2 Apr 2009 roozbeh   » (Master)

Losing weight: I just saw arc’s post on losing weight.

Just wanted to share a bit of my own experience with being overweight, losing a lot of it, and then gaining some of it back:

  • One may have misconceptions about how weight is lost and gained. Specifically, one may think that “by eating only what my body needs and some exercise, I can lose weight”. That’s rarely true.
  • You need to understand how diets work. Generally, one doesn’t really need nutritionists. But it’s important to understand the simple science behind dieting, in order to make the whole thing effective and avoid putting it just back.
  • The personal psychology of dieting is important. You need to know why you are doing it, and care about it.
  • You don’t need to spend time thinking about the diet, following it, or even exercising. There are good ways to lose weight without the usual obsessions associated with diets, like that of the Atkins diet.

I highly recommend The Hacker’s Diet, available online for free. It is written by John Walker, of AutoCAD fame.

The very short book helped me lose about 15 kilos easily (and with no exercising) a few years ago. I have started to diet again these days, with a goal of losing about 30 pounds (almost the same amount, but I know live in the US).

Even if you hate diets and diet books, still read it. I would recommend reading it even if you are not overweight!

Footnote: The author of the book has made all the code he used in the book (with several updates) available as public domain code online. He also runs a server with the tools installed for public use, if you are the lazy type, like me. It's all here.

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