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The Hacker's Diet Revisited 170

e4 writes "Remember the Slashdot article last summer on The Hacker's Diet? Well, it looks like John Walker finally gave up on maintaining his Excel spreadsheet tools. Instead, he's written a Palm-based implementation of his "Eat Watch" to make this stuff more convenient. But even if you're not ready to hack your own body (or if you don't have a Palm), the page is worth a look just to get some vintage anti-MS ranting, like 'that ever steepening spiral into the foul pit of intellectual corruption from the days of "386 Enhanced Mode" to the era of the talking paper clip.' "
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The Hacker's Diet Revisited

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    True hackers don't worry about their weight, looks, body odor etc etc etc..
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I don't have a Palm but i am very familar with the hackers diet. The diet is extrememly logical and well thought out, and is EFFECTIVE. I lost 65lbs in 150 days. Your mileage may vary (and I was pretty hard core about it). Down from a fat 235 to a svelt 170 (on a 6'4" frame). I recommend the diet to anyone who needs to lose weight but who doesent want to go through the whole Richard Simmons lets feel good about ourselves schtick. Just thought i'd plug the book.
  • by zeda ( 415 )
    why is this redundant. I want to ask the same question. I just checked freshmeat and didn't see anything. It would sure be nice to have a X version of this.
  • Nice! I think the best part about WW was deriving their "top secret" points equation. Trade secret, my ass.
  • Gee, I know I have a couple of hours of day to throw away on doing something that I don't enjoy at all. 2 hours a day is 1/12 of your life! Do you realize that?
  • Hmmm... I did the same thing last week. I wanted to start doing some exercises, but figured I'd do at least a google search for 5BX, and yep, I ran into that page that says they don't reccommend it. Kinda scared me a little. :)
  • I picked up on this right after it was mentioned on /. the first time. I went out and bought a scale even!

    I started out at 270 pounds. Within 2 months, I was at 250, and have since been bouncing around between 245 and 255. Of course, I've also stopped planning out my meals too, which might explain why I've leveled out at this weight.

    According to a recent body-fat test, I would be at about 210 with 10% fat, which is my goal now. Hopefully by -next- X-mas, I can be there!

    The tools are great, although I had to fiddle with the spreadsheets to get them to work with Office 2000. Maybe I'll buy a Palm so I can use the new tools.

  • I started on the hackers diet right after it was posted here. I have found it to be a wonderful tool for losing and MAINTAINING my weight.

    276 lbs when I started.
    221 lbs this morning and continuing to lose.

    I look much thinner and my girlfriend says that I haven't looked this good since I got out of the Marine Corps.

    I highly recommend this diet to all geeks.
  • A close analog to the Hacker's Diet is Matt Brzycki's A Practical Approach to Strength Training. It's in three parts, the first part discusses myths and misconceptions, the second part is about organizing your program and how to work on different types of equipment, and the last part talks about other things including nutrition, steroids, the heart, and training at different ages.

    This is a very academic book, as it cites references from all over. I bought it precisely because it isn't "fashionable"-- a lot of people into "lifting" because it's telling them things they don't want to believe.

    The most important thing this book taught me is that you don't need to be in the gym all the time to get results-- in fact, if you are in the gym all the time (more than 2-3 times a week), you're probably hurting yourself more than you are helping yourself. You generally work your muscles in small sets at enough weight until you are too tired to use them and then that's it. You rest a couple days.

    I certainly surprised my girlfriend after a couple weeks after I fixed up my decidedly wimpy nerd-ceps into some pythonesque arms.

    ISBN 1-57028-018-5
    computers://use.urls. People use Networds.

  • I've attempted several diet methods without exercise. However, statistically, you greatly improve your chances of maintaining the loss when you add exercise. I may have indicated a bias toward the exercise, but my philosophy is more of a moderate change on both diet and exercise rather than a drastic change on either one alone. Diet changes alone, unfortunately, do really funky things to your metabolism. The body is adaptive, so when you drop from 2500 calories per day to 2000 calories per day, it just gets more efficient. However, if you increase your body's demand for calories, it won't just slow down. It'll burn fat and add muscle. I've only been doing this thing, including exercise, for 2-3 months. Before that, I, too was exceedingly sedentary. I spent 10-12 hours a day in front of the computer, 2 hours per day in front of the TV with printouts, and the rest of the day in bed. I decided that I needed a change and forced one into my schedule. Now, instead of getting on the bus that goes straight home, I get on the one that goes to the community center, I work out for a while and then go home. Funny thing is, I still get about the same amount done, I need less sleep, I crave better foods and I feel better. The reduction in sleep alone compensates for the time I exercise. I find that time on the treadmill is great design and problem solving time. I tend to think things through more and then try solutions when I get home.

    On the exercise making you eat more . . . when I wrote down my dietary habits, and revealed the patterns, I used that as a guide for eating after exercise. If my habit before starting the exercise was 1 chicken breast, 1 baked potato and some corn, I don't eat 2 chicken breasts, 2 baked potatoes and some corn after exercising. Had I not tracked my patterns, I probably would just eat more after exercise.

    Eating less and doing less is just telling your body to buckle down and use the few calories you are giving it more efficiently, turning more into fat. Eating more and doing more will likely at least increase your endurance, your heart will get better, etc., but it's still not a great plan. You leave yourself open to overeating. The best plan is the one doctors the world over have recommended: eating less and doing more. Study after study indicates that the other methods have astronomically high failure rates. After all, as a hacker, aren't you after your highest probability of success?


  • True enough. There's absolutely nothing wrong with the metric units. However, as I live in the States, and this is my program, and my scale is in pounds, and the math I found was in pounds and calories and my doctor uses pounds and I was raised thinking in pounds and am too dang lazy to convert the math, I'll continue to use pounds, calories, and other arcane, outdated measurements.:) If someone wants to convert the math and send it to me, more power to them, but I don't have the time . . . I have to get on the treadmill.

  • I don't track calories - I just watch the EatWatch trend and eyeball the rest. :-) Then again, I'm only losing a half-pound a week right now. I'm trying to maintain my food habits before ramping up into serious daily exercise.

    As for the grazing (a former bad habit of mine as well!), try making sure you have low/no fat snacks around the house. Fresh raw vegetables, diet snacks, etc. I found that fresh grapefruit is *great* for evening snacking - healthy, low calorie and oddly filling.

    Another hint is to always give yourself time to feel full. Since I started watching my portions, I'm getting a better feel for how much it really takes to fill me up without stuffing myself. In the past, I'd eat until I felt full, then the feeling would catch up to reality and I'd feel stuffed and incredibly bloated. Not good for morale. :-) Even if I'm not losing as much weight as I want yet, at least I feel lighter and more positive.

