Losing weight scientifically

If you are overweight, then losing weight is one of the ultimate ways of being proactively lazy.

If something as simple as not eating as much can postpone years of poor health (and all the inconvenience and costs this entails), it’s a no-brainer really. If you wish to persue this worthwhile goal, I can highly recommend the Hacker’s Diet, which is what I am following.

The Hackers diet, written by John Walker (founder of AutoDesk, makers of AutoCAD) is a very logical, technically minded look at the human body as a “black box”, with calories going in and exercise and metabolism burning them out. That’s it. No balancing food groups, eating the “right” food etc; Just. Eat. Less. (Than you burn)

The core ideology is that there are some lucky people born with (or have developed) a knowledge of when to stop eating. I do not posses this. ­čśŽ

So what can we do? We can use our brains to substitute this missing innate ability.

Walker suggests plotting your weight on a graph, but unlike so many others, he compensates for the wild 75% water retention inaccuracies with a moving average technique, so that the trend line is almost exactly your “true weight”. Luckily there is a fantastic website that does this for us, http://www.physicsdiet.com.

My graph is public (yours don’t need to be) here:

The blue line is your “true weight” and the red and green points above and below it are the actual weight readings, you can see they vary wildly! But the blue trend line is on a slow, steady march downwards.

What about Exercise?

As you’ll read in the Hacker’s Diet, you don’t exercise to lose weight, you exercise to get fit and live a healthier life. Half an hour of running, for example, burns 300 calories. Which is only slightly more than a Mars bar (260kcal). It’s far easier to put down the fork ­čÖé Use that time more productively for now. (Sure, a solid hour burns 600, but who runs for a solid hour? You may be in the gym for an hour, but most of that time is taken up with changing, warming up, showering and other┬ádistractions)

I am not doing any special exercise at the moment, I find that would increase my appetite (it would increase my metabolism too, however) and who has time to exercise?

However, a few months down the line, when I am settled at a healthy ~500kcals per day deficit (one pound a week loss: a pound of fat stores about 3600kcal) I recommend simple weights and cardiovascular-based workouts at home – no need to stump for a gym membership.

As for a balanced diet? It’s all optional, all the body cares about is calories, it doesn’t care where it gets them from. By all means try to eat a balanced diet, but you are in no danger of getting too little of any group in the modern age that we live. I would be careful of most protein from meat, it’s high-cal. The bottom line is: Just eat less of what you love.

Read the short PDF book, and use the website. I’ll see you in 6 months when I’m 30 pounds lighter!

DISCLAIMER: Don’t be stupid.

EDIT 30/06/10: Click here for part II.

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