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Book Review: Fitness For Geeks

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the read-all-about-it dept.

Books 201

jsuda writes "You would think that geeks would be as interested in fitness as dogs are of TV. After all, geeks already put in hours of finger dancing on keyboards, assembling hefty code fragments, and juggling PHP programming functions. Although intended, in part, as a guide to real physical fitness the book, Fitness for Geeks, entices geeks with what they are really interested in–the science of fitness, nutrition, and exercise. In 11 chapters over 311 pages (including notes and an index) author, Bruce W Perry, describes in great detail the science of fitness and all of its components–food selections, timings, and fastings; exercising of all types; sleep, rest, and meditation; the benefits of hormesis (shocking the body with stresses); and the benefits of natural sunlight." Read on for the rest of jsuda's review.One of the major themes is respect for ancestral behaviors relating to fitness, as he sees the human body as having built-in "software" (biological and physiological "pathways") regulating its needs for certain foods and nutrients, its affinities for sprinting and intermittent fasting, and a preference for sunlight. These behaviors were evolutionary-based adaptations to their environment which in some ways was much more physically stressful than ours is now.

He argues that modern humans have gotten way too far away from their ancestral roots at the expense of their health and fitness. They would be better served by committing to behaviors which are modeled after those of our distant predecessors. That means large doses of natural sunlight, exercise programs emphasizing high demand tasks like sprinting, food selections high in quality fats and proteins and low in processed foods and sugars, and intermittent fastings. In other words, channel your inner caveman.

He supports his thesis with reference to hundreds of scientific studies. However, he doesn't sufficiently explain why modern human lifespans are so much longer than that of the ancients despite diets high in Twinkies, exercise defined as walking down the hall to the Coke machine, and light exposure limited to LCD illumination.

While the major interest of the book for geeks is in the science, Mr. Perry is also advocating real improvement in personal health and fitness. The author is a software engineer and computer-topic writer and also a serious runner, biker, and outdoor enthusiast. He seems to be a very intense proponent of maximum personal fitness both as an instructor and personally where he tracks and measures nearly every physical thing he does during the day. He monitors and measures macro nutritional ratios (carbohydrates, fats, proteins); micro nutritional consumption levels (vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals); exercise metrics like energy use (Metabolic Equivalents of Tasks--MET's); the times, rhythms, and patterns of exercise program elements; and more.

Like a serious geek, he uses all the latest and greatest hardware and software tools to monitor and measure including GPS devices, motion detectors, smart phone apps of all kinds, and web-based trackers and analyzers. He describes many of the features of apps like FitBit, Endomondo, Fitocracy, and Garmin Connect, including screenshots of configurations, data charts, result pages, and comparison charts. He highlights use of web-based databases especially the nutritional information available at the USDA National Nutrient Database.

Mr. Perry also throws in a bit of food and food marketing politics as he emphasizes buying from local food suppliers, or even better, growing your own food and hunting your evening's meal. He shuns supermarket products, for the most part, even providing strategies on how best to navigate the typical mega markets to avoid being psychologically and emotionally manipulated by marketing techniques which attempt to get the consumer to buy more than they need, pricier items, and the latest junk foods they happen to be promoting that week. Mr. Perry is one serious guy!

I don't think that he is a typical health-concerned person or even a typical geek, although he is an independent spirit with great curiosity about things he's interested in. He seems to be serious about fitness to an idiosyncratic degree. In addition to all of the monitoring and measuring, he experiments with up to four different fasting strategies, goes for cold water swims, and does a variety of push-ups while waiting for boarding at the airport.

His book, I think, would appeal primarily to serious health freaks or competitive athletes who have the time and need to micromanage their eating, sleeping, and physical activities, and later analyzing all of the accumulated data.

The author writes knowledgeably and comprehensively about his topics and provides a lot of detail, especially on the tracking and measuring apps. He includes a handful of sidebar interviews with nutritional and fitness experts, some photos and graphics, and tosses in a few code references like anti-patterns and the random function, among others. What isn't in the book is referenced to websites containing more specific information, data, and videos.

Although he sprinkles some personal anecdotes and humor into the writing, overall, the book, while well organized, is a slow, often mind jumbling read. There is almost too much information, too many options to try out for some activities, and not enough focus. It will not win any literary awards. To some readers, it may be sort of like reading lab reports.

A lot of geeks like reading lab reports and there is a sufficient number of competitive athletes and health fanatics who'll find this book quite valuable and interesting.

You can purchase Fitness For Geeks: Real Science, Great Nutrition, and Good Health from amazon.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

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Not for this type of geek (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39946731)

His book, I think, would appeal primarily to serious health freaks or competitive athletes who have the time and need to micromanage their eating, sleeping, and physical activities, and later analyzing all of the accumulated data.

Indeed. This is more for “fitness geeks” or geeks with an interest in the science of fitness than for the stereotypical geek with no interest what-so-ever.

In general, I think for most people (not just geeks) fitness stuff comes down to a matter of time and practicality more than knowledge anyway. Most advertised approaches to healthy living require far more time/energy/money than the average working guy has to invest (and if they had the time, would rather spend it doing something else) or require behavior which is incompatible with current lifestyle (eating 14 small meals a day might be great for your health.. but complicates the work day).

The approach that ultimately worked for me was:

- Learning how to read the nutritional info. You’d think this is simple... but I found this complicated at first. Just knowing what numbers you should be looking for makes things a lot easier. There really needs to be a “non-health nut” guide to this.

- Get into some physical activity that you _enjoy_. This was huge for me. I can’t stand doing a workout for the sake of it. I have little free time and I don’t want to spend it doing something monotonous. Got into a little “for fun” floor hockey thing and loved it. It turned into something I actually looked forward to. From their got into some other stuff.

- Cut out the insanely unhealthy stuff. I accepted that I wasn’t going to be able to go full on health nut with my diet. I like food too much to live off tofu and carrots. I still eat lots of junk but I’ve cut down on or eliminated some of the really bad stuff (soda was a big one.. ).

- Bring in the healthy stuff. A lot of it tastes like crap.. but occasionally you find something that is either acceptable or in some cases better than the unhealthy stuff. It’s a lot of trial an error (mainly error) but every time you go to the grocery run down the health nut section and try something that looks not-terrible. Once in a while you get surprised. Also a lot of that stuff tastes bad on its own, but in a tomato sauce or something it’s indistinguishable.

Pacing was important too I think. I accepted I wasn’t going to go from unhealthy sloth lifestyle to “reasonably in shape” lifestyle (which was my ultimate goal) overnight. I didn’t do anything dramatic. I didn’t vow to live off salad for the rest of my life. I just made a general effort to gradually move in a healthier direction. I didn’t weigh myself every day or obsess in the mirror, I was more concerned with internal health than appearance. Over time all the little stuff adds up.

Also sorry for the novel of a post. I just kinda got on a roll.

Re:Not for this type of geek (4, Informative)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39946897)

Bring in the healthy stuff. A lot of it tastes like crap.. but occasionally you find something that is either acceptable or in some cases better than the unhealthy stuff.

