Oops, 7 Days. Hey look I don't update on weekends.

Dieting for software engineers

Ok, I had a weight check today and got a shock. I wont tell whether I'm over or underweight. But it really horrified me and made me think twice about my eating habits - pretty pathetic. The dieticians in my town are not of big repute and I hate advertisement-run clinics. So is there any place on the net where I could get useful information ? I just need information or advice on how geeks maintain eating habits.
Permalink Vineet Reynolds 
January 22nd, 2006
Is there something special about software professionals and our diets? I just eat what is normally considered healthy, moderating quantities. It really isn't rocket science.
Permalink ,..., 
January 22nd, 2006
The problem lies with the josb that we have. Atleast mine. It's not a 9-5 one, and most of the responsiblities are dumped on me. Yea, you could tell me to storm off mid-day and have a decent lunch. There is the actual problem - no good eatery around, atleast for 3 miles.
Permalink Vineet Reynolds 
January 22nd, 2006
try to average around 3000 calories a day.

40% carbs (high fibre, low-glycemic), 30% protein, 30% fat.

spread it over 4-6 meals a day.

get at least 15 minutes of medium intensity exercise (light aerobic) a day. 3 days a week (45 minute each) strength training.

you do this, and you're gold.
Permalink Kenny 
January 22nd, 2006
"Yea, you could tell me to storm off mid-day and have a decent lunch."

Taking time for lunch is "storming off"? By your simple wording you've revealed that you're a sucker.
Permalink ,..., 
January 22nd, 2006
No, my boss is. We're in a desolate place, far off from civilization stuck with some archaic internet access, and we get to take a half an hour lunch break !!

Oh wait, this boss is also the same person who went on record saying that a file is either not corrupt or fully corrupt (the file in question was a 3rd party tlb that could be read with the object browser but the .Net tlbimp.exe utility refused to accept as a valid tlb). So much of coconut herd management goes on here that I seriously feel like learning some choosy abusive phrases in foreign languages and use it in the documents that I produce.
Permalink Vineet Reynolds 
January 22nd, 2006
Have a good breakfast, bring in a lunch: a few sandwiches and some fruit, and eat a good meal in the evening at home.

Don't eat in between, or, if you really want, bring some extra fruit.
Permalink Erik Springelkamp 
January 22nd, 2006
Wait, there's more.
One developer in our team suddenly left without any notice.
He disappeared in 3 hours and we havent heard about him after that (Wow!!, this place stinks so badly). His house was just a block away, and we have no word on him even 2 weeks after he's left. Mind you, this chap knew his stuff; he was simply pushed against the wall.
I dont want to continue on thse martyr stories (that will apppear in my blog shortly).
So let's just get back to topic about dieting for geeks.
Permalink Vineet Reynolds 
January 22nd, 2006
Eric, thanks. I'm also thinking about fruits to prevent myself from going to a bakery (it's close but it doesnt count as a healthy place to eat anymore).
Permalink Vineet Reynolds 
January 22nd, 2006
"try to average around 3000 calories a day."

You are American and I claim my five pounds.


3000??? Good grief.
Permalink Katie Lucas 
January 22nd, 2006
Are you married? Can you get married?
Permalink Art Wilkins 
January 22nd, 2006
That's to Vineet.
Permalink Art Wilkins 
January 22nd, 2006
What do you mean Katie? Here's a calorie intake calculator:

http://walking.about.com/cs/calories/l/blcalcalc.htm
Permalink Art Wilkins 
January 22nd, 2006
3000 calories is too much. I'm six foot one, 180 lbs and the max I'm supposed to eat is 2800. I'm trying to lose 15 pounds, so I'm on a 2000 calorie per day diet. I would guess that most people should be around 2000-2200 unless they are over 6 foot 2 or are running marathons.
Permalink _ 
January 22nd, 2006
When I use that calculator it tells me 2300 Calories/day (male, medium height/build). If I ate 3000 I would end up obese in no time flat.
Permalink Ian Boys 
January 22nd, 2006
Yes, if you live the 'normal' sedentary life of a software engineer and you eat 3000 calories a day you'll blow up like a balloon.
Permalink Ross 
January 22nd, 2006
Not going to get married, but why?
In case, I dont want to give an impression of being a tired old hag in my coming interviews.
Permalink Vineet Reynolds 
January 22nd, 2006
Oh and that about.com site was just what I might look at.
Thanks, btw.
Permalink Vineet Reynolds 
January 22nd, 2006
Vineet, I am assuming your problem is you are underweight and need to bulk up. A wife can assist with that if the problem is that you're not eating lunch because you didn't bother to bring anything to eat.
Permalink Art Wilkins 
January 22nd, 2006
Art Wilkins, do you live in the 1940s? Wives have not made their husbands lunches for at least 25 years.
Permalink _ 
January 22nd, 2006
_, you must be confusing your leftist enclave with the rest of the world.
Permalink Art Wilkins 
January 22nd, 2006
I grew up in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and I don't remember my mom ever making my dad lunch. Besides, unless you still live in Grand Forks, North Dakota, your wife isn't going to have time to make lunch as she will also be working full time.
Permalink _ 
January 22nd, 2006
Just because your parents hated each other doesn't mean you need to export american style family dysfunctions to the rest of the world.
Permalink Art Wilkins 
January 22nd, 2006
Art, in another thread you mentioned your wife has to work full time in order to deal with the high housing costs in Baltimore (?).
Is she waking up at 5am to make you a sack lunch?

You went to Stanford presumably sometime in the past 30 years. Did you meet a lot of nice homemakers there who were looking forward to making lunch for their husbands? If so, you attended a much different Stanford than I did.
Permalink _ 
January 22nd, 2006
For the advice below I assume you're not an outlier on some usual benchmark here. Furthermore I assume that you believe the stone age started some 3 million years ago +/-:

All advice with numbers is on average. Our bodies are built to accept a good deal of variation.

1) You should be physically active at least 30 minutes a day. If you're not, your general health condition suffers. Your own life is the most important thing in the world. Be good to yourself, be active.

2) Your calories intake should never go below 2300 a day. If you do, your body will go into starvation mode. Permanent weight loss is impossible at this stage and the starvation mode is not good for your health.

3) Calories counting doesn't really matter. Listen to your body. Your forefathers listened to their bodies for millions of years before calories were invented. Your body is relies on the same principles and has it's own calorie counting system called hungry, full, etc.

4) Energy distribution: Fat: 30% maximum, Carbs: 55-60%, Protein 10-15% of total energy intake. Most americans and north europeans have a way to high intake of fat. Fat per weight unit contains twice as much energy as carbs and protein, btw so watch out for that.

5) Don't meassure the energy distribution. Your intuition on what's good and bad are usually correct. I know the Atkins diet has killed a lot of good common sense around the world, but there should be some left still. Of course good and bad is distributed on a spectrum and it's a matter of concentration too.

6) More specific: Home made heavy whole grain bread, whole grain products, potatoes, pasta, veggies, fruit (especially good as snacks), berries, nuts (not salted peanuts) and leguminous fruit are almost always great for you. Unless you live in center of a continent, fish is good for you. If you live in north-western Europe and North America you can safely cut the meat to a third and go low fat (6% max). If you live in the US, cut the cheese entirely.

7) Diet and productivity are strongly related. As a knowledge worker, you should be aware of your breakfast and lunch as they have a great deal of impact on your productivity. Avoid food that makes you drowsy. If you need a cola or a coffe some time after lunch, you didn't eat the right stuff.

That's all I've got for now. It's really not rocket science as said before. Eat quality food when you're hungry. Don't eat when you're not. If the situation is really bad, you should plan a little for it, purge the fridge, buy some good healthy food, find some good healthy recipes, etc.

It maight take some of your time over the next couple of months, but you'll easily get into a good rythm and healthy food will become a second nature.
Permalink Peter 
January 22nd, 2006
__, how clueless are you anyway? Vineet is in India. In India, like it most of the world, a wife who notices that her husband is not eating makes sure he does.