    He's also really right about the water. Lots and lots! Fills you up, cuts the hunger cravings, and it's better for your body all around. (Not to mention one's complexion.)
  • I wouldn't call something that glows in the dark and looks like piss after a dose of mega-vitamins "lightly colored".
  • Of course, the ability to artistically arrange words in an amusing manner does not qualify someone to be the leading social voice of a country.

    I hope that Slashdot regrets what it has done. It's a pity.

    And yet, how does this differ from any other mass media news grinder that we can "choose" from today? Slashdot doesn't have a social responsibility to think for us. Nobody does, except for (hopefully) one's self. If you choose to blame Slashdot for your misconceptions, then you must also blame everyone who opines about anything with the same judgement. I agree with much of what you say, but your blame is ill-placed; put the responsibility where it belongs, with ourselves.

    Expecting to be fed what you want to eat is slothful. You are part of Slashdot. No, that's not correct. You are part of humanity. Do you regret what you have done?

    The wheel is turning but the hamster is dead.

  • I feel left out. I am probably about 40 lbs. under weight :) Oh well, I'll just be sitting around waiting for my thyroid to take a rest.
  • I always thought the Fourmilab was in Switzerland [] ;-)
  • >Jolt 71.2
    >Sugar-Free Mr. Pibb 58.8
    >Mountain Dew 55.0 (no caffeine in Canada)

    As a Canadian, I am thoroughly disgusted by our government's refusal to allow *real* Mountain Dew and Jolt into Canada. I am seriously considering emigrating to the US after I get my college diploma. No, seriously. I really am. This whole situation pisses me off beyond all belief.

    Pepsi tried to convince the gov't to allow caffinated MD, but the old men in the Senate wouldn't listen. The Senate is actually considering making it illegal to use caffiene in any product except coffee and cola. I wish our Parliament would get with the program and do what New Zealand's government did.
  • I weigh myself every day and measure my neck, chest, waist, hips and one thigh every 7 days. I walk on a treadmill, lift weights and other exercise as well as taking the 6 flights of stairs at work.

    If you're doing all these measurements you might find Covert Bailey's latest Fit or Fat (ultimate Fit or Fat). He claims his staff over the years has found a tape measure way of determining body fat that is only +/- 2 off of immersion. They require waist, hip, thigh, wrist, and forearm then some basic math. There are four formulas men and women over and under 30. If memory serves men over 30 is: waist + 0.8thigh - forearm - wrist.

  • Lets see if I remember my HTML.

    Thinkgeek has a cool shirt [] if you like caffeine

    I sure know I want one
    The art of flying is throwing yourself at the ground...
    ... and missing.
  • ACE stacks will have you calling an ambulance. Trust me on this one. Last summer, I discovered the wonders of Asprin, Caffine, and Ephedrine. I was in the mood to lose weight, and I combined this with a strict exercise regimen. I lost weight and shaped up. In two months I lost over thirty pounds - until the crash. My heart rate started going spastic and I felt like absolute shit. I felt like I was dying, and I ended up calling an ambulance after several hours agonizing over that decision. The paramedics showed up and took me to the emergency room. They watched over me, and released me the next morning, but for the next week I felt so terrible I couldn't go to work. ACE stacks are a threat to your health. Don't be stupid about them. Just eat right and exercise. You'll be better off in the long run.
  • well, since I wasn't around in the 50's, I guess I'm going to have to just believe you on that one. in any case, soda isn't just sugar -- it's quite acidic. maybe my dentist doesn't know what he's talking about, but he told me about some interesting clinical research regarding soda and tooth decay... now, it's worse if you use a straw because you get more decay per soda, but if you spend a great deal of time drinking soda, it's probably not wonderful for your teeth.

    just a guess.

  • Isn't that just because you have an addiction to something you put in your mouth and have no time to eat between cigs?
  • Coke or Pepsi is my big quandry. Which has more caffiene?

  • I was looking for which drink had more caffeine actually. (Within safe levels. NO JOLT! Yech.) I like to have the extra kick of caffeine once or twice a week.

    I don't care if its loaded with calories either. My only concern is that I brush my teeth sometime after drinking the sticky sugary stuff.

    By the way, your dig saying I'm a big fat blob is not true. I'm am a US born citizen and am NOT overweight- at 6'1", 180lbs (you do the math to get kilos) and last time I checked I was at 6% body fat (which is olympic level or something according to the gym. my doctor said not to lose any weight or my organs will have the fat stripped off of them.) Big fat American my muscled ass. Sorry. The caffeine's making me feel a little on edge.
  • One of the biggest flaws I see in it is his view of exercise. He lists the caloric expenditure for several aerobic activities and then says that it's too much work compared to the amount of food it amounts to.

    Let me start by saying congratulations! You're probably quite a bit healthier than the average hacker. I take issue with the beginning of your post, only on the basis of internal consistancy and my experience with exercise and weight loss. Have you attempted the diet without exercise?

    1) this is weight loss for sedentary people. If we were into exercise we wouldn't have had time to memorize all those opcodes :-).

    2) Those are one-hour numbers. I don't know about you, but "20-minute workout" tended to make me sleepy, after they started watching those camera angles. I can walk outdoors for an hour, sometimes, but otherwise... no.

    3) Exercise increases your appetite. It frequently serves as a short-term appetite supressant, but when you finally do get hungry you'll tend to eat more (and make up for the deficit). So it's better to do less and eat less than do more and eat more. When I was taking Kung-Fu lessons I'd work out about two hours every other night (save Sundays) and sweat buckets. After the first two months I lost no weight. Though I was trying to limit intake, the cravings were enormous. I was down 80 lbs and the body was alarmed (though still corpulent).

    Congrats on the pound a week. I'm heading out to get my scale at tomorrow's lunch break.

  • (I read ahead -- I'm around 360 myself)

    The advice in the article is good -- if you can get a consistant reading, try it holding a coffee can (or other measured weight). If you see the right trend (don't mind the actual numbers) buy it, you'll get into reality as you approach 250. Of course, I have encountered models that just don't read at our weight....

    Naturally the numbers will be wrong but the principle is sound, since the feedback is based on the trend rather than the actual numbers.

    Other alternatives I have found:

    Health club -- they usually have a balance scale, which is what we need to get an accurate number. If it doesn't go that high, see below.

    Weight Watchers -- my local chapter weighed me successfully with a $3000 electronic scale, but they'll ask you to weigh only once a week (tho you can probably talk 'em out of that).

    HMO? If you can get into a manged care plan they'll probably let you sneak in and weigh yourself on the balance scales. Heck, your doctor might do it too, if you promise not to speak to any docs or nurses while you're in the office :-).