"healthy substitute" for junk food like a "healthy cookie-like substitute" or a "healthy ice cream-like substitute" or a "tofu-turkey" is always going to taste unbelievably awful.

Food that is more or less evolutionarily similar to what our ancient ancestors ate, like maybe a grilled steak with a side salad, or a nice stir fry, or perhaps a fresh orange, apple, grape and berry salad tastes mind numbingly delicious.

Re:Not for this type of geek (2)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 2 years ago | (#39946939)

Apples help you poop.
Eat an apple, clean your colon.

Re:Not for this type of geek (4, Funny)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39946989)

Apples help you poop.

Eat an apple, clean your colon.

Yeah, the hard part is having to wait in line at the iStore for 24 hours to buy one. Be sure to set the phone ring to "vibrate" for extra fun.

Re:Not for this type of geek (4, Funny)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947139)

Eat half a bag of apples, spend the next 6 hours with explosive diarrhea.

It was a rough night.

Re:Not for this type of geek (1)

TheEyes (1686556) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947231)

Oatmeal's better. I start a crockpot of steel cut oats Sunday evening (one-and-a-half cups oats, lightly toasted in a toaster oven or pan, four cups water, three cups milk, a couple of handfulls of dried fruit, add cinnamon and salt in the morning for extra flavor) and that gives me breakfast all week. Cheap, easy to make in large batches, and good for you.

If only I could figure out an exercise program that was as easy to follow...

Re:Not for this type of geek (2)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948211)

Here ya go:
http://www.fourmilab.ch/hackdiet/ [fourmilab.ch] Written by the founder of autodesk. It's a bit dated, but still works wonders. He has an exercise routine in there that is nicely laddered and realistic. Coupled with the tracking spreadsheets and stuff, you can see all sorts of trends that allow you to tune in on where you need more work (whether diet or exercise).
-nB

Re:Not for this type of geek (1)

flyneye (84093) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948543)

I'm a fan of the steel cut oats. Haven't tried toasting them.
I don't think I could groove on the texture of oatmeal over a few hours old though.
Haven't found cheap steel cut oats either. Walmart has a quart size can of them for about $4.00.

Re:Not for this type of geek (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947043)

Totally this.

Personally I avoid most stuff that tries to be something else because yeah, it really doesn't. I focus on adding healthy stuff that stands on it's own. I'll have a smaller steak but with some veggies, sliced up tomato, salad, etc. End up just as satisfied, but significantly healthier.

I will say though that indeed some of the "substitutes" are ok when mixed in with other stuff. I make a good sausage and pepper penne in tomato sauce with fake vegi based sausage that I'd challange anyone to a pepsi challange with (if I had the ambition to make a meal twice just to win a bet that is..).

Re:Not for this type of geek (1)

swb (14022) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947101)

I like food too much to live off tofu and carrots.

The kneejerk-reflex "good for you" diet which is low in fat and high in carbohydrates is not only not good for you, it will make you accumulate MORE fat and give you less energy.

What you want is a fatty steak with a tab of butter on it and a green salad with anchovies and a high fat salad dressing without added sugar (Newman's Own Caesar is pretty good). No white food.

Re:Not for this type of geek (2)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947483)

It all depends. We are not factory stamped all at the same Foxconn plant. Different people have different requirements depending on body type and ethnicity. You can thrive on things that will be entirely inappropriate for other people.

This is a manifestation of American political correctness run amok.

We are not all equal. We are equal as a matter of law.

Re:Not for this type of geek (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948285)

My wife is of Native American ancestry (Blackfoot)* and a largely diet controlled diabetic. If you give her rice or white bread her blood sugar will go off the charts to the point where she likens it to being little different from having a couple glasses of wine, or a shot of crown.
If you give her other sources of carbs (legumes, lentils, etc.) no effect at all on her blood sugar.
Conversely she has low serum cholesterol even though we eat red meat all the time, while I (a cheese eating surrender monkey) need to be a little more choosey in how much fatty foods I eat.

Yeah, we are not all compatible with each others dietary needs. Some people can pound carbs all day long and nothing bad happens, others, looking at a sugar packet will kill them.

The folks I feel sorry for are the diabetics with heart disease. Diabetes and cardiac diets are not exactly compatible.
-nB

Re:Not for this type of geek (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948349)

forgot the * part:
incidentally the Blackfoot tribe never signed the American / Indian treaty. I told my wife recently when our state government was busy being asshats that she should go to the capitol and take them all as prisoners of war until they started acting like grownups. :)

Re:Not for this type of geek (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948231)

The kneejerk-reflex "good for you" diet which is low in fat and high in carbohydrates is not only not good for you, it will make you accumulate MORE fat and give you less energy.

No, it won't. If you maintain the same exercise level, replacing fat with an equal mass of carbs will make you lose weight -- weight loss is pretty strictly associated with calorie deficit, and carbs have fewer calories per unit mass.

Beyond a certain point, that's not good for reasons besides weight loss, but that's tangential.

What you want is a fatty steak with a tab of butter on it and a green salad with anchovies and a high fat salad dressing without added sugar (Newman's Own Caesar is pretty good).

Not really. You do want protein, and you do want some fat (though, for health, the fat on a fatty steak or in butter isn't what you want -- you want more heart-healthy fats), but a fairly small amount in total, and you want some carbs -- more than you want fat -- and you want as much non-starchy vegetables as you can eat.

And you want to get off your butt and exercise.

Re:Not for this type of geek (1)

englishknnigits (1568303) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948549)

You are spot on about eating as much non-starchy vegetables as you can. Not so right about the other stuff.

One of the key arguments against a high carb diet is that carbs make you hungry, especially high glycemic index carbs. It is difficult for most people to replace, gram for gram, carbs for fat because fat makes you full and is more satiating than carbs. This is especially true a few hours after a meal when a high carb diet will result in a blood sugar crash which makes you hungry again.

Endurance athletes and high performing athletes are a different story, they generally benefit from lots of fat and even more carbs. Most people don't fall into that category though.

Everyone's body and genetics are different and they react to food in different ways. That being said, I have almost never seen success from other people who go the high carb and low fat route. If they do lose weight, they end up putting it right back on. I have seen tons of people, including myself, see huge benefits from going with a higher fat, lower carb approach. I'm typically in the 20-40% carbs range which is low compared to the SAD but I would hesitate to even call that a lower carb diet. If I wanted to lose more weight I would cut down on the carbs even more but I'm fine where I'm at.

Re:Not for this type of geek (2)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947135)

- Get into some physical activity that you _enjoy_. This was huge for me. I can’t stand doing a workout for the sake of it. I have little free time and I don’t want to spend it doing something monotonous. Got into a little “for fun” floor hockey thing and loved it. It turned into something I actually looked forward to. From their got into some other stuff.

I recommend shovelglove for this. It's cheap, suitably geeky and really works.

