I'm a computer freak, so the first thing I did when I started thinking about losing weight was develop a bunch of computer-based tools to help me understand, monitor, and control the process. Collecting the data, analysing it with a computer, then applying the insights I gained taught me more about losing and gaining weight, and how the body works in general than a lifetime of failed diets and a truckload of diet books. This book not only explains what I've learned, it describes how to use the tools to understand how your own body works.
The tools are all spreadsheets based on Microsoft Excel. Please refer to the README.DOC file which accompanies the tools for information about the hardware and software they require. In addition to the spreadsheets that let you plan, track, and chart your weight loss, many of the tables in this book are also supplied as Excel files so you can experiment with them and incorporate them into other health management tools. Each table in the text supplied in Excel form specifies the file name in computer type (for example, ``WEIGHT.XLS'') at the top of the table. The Excel spreadsheets that accompany this book are available for downloading from the Computer Tools download page as a PKZIP compressed archive.
You don't need a computer to lose weight. Every technique in this book can be applied just as effectively with pencil and paper, in little additional time. The computer tools produce spiffier looking graphs, allow you to play around with the data in amusing ways, and let you experiment with ``what-if'' calculations without pencil pushing. If you have a computer, you'll appreciate the convenience it affords, but it won't determine whether you succeed or fail in losing weight.
Chapter provides ``Pencil and paper'' methods equivalent to each computer-based calculation. In addition to making the techniques accessible to those without proper computers, these sections also explain how the spreadsheets work and are worth reading if you're interested in modifying them.
By John Walker