Scientifically, losing weight is a simple proposition:
- use more energy than you consume.
That’s it. Nothing more than a simple energy balance equation. All the fad diets, and all the so-called scientific breakthroughs really come down to this single, simple equation.
The real challenge is motivation. I’ve also discovered another scientific principle that seems to be related to this weight loss challenge. Newton’s Laws of Motion.
- First Law: “An object in motion will stay in motion and an object at rest will stay at rest unless acted upon by an external force”
- Second Law: “Force equals mass times acceleration”
- Third Law: “To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”
According to the first law, once you get started going in one direction, you will keep going until an external force pushes you in a different direction. The second law suggests that the size (power) of that external force will determine how far you are pushed “off track.” Not sure yet how the third law applies here.
In my dieting motivational experience, once I get started it’s pretty easy to keep it going, until my routine is changed – like when I travel. And once I get off the dieting track, it’s hard to get back on it. I’ve got a good start down this slippery slope (according to the standard calculations, I’ve had a 28,000 calorie deficit since January 1. I’ll let you figure out how many pounds that is). But the travel challenge looms over me this week, and I don’t yet have a real plan for pushing back against it. Maybe this is where the third law comes into play – I need to find a force I can use to push back with so I can maintain downward momentum.