the hacker's diet

June 2, 2006
So, at Max's suggestion, I've started following The Hacker's Diet ("How to lose weight and hair through stress and poor nutrition").

Its core metaphor is the "Eat Watch", a hypothetical wrist-based gadget that tells you when to start and when to stop eating, an artifact to help people with a poor internal "Eat Watch", much in the same way eyeglasses are an artifact to help people with poor vision.

It's a back to basics program with the following ideas: In some ways, this program resembles my previous homemade routine that was reasonably successful, especially the "daily-weigh-in" bit. And I think I was ok at maintaining for a while, which raises the question, why did that stop? I've drunk the kool-aid that says it needs to be a WOE/WOL (Way of Eating/Life) change, not a diet, but I think the WOL I constructed was kind of dependent on the particulars of my married life.

So I'm thinking that daily recording of weight should be a permanent part of my life. Which isn't so hard, both with the "Eat Clock" Palm application that makes cool little weighted charts, and my proven ability to keep a private diary and log of my media consumed.

Actually, I've been weighing myself semiregularly so I wasn't startled by the numbers I was at, but I kept blowing past my "if I reach weight X, then I'll start getting serious about doing something" triggerpoints 'til now I'm 15 lbs above my previous all-time high. (Hmm, actually in the comments on this kisrael entry, I give a pretty good summary of my weight history...and I guess I'm like 15-20 lbs more than I was at that point, ugh!)

The program recommended calorie counting and exercise before diving into the hardcore diet, but it turns out a strict calorie counting regimen is a huge diet aid by itself (the whole, "damn, if I eat that I have to record it, and maybe even look up or calculate the calories) so I guess I'm on the program. Its gone well for the few days I've been on it, but I haven't had to deal with any social eating, either in restaurants or with Ksenia's family. I'm not sure how to deal with the guesstimation that will entail. I do feel better already, though I guess that must be largely psychosomatic.


A doodle from 5 years ago... I think the joke was no matter how skinny I got, I'd still have the cherub cheeks.
Calorie counting can be very freeing if that's your primary concern, because if you've really got a handle on your intake, it's ok if a certain portion of that intake is absolute crap. At least that's the attitude the program implies. The author even suggests pre-packaged meals as an easier route to calorie counting, if your culinary standards aren't too high, and mine aren't. The Hacker's Diet doesn't totally reject the need for good nutrition, but it does say "we're omnivores, and we're eating too much"

I look at it like this. I'm fighting a war that has three fronts: my weight, my nutrition, my exercise. If I tried to pursue my ideals in all three at once, lose weight, eat terrific and fresh stuff, get into a more strenuous and time-consuming weight training and aerobic exercise program, I'm likely to lose. I'm going to focus on the weight loss and fight a holding action on the other fronts: picking what seem like decently balanced frozen and prepacked meals for my nutrition, following the currently - laughable - but - scalable exercise program of the Hacker's Diet. If and when I make my weight loss goals, or at least have clearly modified my WOL, then I might look into doing better on the other fronts, but in terms of bang for the effort buck, I think weight loss should be my main focus.

Funny of the Moment
The first entry in Lore's new project Bad Gods made me laugh. Funny stuff and its good a return to some of the Slumbering Lungfish multimedia form.

Article of the Moment
Heh, vaguely related to today's ramble: a surprising link among the villains of several large-scale terrorist attacks: they're all a big part of gym/workout culture. Kind of disturbing on a few levels.