Francisco Soto Ramblings about code, life and stuff.

Body hacking and losing weight.
Oct 10, 2013

Holy sh..

The zombie apocalypse…

If we ever are in the middle of zombie apocalypse I want to survive. I really do.

Do you wake up in the morning, walk to the restroom, look yourself in the mirror and wish you could lose those extra pounds in the belly? I do.

I never really thought seriously about dieting or going to the gym. A diet was a horrible prospect, I never really liked the idea of going on a diet and I even prided myself on how I could eat without any remorse. Not to say you should have any, of course, unless you ate like me without any care or regard to health or my body.

Maybe I never ate very badly or maybe because I am on the tall side I never really looked incredibly overweight but I have been heavy. The highest weight I recall from weighing myself was 227.07 pounds (103 kg) and I am 5.87 feet (1.79m) tall.

Not much of a chance on surviving

Life in San Francisco

Life in San Francisco has helped me though although many people thought that because all the food and restaurants I would become even heavier. I thought so too. But living in this city encouraged me to walk more for several reasons like that owning a car is hell, the weather is awesome, the city is beautiful. There are some parts of the city that aren’t so great but walking around is a great activity to do in this city.

Of course this helped a lot with the little extra me I had been carrying around. Moving here and being around for a while brought my overall weight down to 205-210 pounds (93-95 kg) and my terrible fitness level improved just a little bit.

But this certainly wasn’t enough.

Other random exercising experiences like riding bikes or hiking literally brought me down on my knees more than a few times so I decided to take action.

Tiny chance of survival


One book that really gave me a lot of very good pointers and was very helpful in all this was The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman by Tim Ferris.

It is a very good book and the diet it proposes for weight loss works and is relatively easy to follow but you have to be very strict about it. I tried a couple of times but didn’t really followed to the letter and that messed up the results. Even the tiniest detail like keeping the sugar in the coffe, my mistake, can and will stop you from getting results.

The diet presented in the book has the following points:

1) Avoid “white” carbohydrates.
2) Eat the same few meals over and over again. (The book has a list of the permitted meals)
3) Do not drink calories.
4) Do not eat fruit.
5) Take one day off a week.

The day off makes this diet particularly appealing since you won’t be giving up on whatever calorie packed food you love forever. You can eat it on your day off along with anything else you want.

Another diet, or life style, I read about was the Paleo Diet which is very similar to the one in the 4 hour body, except they eat fruits, avoid legumes and don’t have any cheat day. The rationale behind this eating style is that the body hasn’t really evolved for modern eating. We haven’t evolved yet to eat and process grains very well, nor we didn’t have domesticated cows or animals till very recently by evolutionary timeframes. So they basically promote a diet in the style of our hunter/gatherer ancestors.

You should eat meat, poultry, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits and nuts. Avoid grains and all their derivatives, dairy, legumes and everything that is processed.

Almost there...

I choose…

I ended up doing a combination of both. I do not consume grains, dairy, processed food, potatoes (high carbs) and legumes as recommended by the Paleo diet, but I also do not consume fruits as the 4-hour body diet suggest. The reason I avoid fruit is because of the sugars they contain which do not help with weight loss. Once I get to a body weight I am comfortable with I will resume eating fruits. I also have a cheat day but I take it every two weeks.

It sounds harsh but in reality it isn’t that bad. I love meat, chicken, turkey, pork, eggs and vegetables along with them. I also drink a lot of water, this is a must as well.

My meals usually are:

  • Breakfast: Eggs and some vegetables or a couple of slices of organic bacon.
  • Lunch: Either meat, poultry or fish and a lot of vegetables.
  • Dinner: Either meat, poultry or fish and a lot of vegetables.

I drink only water and unsweetened coffee.


I also started going to the gym to improve cardio and hopefully to keep and develop some muscle along the way.

I bought myself a Fitbit Flex and a Fitbit Aria Scale to help me track my activity, weight and body fat percentage. I love Fitbit products. I also use their website to track what I eat and try to keep my planned calorie deficit. You can take a sneak peek at my profile here.

What I do in the gym is basically treadmill/elliptical trainer for cardio and BodyPUMP classes for a bit of strength training.

The results

I can certainly say that I am shocked by the speed with which you can achieve fat loss if you commit to a healthy eating style. I always disliked all the products that promise easy/fast ways to lose weight because they are just trinkets to help people feel better and we buy them because we want easy solutions to hard problems.

But, it is not that hard. It may feel like a sacrifice in the beginning but once you start seeing the results in the mirror and start feeling great it won’t feel like it anymore. You will do it because you enjoy it. If you use a product like Fitbit’s Flex which add goals and keeps tracks of what you do you can even enjoy it as a game of sorts.

I am not quite there yet, but let me show you my results. The picture from the left was taken on August 31th, 2013. The one on the right was taken on October 7th, 2013.

Almost there...

What do you think?

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