As to my own family situation, I like to cook so I do a lot of that myself. My wife does the clean up, but I guess that's because I'm stuck in the 1940s, right? I should just be feeding her bon bons and buying her Gloria Steinman books.
Permalink Art Wilkins 
January 22nd, 2006
"You went to Stanford presumably sometime in the past 30 years."

Not quite but close. When I went there it was the free love era.
Permalink Art Wilkins 
January 22nd, 2006
The Hacker's Diet: http://www.fourmilab.ch/hackdiet/
Permalink Someone 
January 22nd, 2006
Well, he's also 22. Perhaps wrongly I'm assuming that 22 year old women in Bangalore are as career oriented as the men. I have traveled extensively and I've never met anyone under the age of 35 who is interested in cooking for others unless they are in culinary school. My apologies.
Permalink _ 
January 22nd, 2006
My personal experiences in knowing many Indian families is that most commonly, the woman prepares the meals. In half the cases she is a homemaker, in the other half she works, usually in the same field as her husband. The relationships are egalitarian. These are professional class people - I have heard that the lower classes are not as egalitarian (bride burning, etc).
Permalink Art Wilkins 
January 22nd, 2006
If you are not getting enough exercise rack up 10,000 steps every day. Worth buying a pedometer to do the counting.

BTW, whatever happened to this wonderful system:
http://www.tiffinbites.com/about/tb.htm
or doesn't it happen in Bangalore (??).
Permalink trollop 
January 22nd, 2006
I've been following "The Warrior Diet". Cheesy name, but the plan works for me. Basically, the theory is that the highly processed foods of today are the primary reason behind our overweight society. So you should switch to organic fruits & veggies (non-tropical is best) during the day, as breakfast, lunch & snacks. For dinner, eat some protein (fish is best, organic chicken is next best), alternating between high protein, high carb and high fat days as your body tells you what it needs.

Your big meal of the day should be the dinner. This is because humans typically spent their days in activities such as foraging & hunting, bringing the food home to eat in the evening. This is the exact opposite of what everyone's been taught, but it works because after you eat a big meal, you get sleepy, right? This is your body telling you it's time for bed.

For exercise, I follow controlled-fatigue training, where you mix strength, speed, and endurance during your workout. You'll go from barbell chest presses to vertical leaps, to running in place, and back again. It will really wear you out! (a good thing)

Also good is any kind of interval training, such as mountain biking, or boxing.
Permalink example 
January 22nd, 2006
Software engineers have never been in my diet and nor are they likely to be so. Far too greasy.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
January 23rd, 2006
"What do you mean Katie? Here's a calorie intake calculator:"

"UK Department of Health Estimated Average Requirements (EAR) are a daily calorie intake of 1940 calories per day for women and 2550 for men."

That's average. That includes the squash-addicts as well as the engineers.
Permalink Katie Lucas 
January 23rd, 2006
As for the 3000 calories thing...just eat at Chipotle twice a day and you're almost there. Each burrito has around 1200 calories in it.
Permalink Phil 
January 23rd, 2006
According to the Hacker's Diet (which i have been avidly reading) you can get through just over 3000 calories/day if you are a large-framed 6'4" male at your ideal weight who exercises a LOT.
Permalink trollop 
January 23rd, 2006
I'm 6'2" 255lbs
I'd like to be around 220lbs

So I've been eating better

breakfast @ 7am - bowl of whole grain cereal (cherrios, wheat chex, etc) with skim milk, 1/2 whole grain bagel w/butter, glass of OJ

9:30 am meal - 1 packet of low sugar instant oatmeal and 1 banana

11 am lunch - 1 sandwich whole grain bread (turkey or ham) w/slice of cheese, glass of milk

2pm snack - 1 orange and 1 peanut butter sandwich (whole grain bread)

4:30 snack - 1 apple

6:00 dinner - what ever we are eating - about 600-900 calories

Durning the day i drink about a gal of water.

Prior to breakfast I work out w/bowflex for 20 min then on the treadmill for 15 min.

I just got the bowflex, so prior to it I've been losing about a pound a week. Hopefully the weight training will help with that.
Permalink Yo! 
January 23rd, 2006

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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