    Or buy your own. Last I looked a balance scale was about $1500, and once you get it home you can use a known weight to fashion a "tare" weight for the balance. Just measure 200 lbs worth of something, then attach a coathanger to the 200 notch, and zero the balance. Add weight to the coathanger... They did this to weigh me at the doctor's :-).

    If you're really having trouble, build your own balance scale. All you need is a weight, a tape measure (for moment arms) and a lever long and strong enough (with an adjustable fulcrum).

  • I agree, but I like the analysis better here. My GF an I did 1-2-3 Success (don't sue me) but we were both somewhat discouraged by the random fluctuations at the weekly weigh-in.

    Also I think the daily trend analysis can help keep those "wild weekends" from getting a trend started. WW wants us to weigh weekly to spread out the datapoints (rather than average them) and make trends apparent, but that can backfire if you tend to "celebrate" a good week :-).

  • These folks sell a 500lb scale...
  • And Samuel Adams was a two bit punk troublemaker who had no respect for the crown or estabished tradition.

    For first statement "Yeah, but is it Open Fucking Source(tm)?", tells us where you stand. If there will be no monetary gain from the project, then it is not worth doing.

    "The natural liberty of man is to be free from any superior power on earth, and not to be under the will or legislative authority of man, but only to have the law of nature for his rule." -- Samuel Adams

  • Its actually very cool. I just installed this on my PalmIIIe over the weekend. jarod
  • by Boolean ( 15853 )
    1) I hope to god that didn't just post prematurly
    2) I'm sure you can still get some phen phen somewhere :P

    If you think you know what the hell is going on you're probably full of shit. -- Robert Anton Wilson
  • Ephedrine is many things to many people, from 'herbal ecstacy' to decongestant to study aid. It's basically an oral form of adrenaline. The Lycaeum [] has a FAQ [] which is very informative.
  • Heh, I've got the same problem, too, and I don't smoke. A 3500 calorie/day diet didn't get me a pound over 140, and I'm 6'2" on a short day.

    Not that I think the fact that I can't sit still to be unrelated.

    On the other note, sheer weight doesn't necessarily dictate strength. ;)

    - Cattywampus.
  • I compeletely agree with you there. The lack of an adrenal rush can leave you feeling pretty worn out, but as I said, "Also long term use is not reccomended" as it can be damaging if used over a month. Some people are likely to be adverse to caffiene as well, so like an above poster said "You're going to see bad if you drink two gallons of strong coffee, too. " .. Drugs are bad, and natural solutions are probably better for you in the long run. Try excersize.

    For those above that think that I think ACE is a "cure" or anything, it's not. Hard work is the only cure. You can't look like Bruce Lee unless you practice a little Kung Fu -- Anything worth doing right is worth doing well.
  • That AC only mis-spelled "two" as "tow" and anybody can double post. It happens all the time, since the submit button doesn't always seem to work.
  • Pepsi is a "citrus" drink technically then. -- it has citric acid for flavoring. go figure. It's brown, therefore it's cola.
  • Just pop ACE stacks. It's :


    It raises your base metabolism, gets you thinking faster, and is completely legal for sport competition, used in anything from running to sparring. The reason it is legal is that the three ingredients are available everywhere. If you have a history of ulcers, I wouldn't reccomend it though :(. It is a bit tough on the stomach at first. Also long term use is not reccomended.

  • In two months I lost over thirty pounds - until the crash.

    ACE stacks are NEVER reccomended for more than 3-4 weeks, should NEVER be used with a strict diet (quite contrary, a diet with high carb/protien/calories is reccomended), and you should NEVER start a strict excersize routine with a strict diet in combination of drugs. That is just stupid. You can take ACE stacks if you are already in a regimen and on some sort of sensible diet (And I do NOT advocate Atkins either! That's dangerous, unless you like having the same blood as the Xenomorphs in Alien) or training for an event. Most people who take ACE are already in good physical condition, and Have checked for signs of heart disease. If you are 30 pounds over your personal Ideal weight, you are right, only diet and excersize can help you.

  • A student at Indiana University lost 245lbs in less than a year by eating a daily diet which consisted of: two Subway sanwiches, a bag of baked Lays potato chips, and diet Mountain Dew.

    The article is here [].
  • I've just got a dinky little Pilot 5000....what do I need to run this?
  • I dunno about pant sizes (since my jeans were so old their actual size bore little relation to the number printed on the label), but I AM on my third belt.

    I used to wear a belt only with my work clothes. After I had to tighten that about three notches I had to also start wearing a belt with my jeans. A couple (hand-punched) notches later I switched to a new belt. I worked all the way down that one and into some more hand-punched holes. I'm about halfway down my third belt now.

    Once I saw how easy it was to lose the weight I stopped being as strict as advocated on the site. The bit thing for me was the charting. If I can get the feedback I do the work. Unfortunately I've moved and my scale is still in storage. So I haven't charted for over 2 months. I haven't had to loosen my belt yet, but I may have to soon....

    I also highly recommend the exercise program. I figured it would be lame, but after I started I loved it. The only reason I'm not doing it now is that until we find an apartment we're living with someone else--and I don't want to exercise in front of everyone.
  • But you should try a Kabalic diet, based upon ancient Jewish Mysticisim and folklore, the Kabalah. :-)

    A wealthy eccentric who marches to the beat of a different drum. But you may call me "Noodle Noggin."
  • And a version for the vTech Helio [] would be cool too! :) Brand new SDK with sparse apps available so far (wide open territory)
  • Same here, except 20 pounds and 2-3 inches in that time. I feel a lot better, and I get more energized when I'm done exersizing. Hell, I even lost my programmer's gut!! I didn't think that I could ever really get rid of it, but it's gone. Mine was hereditary (my father and his brother's have one, my brother has one, etc) but at the very end it just shrank out of sight.

    Very cool weight loss program, even cooler new palm pilot version.

  • I started by siting down and calculating the energy of a bunch of my favorite dishes (as well as various junk foods that I eat). Then, for about a month and a half, I calculated the caloric content of everything I ate. Since then, I've been able to guesstimate calories in any dish pretty well.

    My recommendation, then, is to sit down and figure the calories of, say, whatever you ate the past week. Then start doing it pre-emptively whenever it's your turn to cook, and post factum when it isn't. Make it into routine, and before you know it, you'll be able to guesstimate most things. Whenever you're in doubt, just calculate the correct answer. Also, try to guess the contents before doing the math; this will improve the efficiency of the training. Once you've reached the point where you can judge how many calories are in your intake, without planning the intake in advance, you're in a much better position to diet.

