The Hacker’s Diet

How to lose weight and hair through stress and poor nutrition

The Hacker’s Diet, notwithstanding its silly subtitle, is a serious book about how to lose weight and permanently maintain whatever weight you desire. It treats dieting and weight control from an engineering and management standpoint, and provides the tools and an understanding of why they work and how to use them that permit the reader to gain control of their own weight.

The blurb above is how it starts. Is it a book? Is it a website? Is it a chart? Is it an MS Excel file?

Well, John Walker’s Hacker’s Diet is all of the above, and it’s a humorous take on a serious topic. It seems perfectly suited for people who appreciate graphs, people who like to keep track of things, and people who like to understand what they’re doing. Oh, and fat people too, although by the end they won’t be fat anymore – and they’ll have the stats to prove it.

I came across this as a fluke. It was an off-hand remark on a personal finance site about something called The Lifetime Fitness Ladder and it looked intriguing. But it’s not just about fitness. This guy (who founded AutoDesk and invented AutoCAD, by the way) thought about how he could lose is extra weight and came up with a combination of a very simple exercise program and a weight-tracking plan. There is a lot more to read if you’re interested (otherwise it wouldn’t be a book) but if you just want to get started, you can do that without further reading.

Exercise 10-15 minutes per day, and track your weight every once in a while. That’s basically the whole deal in a nutshell. John provides tools for tracking your progress — paper forms, Excel files, or an online account; whatever you prefer. He also delivers a lot of smart thoughts to back up his plan, including simple examples, statistics, and math.

I’m giving this a try, for sure. When I’ve built up some good data that I can publish, I’ll revisit this and you can marvel at how fast I lost my extra weight, too.

sample chart (not my data)

sample chart (not my data)



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