Everyone knows that to lose weight you have to eat less and move more. The real question is: how much? How much more do we need to flog ourselves at the gym? Every day? Five times a week? Three?
First time exercisers invariably decide they must slog it out at the gym every day, only to give up completely when they realise it’s not sustainable.
Been there. Done that.
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Hands up if you’ve stepped on the scales yet this year? Well, I have, and it’s not pretty.
In 2011, I dropped a whopping 20 kilograms by improving my diet and beginning to exercise. In 2012, I put 8 kilograms back on, by pretty much doing the reverse. I’m not alone: many people who lose weight put it back on as old habits return. And I’m hardly surprised: I remember all the chocolate bars, serves of chips, bottles of wine and nights on the couch that explain my regain.
But, alarmed at the prospect of becoming the next Oprah or Kirstie Alley, I’ve decided it’s time to reverse the slide. And I’m going to do it the only way I know how – with economics. The federal government’s budget bottom line may be blowing out, but I’m determined to get mine under control. Today I weigh 74.7 kilograms. By the federal budget in May, I vow to weigh 65 kilograms. To do this I will need to become the Treasurer of my own body.
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There is an old mathematical puzzle about three mathematicians and a bell-hop which is a good lesson in how numbers can be used to deceive as well as inform.
Three mathematicians travelling to a conference out of town decide to save money by sharing a room (clearly these mathematicians are academics rather than mathematicians working on exotic products for investment banks).
At the front desk, they pay $300 for the night for their room.
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