    "A *person* is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it."

  • Most people don't heat up and lose that much weight that fast. I seriously doubt if it was healthy.
  • I tried a catabolic diet once over the summer and I'm too afraid to try it again. First, I fasted for a week (water, juices, vitamins every day), then for the next two weeks I tried a catabolic diet (eating foods that take more calories to digest then they give you). I lost 40 lbs in those three weeks, but I could almost see myself shrink and I warmed up noticeably. It scared me! Was this healthy? Getting rid of those spider veins kept it off.

    It was all because of a reaction to exercise. I didn't like it. For the most part, I could physically exercise just fine. (Except for running or swimming. I can't run because after a block, my asthma kicks in and my right lung feels like it's being shredded and torn out by a large claw. I can't swim because I've never in my life actually floated.) There were still things like sit-ups or weights, but mentally it was driving me insane. I tried listening to music, thinking out physics problems and looking out the window--nothing worked. Worst of all, I suffer from extended periods of exhaustion.

    Has anyone tried any more interesting exercises that I could try? Is there anything that doesn't require a court or field? I live in a very small town with an asphalt track with trees literally growing in it, and some tennis courts.
  • Yeah, I can confirm the success. Though I hafeta admit I haven't been 100% faithful (the holidays is brutal that way).

    However, -6" in the waistline, and a net loss of 25 lbs. I;m happy, generall, though I figure I still have another 2" a/o 20 lbs to go.

    I figure being consistent with the exercise has actually been more beneficial than the diet itself, as I:m not actually cutting anything out...just being more conscious of the volumes going in.

    Overall, the main issue is awareness and motivation. If the diet, whichever one you're on gets you thinking about what you eat, and keeps you motivated enough to keep doing it, then it should work.

    (Personally I find that doing the exercises while the Playboy channel is on is the best motivation I can find. Nothing like positive reinforcement of why you're doing this in the first place!)
  • Yep, I had to get a new, shorter belt also. Went from a 48 to a 42 already, and the 42's are a bit loose now.

    I also don't chart or weigh - I figure if the methods are valid, it will work whether I track it or not. And it has. Went to the doc for a flu shot, got weighed then. I'm right on track.

    And I completely ignored the exercise plan. I've lost 10 pounds a month sitting around on my ass, and I like it that way. =)
  • 30 pounds since October for me. Also lost three pant sizes and my disgusting tendency to sweat rivers when I get overheated. Much happier, and hell, I'm actually eating *more* food than before. Some of it even tastes ok.
  • I've lost 20 kg (I think that's 40 pounds?) since October. Though, it wasn't because of the hack-diet but my doctor said I should do something about my way too high blood-pressure. Either lose some weigh or eat chemicals. So I tried the first.

    After I've lost about 5 kg, one day I was a bit late and I had to run to catch the train. I almost lost my pants. =:-) Since then, I lost another 15 kg and I know I'll get to ideal weight someday around summer or so.

    I often use to walk home (about 5 km) from work. Ok, you need to take the time to do this. I look at this as somekind of meditation. Often I have the best ideas about solving the problems with the linux-boxes at home when I take a walk. I do not really excercise. Bicycling from time to time maybe, okee.

    Since I started, I noticed some positive side-effects. A friend of mine quit smoking. Apparently, his girlfriend told him something like: "If Ventilator can loose 10 kg of his weight in a few weeks, you can quit smoking as well!" =:-)
    And the best thing that happened to me was, when a girl I know for some years told me: "Hey, what've you done? You look remarkably thinner and better."
    That alone was worth it for sure.

    Still, I have about 30 kg to go. I know, I'll make it.

  • Caffeine-free Mountain Dew as test marketed in the states; I picked up a six-pack in Colorado Springs many years ago (5?) and kept one can as proof that Coke doesn't have a monopoly on brain-dead ideas.

    Drinking caffeine-free MD was a weird experience; I was reminded of the "Hi-C" fruit drink of my youth, since there was no caffeine kick. Of course, on the flip side that shows just how much of an impact the caffeine in the soda has!

    Meanwhile, Canada should post warning signs on its borders, right below (or above!) the reminder that the speed limit in Canada is in kph, not mph. I've driven from Calgary to Vancouver a couple times, and each time I "crashed" a day or two after crossing the border. This Is Not Good since that's a mountainous trip. I had assumed it was because I was tricked by the longer days and not aware of how late it was (both trips were within a month of the summer solstice), but now I wonder if it was due to the sudden absense of caffeine in my system!
  • Oh no...

    Now the Mountain Dew I just drank won't have the effect it usually does. I guess I must have been giving myself a pretty big placebo effect by drinking MD.

    Now that I know that it has no caffeine, it won't do me any good at all.
  • You could always try the Sky Rocket Syrup [], 100mg/oz. Yeah it's a syrup that is supposed to be used in coffee, talk about a double whammy, but I know of a guy that does this stuff as shots.
  • Several weeks ago I found that I was getting too fat. I bought a scale and weighed in at 198 pounds. I weighed about 160 in high school. Over the next eight weeks I followed some of the principles of the Hackers Diet... I estimated the number of calories I took in, I worked up several rungs on the exercise ladder, and I kept track of my moving average. I didn't really aim for a calorie deficit -- I just tried to avoid getting much more than I needed.

    I lost ten pounds in those eight weeks. The first rung in the ladder wore me out when I started -- now I consider it to be trivial.

    Many of those ten pounds came when I was moving. I was quite busy and didn't really have time for snacking. I think it's the snacking that gets me. I think the next step of my experiment is to get a little more disciplined about it. I'll probably need to do so if I am to reach my target weight of 170.

  • Well...

    Do you want to hit another planet by "flaws" caused by antique units?

    What's wrong with kilo Joules and kilograms?

    The World is not limited by an ocean in the east and the west :-)
  • OK Soda 40.5

    I miss OK soda. It used to be avaliable in the twin cities around 1994, but the supply eventually dried out. Tasted like sunkist+Dr. Pepper.
  • dentistry has changed since the 50's. unfortunately, no one told you. starchy foods, like chips, pretzels, breads, in other words, things that stay in your mouth and attract bacteria, are found to be the root (no pun intended) of tooth decay.

    sugary foods like candy actually don't stay around in your mouth that long.

