, which means that anyone can click on the little button at the top of the post (it’s a green pen for me) and make changes, so I’ll lock this thread and if you want to make changes then just add it in there.

Taking the plunge


I think a Basics Fact vs Fiction is a great idea, want to start a new thread (this one is more about what do you actually do to start losing weight) - you might be able to search the forum and pull a load of earlier threads together on this one


And guess who just volunteered to write that post…



Newcomer from Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England
Another Newbie directed by Jason Manford