The Big Bang Servo Diet

From Philip Greenspun

You draw a line from the current weight/date to the desired weight/date. Every morning you weigh yourself and plot the result. If the point is below the line, you eat whatever you want all day. If the point is above the line, you eat nothing but broccoli or some other low-calorie food.

The thing that strikes me about this is the use of graph paper. Had I written this post a few weeks ago, I might have remarked “Do they still make graph paper?” But I was in Dayton a few weeks ago surrounded by engineers. I asked for a legal pad and they gave me that tilted head, quizzical look. You know, like a dog might give you as if he understands you sometimes but not this time. All they had was Office Depot quad paper – 4 squares per inch on the front, 5 on the back. I didn’t mind taking notes on graph paper, except that the binding sucks and the pages all fell out.

Oh well, if you want to try the Steve Ward Diet for yourself, you can download WeightChart.xls.zip.

Click to embiggen

I wouldn’t eat broccoli on a bet. That’s not true, I recently did eat broccoli on a bet and it was terrible. I wouldn’t eat broccoli on a bet again, so I’d have to have some other low calorie food, like gin.

I suppose I could mix some Excel stuff into this post. Column C contains the formula `=IF(A8=\$B\$2,\$B\$4,IF(A8=\$B\$3,\$B\$5,NA()))` which puts the starting and ending weights on the proper dates. The rest of the dates get the `NA()` function because Excel dutifully ignores #N/A errors when charting. To simulate the actual recorded wieghts, I first added 1 to the starting weight in B9. This helps to ensure that some of the points get above the line. Then starting in B10, I use `=IF(B9>B8,B9-1,B9+RANDBETWEEN(-1,1)/4)` which adds or subtracts 1/4 pound every day, except that it forces a downward trend by subtracting 1 anytime it rises. Yeah, pretty hacky I know.

I’m a little unsure on what to do when the dot is touching the line.

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3 thoughts on “The Big Bang Servo Diet”

1. jeff weir says:

[I’m a little unsure on what to do when the dot is touching the line.] Drink all you want. The great thing is that on an empty stomach, enough beer and you will be losing weight again in no time.