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Thread: How to Use Economic Theory to Lose Weight

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    How to Use Economic Theory to Lose Weight

    Actually, the second book mentioned looks better. It's Dr. Jason Fung’s fantastic The Obesity Code but you'll have to follow the link for that....

    How to Use Economic Theory to Lose Weight

    ...The economy is a huge determiner of what we eat. The premise of the book The Economists’ Diet is to take insights from broad global issues and apply them to personal dietary behavior. Authors Christopher Payne and Rob Barnett observe that many of us live in a world of abundance: In wealthy, developed markets, cheap food is everywhere, and so obesity has skyrocketed. Payne, a financial stability expert, and Barnett, an analyst of the politics of fossil fuels, met while working at Bloomberg LP (Barnett still does) and soon found themselves obese, after endless rich dinners with clients and fast lunches from McDonald’s.

    They write about their efforts to lose weight by applying the lessons they learned studying economics. By now, there’s been enough behavioral work inspired by Freakonomics (and its various ripoffs) to recognize that the field may have a lot to teach us in this area. For them, it meant losing a combined total of 120 pounds over 18 months.

    A primary argument of the book is that to lose weight, we essentially need austerity. The authors liken obesity to a government going deep into debt. Eventually you have a choice to make: a catastrophic default (a bad health event) or an uncomfortable reduction in government spending (eating less). We need to set our own conditions of scarcity amid this abundance. How do we do this? One approach, drawn from the work of behavioral economist Dan Ariely, is to set meta-rules. For example, rather than trying to decide what to eat every day for lunch, just come up with a simple rule that you’ll only have salad. Remove the temptation to even consider a bad decision. (You are going to be unhappy and hungry at times.)

    The book is filled with various behavioral approaches to good decision-making that won’t really surprise you (but that, also unsurprisingly, work): Buy groceries online to reduce temptation, make a habit of saying no to bread and chips, always order the smallest size, cook at home, and don’t eat if you’re not hungry. One thing that makes Payne and Barnett’s work distinct from most diet books is the relative lack of discussion about nutrition. They’re economists, not medical professionals, and it’s refreshing to read a book and not have to wonder whether the science is bunk.

    ...
    Edmund Burke: "In vain you tell me that Artificial Government is good, but that I fall out only with the Abuse. The Thing! the Thing itself is the Abuse!"

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    The premise is flawed, in my opinion. In this world of abundance and cheap food not everyone is overweight or obese. They claim that to lose weight we need austerity when they really mean people need to be conscientious and practice self control. But the average person is not going to learn this from their book. Applying economic theory to weight loss is fantastic gimmickry.

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    Chef Eric Ripert has gone two ways with his diet. He used to eat whatever he wanted, but in very small quantities, and now he has switched to a diet in which he only eats/drinks what he doesn't especially like or dislike so he has no cravings for food/beverages.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trumpster View Post
    The premise is flawed, in my opinion. In this world of abundance and cheap food not everyone is overweight or obese. They claim that to lose weight we need austerity when they really mean people need to be conscientious and practice self control. But the average person is not going to learn this from their book. Applying economic theory to weight loss is fantastic gimmickry.
    Yes, the second book actually argues that: "Dr. Jason Fung’s fantastic The Obesity Code, based on his experience treating people with Type 2 diabetes, which argues that, ultimately, cutting calories is a failed idea."

    Austerity is what seems to be the proper approach, you need to diet. But, in fact, you need to do it wisely.
    Edmund Burke: "In vain you tell me that Artificial Government is good, but that I fall out only with the Abuse. The Thing! the Thing itself is the Abuse!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kacper View Post
    Chef Eric Ripert has gone two ways with his diet. He used to eat whatever he wanted, but in very small quantities, and now he has switched to a diet in which he only eats/drinks what he doesn't especially like or dislike so he has no cravings for food/beverages.
    I keep trying his first approach, eat what I like, but in small quantities...except holidays...and weekends...and....
    Edmund Burke: "In vain you tell me that Artificial Government is good, but that I fall out only with the Abuse. The Thing! the Thing itself is the Abuse!"

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    Its really simple; Go to bed hungry every night and you will lose weight!

    Hence; EBT Food Stamps
    As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron. --H.L. Mencken,

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    I keep trying his first approach, eat what I like, but in small quantities...except holidays...and weekends...and....
    I only eat 1 proper meal a day, usually dinner, and have lost a lot of weight since doing that. I don't even get a hungry feeling unless I eat breakfast which then makes me hungry all day.

    Some days I eat no proper meal. Might grab a sandwich in the fly or something. I am back down to within 10 pounds of my senior in HS weight. This is not some diet plan. I am just not into food anymore. I had a nasty gastro virus a couple summers ago and never really got my appetite back and I started getting an ulcer so there went all the standby greasy, salty, spicey food. I almost never have a craving. I just have to remind myself to eat when I start to feel woozy or start getting a headache.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    Austerity is what seems to be the proper approach, you need to diet. But, in fact, you need to do it wisely.
    When it comes to eating, I'm not sure what you mean by austerity and the need to diet. Do you mean you have to go hungry by skipping meals and/or eating smaller meals? When you say "do it wisely", do you mean wisely according to Payne and Barnett? Being that they became obese in the first place, I question their wisdom then and now.

    They suggest buying groceries online: This is not a great idea when it comes to fresh fruit and vegetables. And it suggests that they (or others) will not be able to control themselves from buying junk-foods impulsively.

    They also suggest ordering the smallest size: The smallest size of what? Size should not be an issue when it comes to natural whole foods like fresh fruit and vegetables.

    They recommend, as an example, eating a salad for lunch: But if there's no discussion about nutrition, what do their readers think they are suppose to put in the salad?
    Last edited by Trumpster; 01-13-2018 at 03:50 PM.

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    I tend to eat much smaller portion sizes than when I was younger. That with exercise works well enough for me.
    Alea iacta est

    Check out the blog.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Trumpster View Post
    When it comes to eating, I'm not sure what you mean by austerity and the need to diet. Do you mean you have to go hungry by skipping meals and/or eating smaller meals? When you say "do it wisely", do you mean wisely according to Payne and Barnett? Being that they became obese in the first place, I question their wisdom then and now.
    Yes, austerity in eating would mean eat less, and that seems to make sense, but in reality it doesn't, according to Dr. Jason Fung’s fantastic The Obesity Code.
    Edmund Burke: "In vain you tell me that Artificial Government is good, but that I fall out only with the Abuse. The Thing! the Thing itself is the Abuse!"

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