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kottke.org posts about Steve Ward

The Line Diet

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 24, 2009

The Line Diet (good name!) is a web-based version of the Steve Ward Diet. There is also an (unrelated) iPhone app. From the site’s creator:

About 4 weeks ago, I stumbled across a story on Kottke’s Blog about the “Steve Ward Diet”. The idea seemed ingeniously simple to me… so I started my chart the same day. I’ve lost almost 8 pounds since then.

Update: There’s an Excel spreadsheet version as well.

We Work Remotely

Bang Bang Diet iPhone app

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 20, 2009

Inspired by the Steve Ward Diet, an iPhone developer wrote Bang Bang Diet to help you “diet like a robot”. Again, here are the rules:

You plot your desired weight on a desired date towards the right side, making sure that you’ve left the correct number of lines in between (one per day). You draw a line from the current weight/date to the desired weight/date. Every morning you weigh yourself and plot the result. If the point is below the line, you eat whatever you want all day. If the point is above the line, you eat nothing but broccoli or some other low-calorie food.

The app takes care of the plot for you and tells you either to “Eat Normal” or “Eat Light” on any particular day. Only $1.99 at the App Store.

Update: The folks behind Bang Bang Diet have cleverly applied the same idea to budgeting with their Simple Budget app…the app tells you to “Spend” or “Don’t Spend” based on how much you’ve already spent for the day.

The Steve Ward Diet

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 30, 2009

From an article by Philip Greenspun illustrating how the web allowed writers to find an audience for things that are too long for magazines yet too short for books, a simple and effective method for dieting developed by Steve Ward.

“All that you need for my diet is graph paper, a ruler, and a pencil,” Steve would explain. “The horizontal axis is time, one line per day. The vertical axis is weight in lbs. You plot your current weight on the left side of the paper. You plot your desired weight on a desired date towards the right side, making sure that you’ve left the correct number of lines in between (one per day). You draw a line from the current weight/date to the desired weight/date. Every morning you weigh yourself and plot the result. If the point is below the line, you eat whatever you want all day. If the point is above the line, you eat nothing but broccoli or some other low-calorie food.”

The resulting graph would look something like this:

Steve Ward Diet