Re:Not for this type of geek (2)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947241)

In general, I think for most people (not just geeks) fitness stuff comes down to a matter of time and practicality more than knowledge anyway.

I strongly disagree...I have friends who ask me fitness advice and time after time I see people who just have no idea how things work...the biggest problem are people who think "low fat" means healthy, even if it's a big bowl of sugary cereal. Or don't understand the importance of meat & vegetables. Or follow some strange fad diet. This doesn't come down to time, just having a basic understanding.

Of course exercise is going to take time, and some people aren't going to have it. But if the goal is general fitness, there's diminishing returns. 15 minutes a day won't get anybody into the Olympics, but would be of huge benefit to anybody who's out of shape.

Re:Not for this type of geek (2)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947391)

- Cut out the insanely unhealthy stuff. I accepted that I wasnâ(TM)t going to be able to go full on health nut with my diet. I like food too much to live off tofu and carrots. I still eat lots of junk but Iâ(TM)ve cut down on or eliminated some of the really bad stuff (soda was a big one.. ).

Or learn how to cook so that tofu and carrots are actually appetizing. Avoid the "health nut crap" and stick to the basics. Actual fruit and vegetables, grains, and lean cuts of meat. Learn to use spices instead of loading everything up with fat for flavor.

Re:Not for this type of geek (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947443)

Short version: According to NPR today, standing up for 2 minutes every 20 and heart disease and type II diabetes are a thing of the past.

Builds on lots of recent research where fats get build up in the legs and movement releases enzymes that bust them back up.

Hundred Push-Ups and other tools (4, Informative)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947669)

I agree, i'm interested in the science, but i'm not willing to put the effort into micromanaging my entire life and and analyzing everything in detail.

A geeky friend of mine recently pointed me at the One Hundred Push-Ups program [hundredpushups.com] . It appeals to me because it's a webpage, it doesn't require anything complicated in the way of equipment or anything like that, it presents a simple and easy to understand plan with lots of numbers, and it takes place over a specific time period. You follow the plan, and the numbers keep going up till you reach your goal. (Assuming you manage to stick through to the end.) It might take more than six weeks if you have to take some do-overs, but it's definitely a finite period of time at the end of which you should see some definite improvement, something that really appeals to me. (I'm just starting week four myself right now.)

Another site i've used in the past is Calories Per Hour [caloriesperhour.com] , particularly the BMR and RMR calculator. [caloriesperhour.com] You can use it in conjunction with an exercise program, or just for setting up a diet plan. There's lots of numbers and math, which appeal to me as a geek, but at the end you have a nice simple number or two which tell you how much you can eat every day if you don't want to gain weight, and how much you can eat every day if you want to lose weight in a methodical and long term manner.

Of course on that note there's also The Hacker's Diet [fourmilab.ch] , which similarly takes the fairly straightforward approach that losing weight = consuming less calories than you burn.

You can argue a long time about paleo diet vs atkins diet vs south beach(?) or whatever other fad diet you've heard of, but in the end weight is just a matter of calories in vs calories out. If you want to lose weight you can reduce the calories going in or increase the calories going out. Certainly adjusting the kind of food you eat can make you healthier in other ways, but controlling the number of calories you eat is the first step. And if you start paying attention to the number of calories you eat you'll quickly discover that the healthier you eat the more you get to eat. Even just making the same food at home that you would have gotten at a fast food restaurant will save you a lot of calories than you can then spend on a snack or something. So instead of feeling like you _have_ to eat healthy to fit some particular diet you've decided to subject yourself to, you feel like you're getting rewarded for eating healthy.

Re:Hundred Push-Ups and other tools (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39948049)

I've been using Convict Conditioning myself the last couple months. And even at the low levels I'm getting pretty strong. Certainly strong enough to make the effort worth it. I think the whole thing about giving people excuses as to why they aren't in shape is complete bullshit. Here in China they don't have fancy gym equipment, but you never see a fat Chinese person. I've been here months and I've yet to see one.

Re:Hundred Push-Ups and other tools (1)

Beeftopia (1846720) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948319)

but in the end weight is just a matter of calories in vs calories out.

It's not ENTIRELY this, though this is a big part of it. The Journal of the American Medical Association recently published a study in which participants were fed an extra 1000 calories a day during an approximately 3 month period. One subgroup received 25 percent of daily calories as protein, one received 15 percent protein, and one group received five percent protein.

The kicker? All groups gained the same amount of fat. However: the normal and high protein groups actually increased lean body mass and increased resting energy expenditure. The low protein group did not gain any lean body mass nor increase their resting energy rate. Here's the link to the JAMA study (it's the highlights - there are many articles on the web discussing the study) [ama-assn.org]

Re:Hundred Push-Ups and other tools (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948327)

I used the formulas and such from the Hacker diet and as an experiment did not do any exercise. Dropped over 30 pounds anyway. Now that I weigh less I am in Karate and while when I started the diet I had trouble on ladder rung 1 of the Hacker program, now I just went and tried it out and I'm on rung 15, go figure.
(over the span of a year for all this).
-nB

Re:Hundred Push-Ups and other tools (2)

rycamor (194164) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948383)

I used to think it was purely calories-in/calories-out, but I have changed my mind after thinking through the implications of the glycemic index,and testing it out myself. It is mathematical, but it's not just averaged quantities that matter. The *rate* and fluctuations of caloric processing seems to play a major role. Even though proteins and fats are higher in calories/weight than starches and grains, the body doesn't process the calories nearly as fast. In other words, meat and fat puts your body on a slow-drip supply of calories, whereas a couple pieces of toast with jam will throw all those calories at your pancreas within 30-40 minutes, and whatever you don't use gets turned to fat.

I know there are logical arguments on all sides, but try an empirical test: go for two weeks eating lots of meat, vegetables (especially leafy greens or broccoli), cheese, yogurt, etc... (none of that lowfat stuff, either), and see if that doesn't kick your body into fat-loss mode. I was shocked at how quickly I lost 40 lbs, and how much I could eat. The other benefit of going off grains especially was--no more heartburn, and mo more post-nasal drip or heavy mucous buildup in my throat. I am starting to suspect that modern factory-produced bread is one of the worst things to ever happen to the human race.

Now, I suppose you could argue that since it is the caloric rate that matters, one could snack all day on very small amounts of high-carb food and still not cause insulin spikes. Go ahead, but that sounds like a particularly unsatisfying way to eat.

Re:Not for this type of geek (1)

flyneye (84093) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948353)

Good one, congratulations.
My approach was similar, with noticable differences.

