The Ultimate Weight Loss Solution

Little did I realize in my first engineering class that I would learn the ultimate weight loss solution.

accumulation = in – out + generation

This is the fundamental balance in engineering, which is applied to mass, energy, momentum, charge, benjamins, etc.  In non-engineering speak: You accumulate whatever you take in and whatever you generate, but less whatever goes out.  Think of a scenario involving vegetables and a vegetable garden.

At a your current state:
      You have 2 carrots in your fridge.

Today you take in:
      You buy 5 potatoes and 2 onions at the store.

Today, you generate:
      You harvest 7 tomatoes from your garden.

Today you take out:
      You eat 2 potatoes, 2 tomatoes, 1 carrot, and 1 onion in your stew.

For the day, you accumulated:
      You have 3 potatoes, 1 onion, 5 tomatoes and had a net loss of 1 carrot.

      You now have 1 carrot, 3 potatoes, 1 onion, and 5 tomatoes.
      And, you have energy for your body as well as a food baby forming.

That was fun to figure out. You can also apply this balance to your weight. If you want to lose weight, think that you want to negatively accumulate weight. If you want to maintain your weight, you want accumulation to be 0.  Or, you can beef up.  I don’t know how to generate weight. So, the equation becomes simpler: everybody wins.

acc = in – out

Yes, there are lot of uncertainties revolving around “out,” like how much energy we burn in sleeping, metabolizing, or killing proverbial kittens.  But, if I am gaining weight, I either need to take in less energy (eat less) or use more energy (exercise) to maintain my weight.  Weight loss, to me, seems so simple. Yet, I think capitalism, by way of marketing to people’s immediate gratification desires, has other options for us consumers.

Here’s a fun thought experiment.  How much weight would you gain if you supplemented your current diet/lifestyle by adding a Coke to your daily intake for an entire year?

(1 Coke) x (140 calories / 1 Coke) x (1 g fat / 9 calories) x (1 lb / 454 g)

= 12.5 lbs!

It can be astonishing that small differences, over time, can add up.


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