  • Before you start tossing back "legal and readily-available" drug combos, read this:

    "Ephedrine is derived from the ephedra plant. It is also known as Ma Huang and has been used in China for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. Ephedrine is metabolized to norephedrine, which is responsible for the central nervous system stimulating effects of the drug. In 1995, the FDA released an adverse event report on products containing ephedrine alkaloids. The report revealed adverse reactions to ephedrine such as heart attacks, strokes, paranoid psychosis, vomiting, fever, palpitations, convulsions and comas"

  • Thirded - I am 6'1", and the natural body weight for someone my height is 175lbs. I know, because I am 80lbs overweight. But, in my defense, I grew up on a farm, and came from a broad-shouldered family. But still, at least 50lbs of my weight is cruft, IMHO.
  • So, did you have any problems with all the extra skin? If so, how did you handle that problem?

  • :-)

    It seems like this is working for everyone. I tried to start just after the story here on /. and am finding the planning to be a pain. Not enough time to plan with a family and all. My question: is everyone doing the planning part? Are you all eating frozen dinners? I got a program called DietLog for the pilot and it lets you track calories as you go along. It's cool, but I always get hungry at the end of the day and graze. Maybe it's a discipline thing. Any pointers or ideas?
  • "After the first two months I lost no weight."

    it's not about what's your weight. it's about the relative amount of muscle tissue anf fat tissue. so while your body weight might stay the same you are most probably getting more muscles and less fat... (even though after while your absolute weight might decrease, depending on what kind of excercize you do).

    I would definitely say do more and eat more. the more you do the harder it is to overeat, the more efficient your metabolism becomes and you're getting rid of lot of garbage in your system.

    also, if you excercise a lot the body tends to regulate what you eat better (that's more my personal experience then research backed fact).

  • Last I checked, 7up and Sprite HAD caffeine...

    Check again :) (and make sure that the bottling location on the label is in Canada)
  • Caffiene isn't explicity forbidden from citrus drinks here in Canada, however it is forbidden from "lightly-colored" or "clear" beverages.

    At least this was what I was told by Regional Director for Western Canada when I worked for Pepsi a few years ago.

    So by this "color guideline" any dark cola can be caffeinated, however no Dew, no 7up/Sprite, etc. etc. This was a relative non-issue in Crystal Pepsi's failure up here - it was just plain terriable regardless of caffeine content.

    Maybe PepsiCo will smarten up and make a "dark" Mountain Dew - as long as it tasted the same and had the caffeine of it's southern cousin I could care less how it looks.

  • .. and I was actually interested and wanted to check it out because it sounded good. Oh well, I guess I'll wait a few hours.
  • Coca Cola has more caffeine, I'm pretty sure about that!...
  • I agree that in the case of people who are used to exercise and who are injury free, high intensity exercise is better than low intensity exercise. However, you state:

    Because if you burn glycogen during exercise (which is what happens at higher intensities, and what causes the percentage of energy from fat to drop), then next time you eat, some or all of the carbohydrate you consume will go to replenishing that glycogen burned during exercise.

    That only works well if you eat within 1/2 hour of exercising, as the insulin level drops back towards normal after this point.

    There is, however, an effect where after high intensity training the metabolism stays at a higher level for several hours. This has led to a belief that instead of one long aerobic workout, athletes should include two workouts of half the duration each during the day. That way the same calories are expended from exercise, but more are burned due to a longer aggregate period of higher metabolic rate.

    You also missed the point that the original poster had trouble with high intensity exercise. How would he possibly eat straight after high intensity exercise if it makes him ill? Just because a power-lifter lifts a 4x4 in his workout, and weight-training (using good technique) is a good form of high-intensity exercise, does that mean everyone should start an exercise program by lifting 4x4s? An exercise program has to be tailored to the person. That leaves low intensity exercise as the only option for some people, and walking is a good way of burning fat and raising the metabolic rate. In fact, brisk walking can burn as many calories as jogging without the attendant risk of injury.

    If the guy hadn't said he finds weights boring, I would have recomended a weights workout, because as well as burning calories it builds muscle, which as you know raises the metabolic rate and helps to burn fat.

  • Some people recommend low intensity exercise, like walking, because as a percentage of energy consumed, it uses more fat than any other form of exercise.

    Alternatively, you could try cycling.

    I suffer from asthma, yet manage to teach jujitsu in two universities with the help of a preventer inhaler. I find jujitsu keeps me fit and is interesting as well as being a valuable self-defence skill. However, during school holidays I tend to put on weight because of not training and, like you, I don't find weights much fun. My final advice is to go on brisk walks.
  • Oh yeah, I forgot to include my experience that convinced me Ultimate was working. Please don't moderate this down as troll, 'cuz it's the truth. I was visiting a friend at Harvard one weekend, whose roommate happens to be dating Natalie Portman. I got up late on Saturday, stumbled off to the showers. I come walking in, wearing nothing but a towel. Natalie Portman looked at me, and I was actually proud that I had some muscles to show her. I'm not big, but I am cut. She's not quite as cute in real life, though. So anyway, I said "hi" and she said hello, and then I went to put some pants on, and then the three of us made small talk for a little while.
  • Point 4 is a must. If you reduce your caloric intake but do not exercise, then then your body breaks down your muscles _first_ for fuel. This happens because it is easier and faster than converting your stored fat. Metaphorically, your body thinks you are starving because you can't find enough food (damn that meddling Darwin). This reduces your base muscle mass, which in turn lowers your resting metabolism. So, you have to eat even less calories for the same average weight loss. Rinse, lather, repeat.

    This is the number one reason people drop off of a diet. The diet forces their body into destroying itself. The really nasty part about this cycle is that when people drop off of a diet they usually jump back up to their pre-diet caloric intake or more. So now they experience a rapid weight gain and usually end up 5-15 pounds heavier than when they started the diet.

    The Hacker's Diet seems to follow the pattern for successful long term weight control: make a long term change in your eating and exercise pattern. Think lifestyle, not diet.

    1. Make sure you use a doctor's guidance, especially a nutritionist or endocrinologist. As you lose weight, you need to be monitored to ensure that you are losing fat mass and not muscle mass, in addition to ensuring your blood nutrient levels are acceptable.
    2. Examine your diet carefully to see if your eating is tied to psychological reasons. If it is, seek professional help, because there is more at work here than your calorie intake.
    3. Work on removing the unhealthy calories from your diet rather than just flat out cutting. Trade soda (300 calories a can) for diet (0 or 1 calorie). Use sugar substitutes. Eliminate convenience, fast, and snack foods. Eat proteins that have less fat. Drink lots of water, especially during the first two weeks, when you often lose "water weight."
    4. Increase your physical activity to burn calories. Try to exercise at times when the endorphin high afterwards will eliminate a daily craving, if you suffer from them. Make your exercise interesting, or you'll stop after two weeks. The best exercise is competitive sports, because you don't think you're exercising.
    5. Your dieting will reduce your body's metabolism - it's in our genetic makeup to compensate for changes in diet. Your body will become more efficient at operating on fewer calories. Don't get to your target weight and celebrate by heading out to McDonalds for a Big Mac combo supersized.
    6. Be aware that life intrudes on the best laid plans. If events interfere with your schedule, don't beat yourself over the head or give up; just start back in and you'll be back on track in no time.
    7. Fad exercises and diets come and go. Rely on solid medical background and established workout plans.
    8. Accept that there are no easy ways to accomplish what you want. You didn't learn how to recompile a kernel in five minutes, it's going to be exactly the same with losing weight.
  • Offtopic???