Read nutritional info, numbers not nearly as important as ingredients. Avoid machine oil(canola) completely, your digestive tract will get happier.Cut out corn syrup entirely and avoid as much corn as possible unless it is whole grain.Regular ol nacho chips are a far superior choice to many so called healthy chips full of artificial
synthetics and sawdust. All in all the less preservatives, less processing, less filler garbage, the better. Punishing yourself with more than a glance at the numbers to
see if it's actually got food as an ingredient and in what % is not a bad idea. Added vitamins are a false feature that aren't readily absorbed as well as actual food delivered vitamins, but will make your urinal flow more yellow and pungent than the guy next to you.( in case you want to mark territory)

Get out and move. Start by walking a block if you have to. Go two the next day. I found myself a 300 lb wad of shit in an easy chair in front of a neverending maintenance of an early Gentoo box with my oven cranking out load after load of frozen crap I washed down with sugarwater. I was pre-diabetic with high blood pressure. Well bullshit! I got out and moved. Fuck the computer. Biking and weights for me ! Now I'm buff and my linux runs stableish, let's hear it for tech taking care of itself.

Eat what you like, don't punish yourself with crappy f**king expensive cardboard food .It's only beneficial to the profit margin of the company that produced it and does a not too bad job of population control. Just get used to the idea of what a serving is. It's on the back of prepared food packages too. A can of pop is for two people. once a day at most. A piece of steak bigger around and thicker than the slab of your hand minus fingers is too big, share with fido.( the extra steak , not your fingers). Go to your favorite buffet. Look around at the regulars...egg shaped, aren't they. Get your favorite stuff without feeling the need to get bang for your buck.One plate, is fine, hold the elastic waist pants.

Pace is important, don't make it unattractive to continue but don't ever stop. If you don't have time to do your health right the first time, you won't be able to go back and do it over. So any bullshit about not having time cause you work, you take care of your mother, you have to unwind, you'll miss your show.you don't spend enough time with the kids, your dog is just so much loser bullshit.
I'm down a hundred pounds, blood sugar and bp stay in healthy ranges and I don't havta take any fucking pills! Whoopeeeee! Seem to get a lot more sex too.

Not sorry for being a complete right bastard. Notice I am right.

You insensitive clod! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39946743)

My mothers basement has no natural sunlight!

Re:You insensitive clod! (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947225)

Hah. You should have built your mother's basement in the attic and use glass roof tiles, simple as that.

Just go for a fucking run! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39946761)

You morbidly obese sacks of shit - get up of you fat damn asses!

Re:Just go for a fucking run! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39946903)

Actually, no.

If someone is morbidly obese, "going for a fucking run" is one of the worst things you can tell them to do.

On the off chance they're actually ABLE to run, the stresses on their joints and muscles will be so extreme they're highly likely to injure themselves. Even jogging is a fairly high impact exercise and can result in unnecessary damage.

For the morbidly (or mildly) obese, the idea exercise would be swimming for low impact full body workouts, but barring that, walking is far better than not moving at all.

Combined with a proper regulated diet in the, say, 2500 calorie range which is still a ton of food (About two fast food meals with 0 cal drinks), the pounds will just drop off. Fast food is hardly the ideal food, but for weight loss all that really matters is calories.

Source: Anecdote from my losing a hundred pounds and going from walking a mile in 20 minutes to running a mile in 7 in the spam of 8 months.

Re:Just go for a fucking run! (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947199)

+1 Informative.

As someone that's also lost about 100 pounds over the past year through hard work and determination, good job!!

Geeks already have fitness programs that work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39946779)

Let's see:

Running to be the first in line for any George Lucas film

Running away from bullies in school

Running to the mailbox to see if their new figurine came in

and the list just keeps going and going

Dumb quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39946813)

I have a problem with this quote from the review:
" However, he doesn't sufficiently explain why modern human lifespans are so much longer than that of the ancients despite diets high in Twinkies, exercise defined as walking down the hall to the Coke machine, and light exposure limited to LCD illumination."

First of all, our grand-parent's and great-grand-parent's long lifespans aren't a mirror of our lifespans because we haven't lived to those high number of years. Who knows, maybe our bad choices of food and fitness habits will prove to be bad enough to shorten our average lifespans in the long-run.

That segment of the review is just dumb.

Re:Dumb quote (1)

TheEyes (1686556) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947383)

Besides, it's an easy question to answer: basic hygiene, vaccinations, cheap and widely-available food. Those are really the big factors that explain why we live longer than our ancestors: back in the 19th century we were far more disease-ridden than we are now, and infant mortality was far higher. Starvation also tended to catch more people back then, as regional famines actually prevented people from obtaining any food at all, rather than just having to shell out a few more bucks out of pocket for something grown in another country.

Coffee (3, Funny)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 2 years ago | (#39946815)

As long as I can still lift my coffee cup I am good.

Re:Coffee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39947365)

Lightweight! Go for the 12 oz curls!

Re:Coffee (4, Insightful)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947489)

Truth be told.
About 6 months ago I stepped on a scale, and found to my horror I weighed over 220Lbs.

Something had to change. I gave up the fastfood lunches, started taking the stairs whenever possible, and lots of walking. I hit the scale this morning at 192Lbs. I still have a way to go, but the effort has really been worth it. I feel better, and just the other day I found myself jogging up the stairs.

So basically... (5, Informative)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 2 years ago | (#39946835)

1) Eat less crap
2) Exercise more
3) Go outside
4) Sleep more

All we need is to add 'but on the internet!' to that list and we have the book summed up.

Re:So basically... (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#39946927)

Yup. Maybe if you want to be an athlete or bodybuilder this stuff matters.. but for the average guy who just wants to make it up the stairs without running out of breath.. I think that's all it really takes.

Fun thing is that 1 and 2 are somewhat in balance. Put a little more time in at the gym and then enjoy your 12oz steak and potato. Skip the gym and eat salad. Obviously it only works that absolutely in my head.. but I think over time their is some truth to that general idea. At the very least it works fine for me!

Re:So basically... (1)

TheEyes (1686556) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947427)

Yup. Maybe if you want to be an athlete or bodybuilder this stuff matters.. but for the average guy who just wants to make it up the stairs without running out of breath.. I think that's all it really takes.

Fun thing is that 1 and 2 are somewhat in balance. Put a little more time in at the gym and then enjoy your 12oz steak and potato. Skip the gym and eat salad. Obviously it only works that absolutely in my head.. but I think over time their is some truth to that general idea. At the very least it works fine for me!

While somewhat true, there is a minimum level of exercise that is necessary even for grass-eaters. Getting that minimum isn't easy, especially for the busy geek with a long commute and lots of overtime to do.

Re:So basically... (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948399)

there are exercises you can do in a cube. Incline pushups, crunches, static leg and arm lifts, squats.
Eyes bugging you, tired of looking at the same problem from hell for the last hour? Take a micro break and pop out 1/3/5/10 pushups.
it'll help more than just your health, it'll help your mental focus too.
-nB

It's about time (2)

tedgyz (515156) | more than 2 years ago | (#39946837)

While we love to live in our virtual worlds, we are bound by the constraints of the physical world. Our bodies were not designed to be sedentary. I am a full fledged coder + gamer, but the thing I love most is doing things in meatspace.

Sure, we love to reminisce about week-long coding frenzies fueled by Mountain Dew and pizza, but it has consequences.

I may download this book for my newly acquired Kindle Fire.

