Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Dieting for Programmer


I've decided to do a post on dieting, not exactly technical but very much of the, "Healthy body, Healthy mind" manta, so my history, I used to be nearly 16 stone so I'm not from the "always been thin, eat what you like" bunch of twats most diet people are.

So here is my diet plan / life plan thing.

Firstly, we need to work out our BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) basically the amount of calories you'd burn by sitting still all day.


So I'm going to take me as an example, I'd probably over weight currently due to being on a bulk, long story my figures.

Age: 24
Weight : 13 stone, 1 pounds
Height: 6 foot, 2 inches.

(Hint: 14 pounds in a stone for all you cool metric kids)

( 13 * 14) + 1 = 169 lbs

my BMR = 1895.47

Now we use Harris Benedict Equation to work out our calories


Since we're programmers, * 1.2

My calories for a day should be 2274.564

Now, in order to lose weight, we need to create a deficit, so the recommended number I feel is 500 calories, anything more, your body thinks its being starved and will hold onto your fat and not let go. It think its in a field starving and needs to keep you warm till you find an animal to eat.

So our Dave's Daily Diet Allowance is.... 1774.564(we're going to round it up for ease of use.) 1800 calories.

Now if you get any good food you'll see your RDA (recommended daily allowance) of what to eat, the average man is 2500 calories and each woman is 2000 calories. so if I stuck to it, I'd be putting weight on if I sat around doing nothing all day.

Type Male Female
Calories 2500 2000
Protein 55g 45g
Carbs 300g 230g
Of those carbs sugar 120g 90g
Fat 95g 70g
of that fat, Saturate 30g 20g
Fibre 24g 24g

So here are your RDA off the side off a Cornflakes packet! :), so here we have our aim, since you are probably eating more than your need you need to try and curb a little bit off this list too. So just try and keep within your boundaries and just count calories for now.

Time for the diet. I know from before we have 1800 calories to play with over the course of the day, time to split it, you should refine this to how you live, but you always must eat something at the times

  • Breakfast - 8am - 500 calories

  • Snack - 11am - 100 calories

  • Lunch - 1pm - 400 calories

  • Snack - 4pm - 100 calories

  • Dinner - 7pm - 600 calories

  • Snack - 11pm - 100 calories

Now that is my breakdown for my calories, I've give myself the most calories for my main meals, your main meal of the day is your breakfast. Skipping this is the worst mistake for your diet, it starts your metabolism kicks it into gear!

Now a sample diet

  • Porridge - Main stay of dieters, keeps you full for longer, since its a complex carb (takes a while to breakdown, simple carbs is sugar which takes minutes rather than hours

  • Apple + Skips

  • Chicken Salad with lots of trimmings or Soup and bread or jacket potato

  • Handful of nuts, Almonds are meant to be the best, full of protein

  • Lamb chop and lots of vegs and mash

  • Cottage Cheese and ryhvitta, cottage cheese is a slow releasing protein, so makes your metabolism work while you sleep

So that's a sample day, now all you have to do is tailor the diet to your calories, the foods you like and your lifestyle.

Keep a food diary for a week See how many calories and such you are eating, doesn't have to be 100% accurate, but gives you an idea where you are eating the worse!

If you feel you are snacking and want more food, increase your calories. This diet is meant to be one you're on for the rest of your life, not a quick fad one.

You are allowed one cheat meal a week make yourself feel bad when you eat it, thinking of the calories etc! But enjoy it, know that its bad for you etc.

Regarding food things I've learnt.

  • Anything with Hydrogenerate Fat avoid like the plage, seriously.

  • Eat protein!! It fills you up and your body works harder to digest it

  • Omega 3 1000mg capsules are amazing, ASDA sells them, eat at least 5 a day

  • When hungry drink a pint of water and wait 20 minutes, then see if you are hungry

  • Any exercise is better than none, don't over do it, or you'll get pissed off and stop

  • Don't let anyone say, "you look good as you are"

  • Weightwatchers meals are pretty nice!

So that's it, any comments would be grateful and I'll update the post if I need to!

Hope I haven't rambled too much!


  1. Like it Dave, well aware I need to loose a few lbs and this sounds like a very sensible approach. Also much less patronising than every other knob out there trying to sell their book / product / supplement or whatever.

    I knocked up a quick calorie counting google doc spreadsheet if anyone else decides to follow Dr Daves diet directions:

  2. Cheers Danny. I'll be doing more stuff in the future, you want me to go over anything?