    Uh, there's a thing called Epoc you know, and a lot of Geeks use it, so why not port it?

  • Is caffeine still forbidden in citrus drinks? I seem to recall something from spring 99 or so where the rules were being channged to allow caffeine in citrus drinks. Is MD considered a citrus-flavoured drink?
  • Last I checked, 7up and Sprite HAD caffeine...

    I remember an authoritative black guy in early eighties(?) 7Up advertising. "Caffeine? Never had it. Never will.". Did they change?

    Is "never will" a promise we can hold them to?
  • Now I know about the Mountain Dew having no caffeine (I'm Canadian, and a chemist to boot!) but back in University, I drank copious amounts of Jolt, in the tall extra big bottles. I drank so much I had mild hallucinations and delerium. I'm pretty sure this stuff had caffeine in it. Right on the bottle it says "all the sugar and twice the caffeine" in reference to other popular cola's.

    Still coping with caffeine addiction after 2 years
  • Hey send some of those caffeine penguin mints to the great white north!

    Still coping with caffeine addiction after 2 years
  • I used to think the most optimized route to nutrient/dinner/meal (to maximize coding time) is microwave burrito.

    Little did I realize, that microwave time could be eliminated.

    I discover liquid lunch ... those meal as liquid gulch in a can things ... just drink like diet coke.

    Thusly, save even microwave time. (ah that microwave steak thing is just for Christmas, no such luxury in normal months.)

    The time saving is quite cool. You can drink your meal in one hand and code with your other.

    It is relatively economical. Sure it tastes horrible, but so does Diet Coke, which I drink all the time.

    I find a liquid lunch flavor that contains real coffee ... spells more caffeine.

    I finally trained my tastebuds to be acclimatized to ucky tasting liquid lunch ... which gives more time to code and /. .

    Wonder if anyone has (realistic) equally and more optimized route to dinner/lunch/nutrient than this idea.

    Corrinne Yu
    3D Game Engine Programmer
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The Hacker's Diet worked for me. I started at 93kg( 205lb), am now down to 84kg (185lb), and am well on my way to my target weight of 77kg (170lb).

    The most valuable part of the Hacker's Diet for me was the fact that it taught me to monitor my weight properly. If you don't know about exponentially smoothed curves and moving averages and stuff, read up on it (all you need to know is in there). Using both those trendlines, you will be able to see how you are doing every so often. So if you gain 500 grams in 2 weeks (about 1.1 lbs) on your trendline you can see this as significant. Your weight will bounce around a lot, and you need trendlines to, well, help you see the trend.

    Monitoring your weight daily is a MUST. For those of you out there who need to lose weight, be it 15 pounts or 150 pounds, the first thing you must do is buy yourself a reliable digital weight scale, one that is accurate to about .2 kilograms, or .5 pounds. (I paid US$30 for mine here in Delaware.) Learn how to calculate a moving average and an exponentially smoothed curve (10%), and then start plotting your weight.

    That's where a computer will come in handy, the author supplied Excel worksheets, but if you are a typical hacker reading /., then you probably don't use a Windows machine all too often. But it shouldn't be too hard to whip up some simple programs with Perl and Gnuplot, I use an HP 48G programmable handheld calculator myself. If you don't mind using plotting paper, and pencils, you can do that to.

    And that's about it, as you accumulate more data, you will be able to interpret it properly over time, and lose (or gain, if you wish) weight properly.

    Best of luck to you.

  • Seriously, I have no idea why this is under the "humor" section. I've known about the Hacker's Diet for quite some time, since I saw fourmilab mentioned in an internet magazine, and I have to say that it isn't a joke. The only really funny thing about it is the title. It's actually a well thought-out guide that Walker has put together for executives and hackers so that they can lose weight, as well as help them get back into shape. I'd suggest that people actually take time to read things before putting it up under the "humor" banner.
    I don't know about John Walker, but I'd be pretty insulted if my work on whatever serious subject that just happened to have a funny title was made fun of at a popular internet site.
  • I don't know about the teeth! soda and candies tend to have interesting effects on the teeth, long-term.

    let's just say I don't think any dentists will be recommending it :)

  • Yeah, I remember that article from last summer all right. In my not so humble opinion, there are serious problems not just with the so called "hacker's diet" but with dieting plans in general. That's right. Dieting plans in general. That's all the hacker's diet is: a diet for people that feel like they're getting somewhere faster if they take the matter into their hands mathematically by religiously counting every calorie they consume, as if they were analyzing and optimizing the runtime of a complex algorithm. You want to lose weight? Great, but don't think about losing weight. Think about getting healthy. And don't EVER write off exercise.

  • you lose weight excercise will become easier, and you will lose weight faster. It becomes a self-reinforcing loop.

    Alas, it doesn't work that way. When most of us diet, the body goes into a sort of "famine mode". Our minds have eveolved, but our bodies are the same ones we had in the stone age. The body recognizes that it's not getting enough calories, so it sends out hunger signals, telling us to eat more. Also, since the "famine" may last a while, it tends to preserve fat (that's what fat is for - to keep you alive during famines) and burn up blood sugar (reduced blood sugar levels result in irritability and loss of concentration) and muscle (noooo!) for energy instead. The loss of muscle can be prevented by rigorous exercise (tricks the body into thinking that it needs that muscle to outrun predators or something) but there's not much to be done about the blood-sugar thing except suffer through it.

    Exercise becomes easier as one loses weight, but that's not the whole story. Hauling lots of weight around burns calories, and when there's less of it, the "easier" exercise burns fewer calories, not more. It's not a self-reinforcing loop - it's more of a self-regulating mechanism.

    And there's more! A heavy body uses more calories as it exercises than a light one... but a lean body uses more calories as it rests than a fat one. Just maintaining muscle - even at rest - burns calories.

    Oh Well...
  • Exactly. Diet is okay, but obsession is not.

    Not only can it just piss you off and make you stop and do something easier, but it can also lead into an eating disorder, which really isn't any different than any other compulsive disorder, but focussed on health, and thus more likely to wreak your health than some other disorder.