Complete garbage. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39946855)

Real geeks read "Advanced Sports Nutrition-2nd Edition" by Dan Benardot and everything else is garbage without cites.

My dog watches TV all the time (2)

stevegee58 (1179505) | more than 2 years ago | (#39946859)

My dog watches TV all the time, but then again he's a Border Collie.

For "serious health freaks/competitive athletes"? (1, Insightful)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 2 years ago | (#39946865)

>> His book, I think, would appeal primarily to serious health freaks or competitive athletes who have the time and need to micromanage their eating, sleeping, and physical activities...

Then why is it posted here?

Hell, how many geeks still *buy* books anymore?

Re:For "serious health freaks/competitive athletes (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 2 years ago | (#39946921)

Hell, how many geeks still *buy* books anymore?

I bought a book today. A real book, it is made of paper.

Re:For "serious health freaks/competitive athletes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39947093)

Try toilet paper next time. Book paper is generally less absorbent with a higher paper cuts risk in all the wrong places.

Re:For "serious health freaks/competitive athletes (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39947067)

Hell, how many geeks still *buy* books anymore?

I would guess that geeks, on average, still buy more books than non-geeks.

Re:For "serious health freaks/competitive athletes (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947149)

I'm thinking the 6/10 gives the impression that this book doesn't really fit here, but it's marketed to this demographic which is why it got reviewed in the first place.

Re:For "serious health freaks/competitive athletes (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947261)

Open Source advocate Dr. Richard Stallman for one. I was listening to an interview he did with Alex Jones, and I was surprised to hear he boycotts the Kindle and other e-readers, and prefers physical books. Read more here:

http://stallman.org/articles/ebooks.pdf [stallman.org]

Re:For "serious health freaks/competitive athletes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39948453)

Were you really surprised? The problems are obvious, though he missed one advantage of real books: you can come back to a real book after ten years and be very confident that the content hasn't changed.

Stop using cavemen to justify your fad diet (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39946867)

http://jezebel.com/5899319/stop-using-cavemen-as-an-excuse-for-your-fad-diet

Re:Stop using cavemen to justify your fad diet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39947469)

How is doing something for hundreds of thousands or millions of years a fad (I'm talking paleo here, not raw)? The point is not justification. In the face of many conflicting studies about what different foods do, we can use human history to inform our decisions. What do you feed a tiger in a zoo? Wheaties? No, you feed him meat, which is what the animal is evolutionarily adapted to. Humans also have foods they are evolutionarily optimized to take advantage of, moreso than other foods. Nobody that eats paleo is saying not to take antibiotics because cavemen didn't. They are saying that foods a, b, and c and more likely to provide optimum health as compared to eating x, y, and z, and equating that to to the antibiotic thing is just asinine.

Re:Stop using cavemen to justify your fad diet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39947587)

> How is doing something for hundreds of thousands or millions of years a fad
It's your impression thereof that I question. People always seem to forget that hunter gatherer societies got more of their calories from hunted vegetables, starchy tubers, etc than from the actual meat itself. A diet based on a hunter gatherer lifestyle would be interesting to study, but paleo is just a misinformed caricature of what humans ate back then.

But honestly, your argument that paleo isn't a fad reminds me most of the whole "Christianity isn't a religion -- it's a personal relationship with Jesus Christ" thing.

Seriously though, eat whatever you want. I'm not even saying paleo is unhealthy (indeed, I suspect most people would be well served by reducing their starch intake), though my intuition is that it varies a lot from person to person based on a number of factors (if you're going through 5000 calories a day I sure hope some of them are clean burning starch rather than pure protein and fat, less of an issue on 2k). I'm just saying exactly what the article title says: stop using cavemen to justify your fad diet.

Re:Stop using cavemen to justify your fad diet (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39947887)

I didn't say humans ate all meat (just tigers). Paleo doesn't dictate meat-only, nor does it dictate macronutrient (fat/carb) ratios. Sure, most of the foods available today are dramatically different than long ago. However, the point is that we can use the past to inform our decisions about what to eat. What's closer to grilled mammoth, found berries and leaves, and a dug-up root? Steak, potato, and salad? Or processed crap in a box? Something like Weight-Watchers is a diet and a fad - someone devised some macronutrient and caloric targets, created a list of foods to eat, someone created a bunch of products, and they try to sell it. The paleo "diet" isn't a diet - it's an acknowledgement of what's historically and physiologically appropriate for people to eat. It says that, hey, we probably aren't adapted to (for example) ingesting 100g of liquid sugar everyday, and that maybe our bodies and hormones can get a bit out of whack being exposed to that. Same thing as saying cows get can big and fat eating corn, but, being ruminants, they're healthier eating grass because that's what their 4 stomachs evolved to digest. Repeating your title doesn't make you less wrong about missing the point.

Re:Stop using cavemen to justify your fad diet (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947537)

Some people genuinely are more "cave man".

It's called genetic diversity. Perhaps you've heard of it.

LARP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39946871)

In video games it is almost always brutally painful to walk around. If LARPing was promoted more geeks would have to run everywhere to maintain maximum accuracy to their genre.

PHP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39946945)

and juggling PHP programming functions

Clearly you meant "bashing PHP on /."?

Re:PHP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39947907)

For the sake of every persons life, including those in and around your life, even having PHP on your computer or server is enough to make babies cry.

There is no reason to use PHP, No reason at all.
Unless you like to dangle your balls over a tiger on a metal plate that is getting hotter by the minute, that is.

Personally I would rather smash my own brain off the insides of my head by using Perl.

Reminds me of when I had a Debian partition. (5, Funny)

InvisibleClergy (1430277) | more than 2 years ago | (#39946951)

I was using this package [debian.org] to track absolutely everything I ate. Its advice was always to eat absurd amounts of fish flakes because fish flakes had something that it thought I was low in. Iron, maybe? So whenever I would be winding down my day and I would ask it what to eat, it would always be something like a pound of dried herring flakes.

I wonder if that's this book's conclusion. The last page just goes something like this:

"tl;dr: eat pounds of fish flakes"

Re:Reminds me of when I had a Debian partition. (1)

jsepeta (412566) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947161)

fish flakes - it's what's for breakfast!

What does geek have to do with it (1)

jbmartin6 (1232050) | more than 2 years ago | (#39946957)

How is geek fitness different than everyone else's fitness? This is the same reaction I had to 'Ethics for Women'

Annorexia (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39946969)

I like how this is right above the Annorexia story, they fit well together.

I'm starving myself now, haven't eaten since Saturday really. Oh god, it works much better than any diet I've ever been on, and exercise is fucking impossible.

Everyone says you gain more weight as your body stores fat...but I've never experienced that, nor have I ever personally seen it. I think it's all scare tactics.

But yea diet and exercise are great if you want to wait 5 years to see any results, but I ain't trying to be the best at exercising, just lookin for some fuckin pussy.

