"The Hacker's Diet" is a book written by John Walker (yeah, the Autodesk guy). Originally published in 1991, the book is now available online at http://www.fourmilab.to/hackdiet/.

Walker's weight-loss plan (subtitle: "How to Lose Weight and Hair Through Stress and Poor Nutrition") compresses the functions of the human body into what he calls the rubber bag. Stuff more food in, and the bag stretches; put in less food, and the bag shrinks.

Walker, as an engineer, took an engineer's approach to being overweight: What does the system take as inputs and outputs? What can we adjust to get the desired result? In this case, how do we do that?

The body's inputs are, basically, foods and more foods. The system can be adjusted by controlling the quantity (and, to a lesser degree, quality) of food eaten, and by tweaking the rate calories are burned from the system (i.e. exercise). Walker says that either component of the system can be adjusted to some benefit, though the system works better as a whole than as discrete components.

The plan apparently worked well enough for him: He claims to have lost 70 pounds in a year, and that he hasn't regained any of that weight. The system takes just fifteen minutes a day, and doesn't require any drastic changes of lifestyle.

This book is just plain funny, and disturbingly insightful. Maybe it's because I'm a geek, so I know where the author is coming from, but I found it eminently readable. Heck, I read it a few months back (when I was in my "I'm fat, so fucking what?" phase) and thought it was funny then too.

Yeah, I know, there's not much to this node yet. I plan to give the whole thing a while, inspired by the second writeup for Uberman's Sleep Schedule, and add to this node in a while.

Reference: The Hacker's Diet (dude. The URL is up there. No, really.)