Simon Kozlov's Reviews > The Hacker's Diet: How to Lose Weight and Hair Through Stress and Poor Nutrition

The Hacker's Diet by John Walker
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Nov 21, 10


Somewhat famous in select circles, an engineer's take on diet books, written by the guy who co-founded Autodesk. Dude just rocks in every chapter of the book - down-to-earth, rational, cynical in a good way, everything you would expect from a seasoned hacker.
His basic ideas:
- no miracles, the only way to lose weight is to burn more calories than you eat.
- 3500 calories = 1 pound of fat. By changing intake you can manage how fast you will lose/gain weight.
- Difference between people who stay slim no matter what they eat is not metabolism, but their body feedback loop (i.e. they don't feel hungry for a while after they eat a lot)
- don't ever look at day-to-day weight, use running average only
- just measure and plan everything you eat, could be anything - just manage calories. But there are useful hacks. Dude has a huge table of ingredients with calories
- Exercise not for the sake of losing weight, but to live longer. Has his own program, if you want it.

Book includes a ton of excel spreadsheets to do tracking and planning, actually very useful.
And it's very motivational, at least for geeks.
Simple system that's easy to track and optimize, a lot of handles to tweak, hacks and formulas. If you make diet into RPG, how bad could it be?

Can't say I have weight problems (maybe yet), but I definitely want to at least try measuring and living with it sometime.
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