So, I guess what I'm saying is... fuck exercise

Not all geeks are fat (3, Interesting)

Powys (1274816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39946973)

Perhaps I've been spoiled living in Colorado my whole life, but that vast majority of "Geeks" that I've worked with here are the fittest people in the companies I"ve worked for. From marathon runners, to long distance cyclist, to yogis, to (obviously in Colorado) hard core skiers. Other offices in the company do have less fit geeks but over all I'd say they aren't any worse than the average employee in the company.

I think the perception of translucent/Mountain Dew drinking/Pizza&Cheetoes eating geeks is a little old and incorrect.

Stop trying to formulate a plan and do it. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39947007)

I procrastinated for years thinking that some plan (not a magic pill, mind you) was needed to be drawn out to the T in order to make it effective. False. You need to just start getting out there and moving around. I'm all for doing research to make the best out of what you're doing but if you're not suffering from some kind of rare illness or handicap you just need to start doing something. If you're spending more time researching a fitness plan than you are doing actual exercise than you'r doing it wrong.
 
Oh, and don't go to the gym or buy equipment... if you're not willing to do the stuff you can do for free than spending money isn't going to be a long term motivator.

Re:Stop trying to formulate a plan and do it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39947721)

Already modded this up so I'm AC, but this is spot on. If you don't exercise at all and just need a starting point - go for a walk. If that's not taxing, put on shorts and a t-shirt and run. Do five pushups. Then do ten. Find a hill and hike up it. There is no reason to wait until you have equipment or a plan in place - just go do it. Once you're into being active you will know far better what equipment you're going to want.

Two words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39947039)

Weighted mice

I think you're confusing geeks & nerds (1)

asylumx (881307) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947051)

Since it's possible to be a "workout geek," the term the title probably should have used is "nerd."

Re:I think you're confusing geeks & nerds (1)

TheGothicGuardian (1138155) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947997)

Exactly. They'd be a workout geek if they had to have every shiny new piece of exercise equipment.

Yeah, about that "caveman" thing ... (3, Informative)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947087)

I'm deeply skeptical of attempts to reproduce the "natural" diet, exercise plan, etc. of our ancestors, for a couple of reasons.

First of all, you can't recreate the environment in which humans evolved. You just can't. That world is gone. You could, I suppose, move to central Africa and try to live a life as much as possible like the way you think people lived a quarter of a million years ago, but the environment has changed considerably in that time and in any case, most people in the industrialized world (such as, you know, pretty much everyone who's likely to read the book) aren't going to change their lives to that degree just to get into shape.

Second, who's to say that our remote ancestors even had the ideal environment for their bodies? We're a young species; a lot of our anatomy is obviously best suited to an arboreal lifestyle, and the transition from semi-quadrupedal tree-dwellers to bipedal ground-dwellers isn't really complete -- many of the knee and back problems which even very healthy people tend to develop in old age can be traced to this, as can the not-so-trivial problem that childbirth is more difficult and dangerous for humans than for practically any other mammalian species. It's reasonable to suspect that our physiology, too, is the result of many quick-fix compromises over the last few million years, more so than most animals'.

So the best thing, it seems to me, is not to try to live like our ancestors did in a world that no longer exists, but to come up with diet and exercise plans that work well for us, as we are, in the world in which we live. Weightlifting is an example. No non-human animal does anything even remotely like it, and it's a safe bet that early humans didn't either -- but there's a fair body of evidence that there's no other single type of exercise that carries the same level of whole-body ftiness benefit that repetitively moving heavy weights in carefully planned and controlled motions does. Running is probably the second-best form of exercise in terms of overall benefit, but running with shoes on a concrete or asphalt track is very different from running barefoot (with feet conditioned to it by a lifetime of never even having heard of shoes) through long grass. Bicycling? Again, completely alien to our ancestors.

I'm all for looking at our biology for ways to improve our health, and studying our evolution is certainly one way to do that. But assuming that we're going to come up with any kind of "natural, and therefore healthy" lifestyle based on dim of ideas of how long-ago proto-humans lived in a vanished world is just silly.

Re:Yeah, about that "caveman" thing ... (1)

sdguero (1112795) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947857)

A friend of mine went on the caveman diet (pretty much meat, veggies, fruit, and nuts only) about a year ago. He has lost 80 pounds and swears he will never eat processed food again. He's a pretty normal dude that doesn't exercise outside of having to stand a lot at work. He looks like a normal dude instead of a fat dude now. I'm stoked for him.

Dogs and TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39947117)

I have seen dogs take quite the intrest in TV. useually barking at other dogs on it.

That is all.

Re:Dogs and TV (1)

psmears (629712) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948511)

I have seen dogs take quite the intrest in TV. useually barking at other dogs on it.

Or meerkats [youtube.com] .

Intelligence and Beauty still at odds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39947145)

Yes, if you can do math, you are socially awkward and must look the part.

Because eating right, taking care of yourself and developing a well-rounded personality is just something I, as a software developer, am not allowed to do.

I'm really sick of stupid fucking labels.

'the benefits or light?' (2)

jsepeta (412566) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947151)

it hurtssss ussss

Exercise sucks (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947165)

I'd rather lose weight by not eating, such as skipping supper, then waste time on a treadmill or bike. Besides diet restriction has been shown (in mice/monkeys) to create a longer-lasting body.

Re:Exercise sucks (1)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947315)

Yep. You're not going to burn more than 500 calories in an hour of treadmill or biking (the "calories burnt" number on the device is basically just marketing). Pushing away 500 calories of food is a hell of a lot easier.

Of course some cardio exercise is good for one's health. It's just a shitty way to lose weight.

Re:Exercise sucks (0)

hondo77 (324058) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947453)

Of course some cardio exercise is good for one's health. It's just a shitty way to lose weight.

Are you aware of how full of shit you are? Didn't think so.

Re:Exercise sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39947491)

Do both and it is a win-winas long it isn't 500 calories less of McD while still eating McD and drinking sodas. Drink enough water, eat healthy, and do some kind of activity that makes you move around, is better for you.

Re:Exercise sucks (1)

anjrober (150253) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947597)

this is not accurate
i burn 120 calories per mile run and run 8 miles in an hour, thats over 960 calories.
i do this 5 days a week with a 16 mile run on saturday
it is a great way to lose weight
To truly lose weight you have to balance food eaten and exercise

Re:Exercise sucks (3, Interesting)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947813)

Here's what's not accurate: you don't burn 960 calories in an hour. Burning 15 calories/minute for an hour is something a high-level athlete does, not some guy on Slashdot who runs 7:30 miles.

You burn calories, maybe you enjoy it. Just, probably somewhere around 500.

Re:Exercise sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39947973)

Here's what's not accurate: you don't burn 960 calories in an hour. Burning 15 calories/minute for an hour is something a high-level athlete does, not some guy on Slashdot who runs 7:30 miles.

You burn calories, maybe you enjoy it. Just, probably somewhere around 500.