    Diet, but don't sweat the small stuff. A hundred calories to either side is nothing. Any diet can be broken without problems. If it's a special day, have cheesecake, and if you really like it, have another. And target weights are only a rough guideline, my friend at 240 is all muscle, I am semi-soft, but we're both the same size, weight is a simplistic measure of when to stop dieting.

    Take it easy, think of everything as a rough guideline, and don't commit to a diet if you don't think you can stick with it.

    Most of all, do a moderate diet to cut out problem foods, don't just restrict intake, it doesn't do anything because your metabolism kicks in, and going on and off of restricting diets will screw you up and cause major health problems later in life, not to mention that stopping a restricting diet causes you to gain weight as your starved body prepares for the next lean times.
  • I started using this diet the day after /. posted it. I lost about 40 pounds in 2.5 months. 15 of those pound were in the first 3 weeks. After that I started slacking off....

    In fact, I started writing my own spreadsheet for the Palm just so I could chart my diet progress on it. Now maybe I won't have to ....
  • Well, what about using this forum to post followups to the original article? I was one of the people who picked up on the Hacker's Diet following its posting on /. last year.

    The great thing about it is that it speaks directly to hackers. It doesn't tell you to lose weight in order to be more attractive and get laid (although there's that advantage *grin* ). It tells you to successfully diet because it's a hacking problem and you should treat it as such.

    That small bit really got me. It's actually the reason I've started reading this thing and went through with it. I've lost 50 pounds as a result.

    Any other 'testimonials' out there? :)

    (Darn, this thing makes me wish I had a Palm!)

  • Beefcake!

    j/k >;)

    Actually, there are a few things that "underweights" can do to increase body mass. Of course, I no longer have that problem...Norwegian genetics have kicked into full force so I'm on the upside by just a few pounds.

    Dieting the wrong ways can help bulk up mass but assuming that you want to gain muscle, that isn't the best.

    Working out 3 times a week MWF or TRS works ok. Make sure you do some stretching etc, so to minimize chances of hurting something and do some light weightlifting. It'll take a few weeks for your body to adjust to the resistance workout but after that you should be able to begin to push yourself. (Don't use free weights without a proper spotter!!!)
    Any new muscle groups you work will usually take 2+ weeks to get acclimated to the program. (age varies this)

    Squats/leg workouts will help you gain the weight the fastest but complement it with some upper body because chicken legs and chicken wings (results of 100% upper xor lower body workouts) are unbalanced.

    30 min - 1 hour should be sufficient for any workout. If you feel like you can go longer than an hour, odds are that you're not pushing yourself hard enough and vice versa with the being totally exhausted at the 30 minute mark.

    Drink plenty of water, it helps move nutrients, wastes around and is used as a cooling system.

    Hope that helps...any more questions, just ask...
  • I wish someone would write "A Hackers Guide to Beating Substance Abuse." I could use that.
    AA: It's not just for non-hackers anymore. (Unfortunately for you, most of the things which could replace your ethanol/nicotine that would make you feel as good also tend to make you skinnier. I'm thinking of activities like running that get your endorphins flowing.)

    Seriously, it might also be alcohol that's driving your weight down. It tends to drive mine up, but I've got more of a German metabolism.

  • (On the other hand, I could probably break you in half. ;-)

    One of the things that will drive your metabolism up is nicotine. Have you tried quitting the cigs for a while and seeing what it does to your weight?

  • by Tony Shepps ( 333 ) on Monday January 10, 2000 @10:38AM (#1385576) Homepage
    My WW'ing friend developed a very simple webpage to calculate points at: []

    Don't tell the lawyers.

  • by jd ( 1658 ) <> on Monday January 10, 2000 @11:20AM (#1385577) Homepage Journal
    "I tried this Hacker's Diet. I used to weigh 140 lbs. Now, I'm a mere -200!"

    "I didn't believe the claims of the Hacker's Diet, and used Microsoft's Diet 2000 instead. I've gone from 100 lbs to 1000 lbs, my hair turned blue and if I chew just so, my tounge flies out and around the room."

    There you have it.

  • by chialea ( 8009 ) <> on Monday January 10, 2000 @10:36AM (#1385578) Homepage
    I read it this summer, but never got time to reply. it'll be interesting to see if he got certain bugs ironed out, e.g. :

    "these are the charts for men. the women's ones are completely different, but I can't see why" etc.

    well, for starters, any mensturating woman's weight is going to fluxuate a bit depending on hormones. for some women this can be 10 pounds or so gained/lost over the course of a month -- AND IT'S ALL WATER. makes the whole chart look a bit different, not to mention clothes.

    the whole exercise thing is going to be different as well. there are ways of exercising that work very well (developed for the military academies, I believe), but don't require as much strength.

    another thing about the book was it's relentlessly self-congratulating tone. maybe some people like that, but it's quite annoying to me.

    but if it inspires someone to eat a few more vegggies and do some jumping jacks, I guess it's a good thing. no need to shrink the geek community unneccisarily due to heart attacks caused by caffine and pizza! :)

  • by Deliverator ( 20523 ) on Monday January 10, 2000 @10:43AM (#1385579)
    I started back when this came out and have lost 50 pounds and 6 inches off my waist in about 6 months. I'm thrilled.

    The one important thing I can't remember him mentioning is that as you lose weight excercise will become easier, and you will lose weight faster. It becomes a self-reinforcing loop.

    Now all I need to do is to port this to the Newton. :-(

  • by jarv ( 22298 ) on Monday January 10, 2000 @10:24AM (#1385580)
    You people disgust me.

    ~Month ago, A friend and myself coined the "All sushi, Rootbeer, and Penguin Mint Diet."

    Strong teeth and bones, low fat, lots of sugar, Assloads of caffeine... Stick to it, and you'll loose 50 pounds in 6 months, WE GUARANTEE IT!
    Not to mention, the benefits of sushi on the geek brain....

  • by Mister Attack ( 95347 ) on Monday January 10, 2000 @01:33PM (#1385581) Journal
    Simply cutting calories is not the best way to lose weight. If you eat less, your metabolism slows down, leaving you with less energy. If, however, you eat _more_ than you used to, or at least the same amount, and you make smart decisions like eliminating mayo, butter, Coke, etc. and you offset those extra calories you're eating with a nice aerobic sport (I highly recommend Ultimate Frisbee - there are club teams everywhere, it's non-contact, and it's a lot easier to do a good workout when you've got a team behind you), then your metabolism will increase, you'll have more energy, you'll lose weight, and you'll get some sunshine and fresh air - great for the soul.

    wow, that was quite a run-on sentence. But you get my point. I would even, in fact, recommend Ultimate, along with a suitable weight training program, for the folks out there (like me) who are 6'1", 115 lbs. I'm steadily improving speed, strength, and muscle mass, and I feel great too.

