The Scientific Approach to Weight Loss
Tired of all the conflicting diet advice?
Don’t eat carbs.
Don’t eat fat.
Don’t eat breakfast.
It changes with the seasons, and it’s hard keeping track of it all.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. None of it works. Not for most people, anyway. If it did, 72% of Americans wouldn’t be overweight.
WARNING: Intermittent fasting and keto are probably NOT the solution to your long-term weight problem. For most people, these are just short-term Band-Aids. Sorry to burst your bubble.
Obesity and overweight are a HUGE problem. Research has shown that for your health, happiness, and even your career, being fat is simply no way to go through life. But most Americans are overweight or obese.
Hey, I've been there. I was fat for a year and a half. It crept up on me, and at first I denied it. Then, one day, I decided to change. I used my science background and some little-known principles of psychology to lose weight...FAST. I lost 50 pounds in two months, and kept most of them off ever since. That was eleven years ago.
Soon after I lost all that weight, I stumbled on an article on the front page of Yahoo! offering weight-loss tips. I was shocked. The tips were a lazy mix of vague platitudes, misconceptions from the ’90s, and a plug for some supplement. The list seemed to have been thrown together in no particular order, with no particular thought. I pictured thousands of struggling people being misled by this drivel.
But after reading forty weight-loss books and countless weight-loss articles and blog posts, I realized that this lousy Yahoo! article was the norm, not the exception. Something serious was missing from the weight-loss industry. More effort went into marketing and recipes than careful analysis. More focus was placed on arbitrary short-term programs than on building effective habits. And everything dripped with bias.
I thought you deserved a better weight-loss book. Around eight years ago, I set my homepage to Google Scholar, pushed off from shore, and pored over the primary literature of nutrition, metabolism, physiology, exercise physiology, biochemistry, pathology, psychology, epidemiology, obesity research, anthropology, and philosophy of science, stitching diverse insights into a coherent quilt.
I ate textbooks, scientifically oriented books, and scientifically oriented blogs. I interviewed trainers (and got certified myself), weight-loss coaches (and coached people myself), bodybuilders, and ordinary folks who’d lost a good deal of weight, seeking diverse perspectives and common themes and matching them against my own experience. To cut costs and focus on the book, I moved back in with my parents at an advanced age. It was there that my dad, an eternally fit and clever dentist with a PhD in physiology, decided to come on as a coauthor.
This book was my life.
This is your life, and it’s ending one second at a time.
It’s time to lose weight for good.
Dan is a leading authority on weight loss. A software engineer with a masters degree in physiology, he has worked as a trainer, weight-loss coach, researcher, and writer. Dan has spent years synthesizing the science of weight loss for the average person.