According to the first link I found on Google, he will if he weighs more than 155 lbs.

http://www.nutristrategy.com/activitylist3.htm

Re:Exercise sucks (1)

Beeftopia (1846720) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948521)

One has to be careful with calorie restriction and be sure to get all the necessary nutrients. A longer term deficit of something important can come back to bite you. Hard. Be sure to get enough:

1) Potassium
2) Fat
3) Protein
4) The vitamins and minerals found in a good multivitamin/mineral (like Centrum or One A Day maximum).

Before going on a calorie-restricted regimen, I would strongly urge people to spend some time figuring out what nutrients the body needs, and from where they plan to get these nutrients.

Re:Exercise sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39947699)

Agreed, but do it anyway.

Dieting without exercise(or a moderately active lifestyle) is going to reduce your muscle mass and causes your body to hold onto fat. Then when you do go back to eating normally after some weight loss, you store it as fat until your body thinks its ok to build calorie burning muscle again (if the need is there). Otherwise known as Yo-Yo dieting.

The benefit of long term exercise is for your general health -- it will make you live longer. The real reduction in calories comes from food choice & portion reduction. But eat enough to avoid throwing your body into starvation mode. A 500 calorie/day deficit is a good place to start.

Re:Exercise sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39948387)

More misinformation from cpu6502.

Exercise isn't just about weight. It's about bone density, physical strength, cardio vascular health, etc etc etc.

And diet restriction is a dangerous deal to get involved in. It can work but there's a *ton* more to it than just restricting your caloric intake. Even the most ardent of calorie restriction mouthpieces try to impress this on those interested in the diet. Restricting your intake too quickly can take years off of your life. Doing it properly for someone who's obese would take years and requires professional supervision. It's not the quick fix that the ignorant man on the street makes it out to be.

Gym With a Friend (2)

AioKits (1235070) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947179)

Seriously, if you don't like the idea of going to the gym and doing a death march for an hour or so, convince a friend to go with you! I go to Planet Fitness, and have the membership that lets me drag someone along at no extra charge. I get company, friend gets to go without paying, and we both enjoy ourselves and the exercise. Time flies so much faster when you've got a buddy than if you're just trying to hammer out an hour by yourself. I tend to make it a minimum of 3 trips a week, 1 hour each trip. Going strong since November. Has been working wonders for me.

Torrent link? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39947369)

Looks like the book might be interesting, anybody got a link to the pdf or bittorrent?

The Hackers Diet (2)

Chrutil (732561) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947393)

Another classic along the same line is "The Hackers Diet". It's more about dieting and motivation than exercise, but well written and often funny (at least I thought so in the early 90's when I read it) http://www.fourmilab.ch/hackdiet/www/hackdiet.html [fourmilab.ch]

Define geek (2)

cyberchondriac (456626) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947431)

After all, geeks already put in hours of finger dancing on keyboards, assembling hefty code fragments, and juggling PHP programming functions.

What, all geeks are programmers/developers? I see this all the time, the stereotypical geek is a developer. Us lowly system and network administrators get no love!

I'll add, the gym probably isn't for everyone.. it works for me but if it really isn't your thing then at least try to find some other way to get a little exercise. I see a trend in the PC crowd that tends to divorce what is "you" from your body, and I have to highly disagree. Your emotions and intellect are actually very tied into your physical condition. And we all know how various chemicals, alkaloids, and substances can affect thinking and perception via the brain.

The hardest thing about a fitness regimen is beginning it. Especially if you're out of shape to start. Lifting heavy weights with flabby or scrawny arms kinda makes you go, "Damn this is heavy, I really don't wanna do this!", or if running, "My sides hurt and I'm tired, F this, time to fire up Skyrim!"... the real payoff doesn't happen until you're a ways down the road.. like maybe even a couple of years down the road. I admit it sucks to bust your ass week after week and not really see the big changes you wish you would at first, as it just doesn't happen overnight. However, once you get to a certain state of fitness, it's like your body thrives on it. I noticed a kind of accelerated effect in lifting, the more muscle you have to work with, the easier it is to build more muscle (up until you get to the point of diminishing returns and genetic limits of course), perhaps not unlike the way it "takes money to make money", it takes muscle to make muscle (and a shit-ton of protein). I still think the Arnold is nuts for saying the pump is better than sex, but it ain't too shabby either. It's a like ultra-proprioception.

Losing fat is harder than gaining muscle, for some. For me, not eating isn't actually "doing something", and I always feel like I need to actively do something, so it drives me nuts. (and I love my mead!) Besides, no diet, in and of itself, is likely to work long term. You need to expend more calories than you intake, and exercise is a good way to practically guarantee that. But I will end in saying, having started 3 years ago, I'm in some of the best shape in my life, considering my age (50 in 6 weeks) and it really changes your outlook and mood for the better. Last but not least, I would expect it would extend your life expectancy.

Lifespan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39947547)

However, he doesn't sufficiently explain why modern human lifespans are so much longer than that of the ancients despite diets high in Twinkies, exercise defined as walking down the hall to the Coke machine, and light exposure limited to LCD illumination.

What does he say that's not sufficient? After all, most "geeks" are intelligent enough to know all about the lack of scientific medicine available to cavemen than to humans today. Some may even argue that medicine and technology is really what's keeping us alive. As in some people living 10 years longer on a dialysis machine than they would have until they just get so sick of it they go off it voluntarily. Knowledge of diabetes and cancer with medicine, surgery and treatments available that could add multiple decades to ones life.

And there's the whole "not living in a cave" and knowledge about sewage systems and diseases that brings kind of helps. And, of course, not being eaten by a dinosaur, which is the only movie with cavemen worth watching. =P

Get a dog (5, Interesting)

Kittenman (971447) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947677)

I tried the gym, didn't like it (pounding music at high volume, and my headphones didn't help). Gym bunnies abound and those who weren't have odd ... er ... personal issues.

But a dog ... always likes walking. Fresh air, easy exercise, a happy animal who likes spending time with you ... and it keeps me off the couch. So I'm watching less tv, DVDs, and haven't got the high score on the latest game. Big deal.

Re:Get a dog (1)

bjdevil66 (583941) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948541)

So I'm watching less tv, DVDs, and haven't got the high score on the latest game.

You've touched on a very important change: Turning off the TV. You'd be surprised how much you can get done - work or fun - when you aren't channel surfing non-stop for a few hours daily.

Heck - just moving around sometimes is better than nothing because some recent studies have suggested that sitting still shortens your lifespan quite a bit [mashable.com] (with purty pictures)...

Everything in this book may be wrong. (1)

rpresser (610529) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947689)

As well as the book, 99% of the posts on this topic are of the form "I have the REAL answer, it's ...."

YOU DO NOT HAVE THE REAL ANSWER. STFU ALREADY.

Advice for Slashdot readers: do not get nutritional / lifestyle advice from Slashdot. Do not get it from books hawked on Slashdot either.