  • by Dicky ( 1327 ) <> on Monday January 10, 2000 @09:57AM (#1385582) Homepage
    For a couple of months now. It hasn't been out for much longer than that, and when I asked the author why he hadn't announced it, he told me he wanted it to be out 'in the wild' for a while to iron out any bugs before a full-scale announcement. Apart from a problem at the start of January when calculating the trands resulted in a Palm lock-up (no, not a Y2K problem, it would have happened in any January), it's great.
    And I've lost some serious weight while trying out a new cool program for my Palm. How great is that???
  • I first found out about The Hacker's Diet a few years ago. It is an entertaining read and makes a lot of sense. It inspired me to go out and buy a scale, which I didn't own up until then.

    I was happy to discover the new Palm tools last month. I had been using a program called WeightLog, which I didn't like much. The "Eat Watch" program with its moving averages is excellent and gives you pretty swift feedback on what your diet is doing to your weight. (It has been progressing steadily downward this month, but the Godfather's pizza I had on Saturday already made a noticeable blip on the chart!)

    But I must say I have some issues with the exercise program (even though I have been trying to get into the habit of doing it just to do some kind of exercise). Walker claims to have based it on the Royal Canadian Air Force's "5BX" exercise program. When I did some rudimentary Web research on this program, I discovered that the RCAF itself recommends not using this program anymore []: "...the exercise principles of the program have long been proven invalid--or even hazardous--by scientific advances in modern exercise physiology." Going by the ACSM Fitness Book from the American College of Sports Medicine [] (a book I had for years before reading The Hacker's Diet), the exercises that are ineffective or potentially hazardous appear to be the standing toe touches, the full sit-ups, and the jumping jacks.

    It would be nice if The Hacker's Diet exercise program could be reworked into something like the program recommended in the ACSM's book. Admittedly, that program is more complicated and it might take more convincing to get the average hacker to stay on it. Maybe a happy medium could be found. I'm envisioning a new document: Hacking the Hacker's Diet. :-)

  • by eht ( 8912 ) on Monday January 10, 2000 @10:13AM (#1385584)
    Afri-Cola 100.0 (?)
    Jolt 71.2
    Sugar-Free Mr. Pibb 58.8
    Mountain Dew 55.0 (no caffeine in Canada)
    Diet Mountain Dew 55.0
    Kick citrus 54 (36mg per 8oz can, caffeine from guarana)
    Mello Yellow 52.8
    Surge 51.0
    Tab 46.8
    Battery energy drink -- 140mg/l = 46.7mg/can
    Coca-Cola 45.6
    Diet Cola 45.6
    Shasta Cola 44.4
    Shasta Cherry Cola 44.4
    Shasta Diet Cola 44.4
    Mr. Pibb 40.8
    OK Soda 40.5
    Dr. Pepper 39.6
    Pepsi Cola 37.2
    Aspen 36.0
    Diet Pepsi 35.4
    RC Cola 36.0
    Diet RC 36.0
    Diet Rite 36.0
    Canada Dry Cola 30.0
    Canada Dry Diet Cola 1.2
    7 Up 0

    taken from

    also has a neat picture of a caffeine molecule

  • by Smack ( 977 ) on Monday January 10, 2000 @10:30AM (#1385585) Homepage
    I was struck by the similarities after I tried both. Weightwatchers 1-2-3 Success is basically the same system. Instead of counting calories, you count points. But points are basically just manipulated calories.

    The relation is: Take the number of calories, add the number of fat grams times 4, then subtract the number of fibre grams times 10. Divide that number by 50 and you get the number of points. Simple... :)

    Essentially it takes a lot of the accuracy out of the Hacker's Diet method. NO! you scream... less accuracy??? We should be measuring our calories to the 3rd decimal place, right? But in a diet, the goal is to try to stay on it, and having to obsess about every little calorie is very hard. Especially in food that you have no real control over, like a school cafeteria. Guesstimating make it realistic and followable.
  • One of the biggest flaws I see in it is his view of exercise. He lists the caloric expenditure for several aerobic activities and then says that it's too much work compared to the amount of food it amounts to. This seems to fly in the face of the entire rest of the book. After all, he's advocating a daily deficit of 500 calories per day. If 200-300 can come from treadmill, biking, etc., that means a smaller change in your diet. You only need to change your diet the other 200-300 per day.

    I'm using his mathematical principles and creating my own version. Rather than planning out meals, I make changes for each meal. I started out by writing down what I eat for 2 weeks or so. That was as long as it took to detect patterns. In those patterns I looked for ways to cut 200-300 calories per day. It ended up being pretty simple. For example, I typically eat a sub sandwich and a cup of soup with a 20oz Coke every day for lunch. How to cut from that? Well, I started drinking water with lunch. There's a couple of hundred down already. I also looked at the soup and noticed that I eat 8 or so Saltines with it every time. That's 60-80 calories or so (I don't have the real numbers in front of me right now). I eat at McD's once a week or so. By switching from the large fries to small fries is 230 calories alone. Basically, this has resulted in the following philosophy on food, "Is there any way I can cut calories from this meal?" Cutting butter, sour cream, mayo, etc. are good ways to still eat where you want, what you want.

    I weigh myself every day and measure my neck, chest, waist, hips and one thigh every 7 days. I walk on a treadmill, lift weights and other exercise as well as taking the 6 flights of stairs at work.

    I use his "trend" weight concept on my weight and chart it. I then use the measurements, both keeping general track of them in a trend and using the waist measurement to determine lean body mass and fat percentage, and approximate needed calories.

    Math: done in pounds

    Trend weight = (Today's weight - Yesterday's trend)/10

    Round that number to one decimal place.

    Monthly loss = Initial Trend - Final Trend

    Extra Calories Burned Per Day = (Monthly loss in pounds x 3500)/days in month

    Lean Body Mass = (Trend weight x 1.082) - (Waist measurement in inches X 4.15) + 98.42

    I use the trend weight on the day of measurement.

    Fat Percentage = (Trend weight - Lean Body Mass)/Trend weight

    Base Metabolic Rate = Lean Body Mass * 13.83

    That's the number of calories needed daily to sustain your weight.

    I chart weight and fat percentage. As long as fat percentage is going down, you're losing fat. Weight can go up when gaining muscle. And, since one pound of muscle burns 50 calories per day just sitting around, adding muscle is a good thing. I put it all in a spreadsheet that prints out on one piece of paper. Works pretty slick. I've been using this for about a month and I'm losing about a pound a week.


The best book on programming for the layman is "Alice in Wonderland"; but that's because it's the best book on anything for the layman.