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Rules of thumb for losing weight

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This is what we’ve figured out from our experiments.

  • Live 1.5 miles from your workplace. It’s too short to drive, so you just walk.
  • Stop deciding what to eat for a week. Worked for us.
  • Eat the same thing for breakfast every day (source: Brian Wansink). He’s found correlational evidence for this.
  • Use small plates (source: Brian Wansink). Experiments show that this affects consumption (at least during the experiment).
  • Put money on the line (source: Daniel Reeves). With enough money on the line, it seems like it would just have to work. Beeminder.com is our nerdy favorite. Stickk.com is also good
  • Weigh your food with a gram scale. Pouring 20 grams less cereal in the AM makes a difference. Also, a gram scale is the key to making the perfect pot of coffee. We have this one, among others.
  • Learn to estimate calories. We’re making a video game of this, but fitday.com is a fun place to start.
  • Don’t eat more than 500 calories at a time. You’re probably not hungry 15 minutes after stopping.
  • Round the calories in fruits and vegetables down to zero. WeightWatchers has apparently moved to this in their new point system. It’s obviously wrong, but it works.

photo credit:http://www.flickr.com/photos/puuikibeach/4470122675


  1. Daniel Reeves says:

    Thanks so much for the Beeminder plug, Dan!

    And for anyone who reads DSN, I contend that Beeminder beats the socks off StickK!

    The idea is that by tying your commitment contract to your actual data you can be far more flexible/adaptive about what you’re committing to, yet still nail the akrasia problem.

    Here’s a little write-up that tries to make that case: http://lesswrong.com/lw/7z1/antiakrasia_tool_like_stickkcom_for_data_nerds/

    February 26, 2012 @ 1:56 am

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