Fitness for non-OCD geeks/nerds/dorks: (2)

caffemacchiavelli (2583717) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947817)

1) Lift weights.
- It saves time: 30-60 minutes 2-3x a week suffice for a decent workout.
- It trains your whole body: Don't waste time on machines, you don't need 'em. Let a good trainer show you the popular full-body exercises and practice with low weights until you can do them correctly. It's all you need to bulk up or lose some kg.
- It's not as gruesome as it sounds: Most of the time is spent recovering from the last set, and the short bursts of pushing yourself to the limit are actually enjoyable, once you get into it.
- Increase weights regularly, change exercises and intensity when you hit a plateau.
- Some additional cardio doesn't hurt, obviously.
2) Fix your nutrition
- Don't eat too much crap.
- If you're trying to bulk up, eat something with protein every few hours.
- If you're trying to lose weight, reduce your calorie intake. Complex carbs will keep you from feeling powerless and low-calorie foods will keep you from feeling hungry. Sure, there's always the sense of "I must eat more", but that's just part of the process.
- Generally, complex carbs, fish/poultry & vegetables are good things to put in your face.
3) Sleep 7-8 hours a night

There's really not that much more to it, unless you're a pro-bodybuilder who's despairing because of a slight asymmetry of his pecs. I've met a dozen folks in the local gym who have used very simple workout and nutrition plans, look great, and still get results.

The Physics Diet (2)

evilviper (135110) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947841)

If you are over-weight, there is only one way to lose weight... Consume fewer calories. End of story. And further, it is preferable that you consume just slightly fewer calories, over a long time-frame.

http://www.muller.lbl.gov/TRessays/22-ThePhysicsDiet.htm [lbl.gov]

In theory, exercise is an alternative, but really, unless you can force your flabby butt to go run a marathon, you won't even make a dent, and even if you do, your body will crave more calories and your increased food intake may eliminate any gains.

There are no alternatives, there are no short-cuts.

All the diet schemes out there are intended to get you to consume fewer calories, when you lack the will power to just jump head-long into it and do so directly...

Diet pills basically exist to make you feel slightly sick, so you won't want to eat so much. Secondarily, they may do the same thing as taking fiber before eating, causing your body to excrete more of the food you eat before it is digested and converted into calories.

Drinking water before a meal will occupy a portion of your stomach with calorie-free liquid, so you will feel you are "full" before you have consumed your normal number of calories of food. Diet foods work this same way... they have the same volume as normal foods, with a lower calorie count, so it takes more effort to stuff your face. This is similar to diets that reduce sugar... Less sugar means less calories, and also less insulin production may affect how soon you feel "full". The down-side of all of these is that your stomach may simply expand, over time, completely compensating for the reduced calorie intake per-volume of food. A similar problem for those who have their stomach "stapled", but aren't dedicated to maintaining a low-calorie diet.

The last option that comes to mind are single-food diets. They work by basically restricting the food you eat to a narrow subset, so you can consume as many calories as you need, but you'll basically get bored of eating the same thing over and over, and hopefully won't over-indulge on the same boring food.

But they all come back to reduced calories, just indirectly. And IMHO, the best option is just to SLIGHLY reduce serving sizes over time.

You can eat all the same greasy and wonderful fast food and junk food you want, you just have to eat LESS of it. Get the single burger instead of the double burger... Or get the burger you want, and just don't get the sides (french fries, onion rings, etc)... Or get all the same food, and just drink water with it, instead of soda/juice/milk. All of which will reduce your calorie intake, and over time, your weight. And since you're still able to eat all the same food, I believe this is, by FAR, the easiest diet to stick to.

I personally lost about 60lbs with this strategy... First it was smaller versions of the same fast food, and/or fewer side dishes (which saved me a lot of money, too... "super-sizing" FEELS like a good value for the money, but in fact spending less is ALWAYS the better deal).

Then it turned into rotating between a few single-course cheap and simple meals at home... rice, potatoes, pasta, ramen, sandwiches, etc. with just the occasional splurging on a quick run for greasy fast food when I had a craving for it. And that became less and less frequent, too.

As a fringe benefit, as you stay just slightly hungry, your energy level goes up, and you have the URGE to exercise (you don't have to force yourself to do so). And as you lose weight, exercise is also easier, and endurance goes up. But most importantly, the added muscle mass will serve you well in maintaining your weight... If you go back to eating poorly, whether for a short or medium term, the muscle will do a great job of helping your body consume the excess calories, turning it into more muscle, or heat, instead of fat.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need a cookie.

Re:The Physics Diet (1)

El_Oscuro (1022477) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948317)

Avoid sit down restaurants, especially the sit down ones. Outback Steakhouse, Ruby Tuesdays, TGI Fridays, Friendlys, etc. Most of the food served in them are calorie bombs - 1800 calorie salads, 2500 calorie burgers, 2500 calorie fish tacos, 1200 calorie grilled chicken spinach spaghetti, 1700 calorie veggie subs, etc. And avoid milkshakes from any restaurant at all costs - every single one of them has at least 800 calories and some are close to 3000. Read those Eat this, not that [eatthis.com] books. Believe it or not, McDonald's and KFC are some of the healthiest places you can eat.

Re:The Physics Diet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39948465)

Strength training increases the basal metabolic rate of your body, and in effect makes it so that your body consumes more calories naturally with no exercise than it otherwise would. To say that strength training/cardio do nothing, and that the only option way to lose weight is through dieting, is completely wrong.

Allow me to help (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39947987)

1: Drink more water
2: Exercise more
3: Eat a little Less
4: Get enough sleep

Elaboration:

1: Drink more water through the day, and also cut back on soda's/coffee and such. This can help you curb your appetite to not overeat, and also allows your body to be pre-hydrated for workouts. A great tip is to drink a full glass of water about 20 minutes before you eat. This way you will eat the proper amount of food instead of overeating and ingesting all those extra calories.

2: Have an exercise plan. Don't just go in with no idea what you're going to do. If you have not done any workout plan, get with a trainer for a few weeks to get your rhythm going and then keep on it. When you are doing you workouts, do it with purpose. Work hard, lift, run sweat, be out of breath as you're moving around. It's hard work, but very worth it.

3: Eat a little less by doing the water trick I described above, but also look at what you're eating. If you seem to have decent nutrition, you can keep that same diet, just a little less. If your diet is something that needs work, then I'd recommend scoobysworkshop.com. Great site that has helped me a lot.

4: This is actually the most important part to loosing weight and building muscle. You'r body needs time to rebuild and recoup. Try to get to the point where you get enough sleep you wake up when you need to without an alarm clock, and subsequently not requiring coffee to be a functional hominid.

This coming from a guy who was one of the super skinny IT guys. I was 125 pounds (28 years old BTW) of scrawny dude at 5'9". Now I'm over 163 and lifting more weight and running faster and longer than I ever did in college. Have at it people.

FTC Disclosure (3, Informative)

loteck (533317) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948447)

This review is posted on Amazon as the foremost review of the book, with one difference:

"(FTC disclosure (16 CFR Part 255)): The reviewer has accepted a reviewer's copy of this book which is his to keep. He intends to provide an honest, independent, and fair evaluation of the book in all circumstances.)"

Can we get the courtesy of the same disclosure here on Slashdot?

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