Monday, September 13, 2010
Are you currently on a diet, or planning to start one? Most people who try to drop a few pounds are obsessed with measurements. They check their calorie intake, waistline and weight. This is all fine, but do they have a meaningful plan to ensure proper progress? I think they don’t.
There was a fantastic article on this subject in a trade journal I sometimes skim through; Chemical Engineering Progress (August issue). If you are interested, you can read the article for yourself. However, here are the take-away points:
Monitor your fat percentage, not weight alone. Aim for a loss of one-half percentage point per week for sustained and sustainable fat-loss.
Also plan for a 500-calorie energy deficit; make sure you take in less calories than you burn each day. A difference of 500 calories should be efficient (and result in approximately one-half percentage point drop per week in fat percentage).
How do you measure fat percentage? There are several machines available, but for a quick estimate, you can compute it from measuring your height, waistline and neckline and combine all of that in a formula:
For men: F=86.01 x log (WC – NC) – 70.04 x log (H) + 36.74
For women: F=163.205 x log (WC + HC – NC) – 97.68 x log (H) – 78.387
- WC = waist circumferance (in)
- HC = hips circumferance (in)
- NC = neck circumferance (in)
- H = height (inches)
Aim for 1/4 inch accuracy. Good luck!
Thursday, July 1, 2010
I think the best point of the book is the focus on not checking email too often. Simply rurnng off push notification on the phone is bliss.
Enjoy the summer and close Outlook before is's too late!
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Well, there are many ways, and which ones you can use depends on where you live, your attitude towards risk and your age. I live in Norway, Europe - the little spoiled, rich country with the oil and gas in Scandinavia. We have an excellent tax saving option for young people called BSU - which is a special savings account for the first down payment on your mortgage, which gives you a tax exempt on a portion of the money you put into that account. So, if you are saving for you first house, this is an excellent option.
Lots of people are putting away money for retirement, and they should. Even in countries with large social welfare programs this is a necessity if you want to keep a high standard of living after you quit working. In many countries there are tax-exempt mutual funds you can invest in with a fixed savings plan. Many of these are geared towards retirement planning, and some may be presented as retirement insurance with a savings option. Check out what's there in your own country.
Also, if you are going to get rid of stocks where you will realize a loss, that loss will give you a tax reduction in most civilized countries. Therefore, dump the losers and save the tax (if you don't think they will regain their lost value).
What about short term tax dodging then? Well, I haven't really found any legal ways to do that.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
This winter has shown few signs of global warming. Of course, linking the weather the last couple of months in those places where I have been roaming for this period to global warming is bogus. However, it is still a very realistic local cooling happening. Europe has seen the coldest start of January in 30 years, and temperatures down to -40 degrees (Celsius) have been reported in Norway and Sweden. How do we cope with such temps without severely limiting our lives?
Some limitation must be taken into account. However, there are a few things we can do to make life more comfortable. First of all, get yourself some woolen clothes, preferably 100% wool underwear (not your boxers or lingerie, but to cover most of your skin). This'll make your outdoor adventures more endurable. Second, get some nice music on your new portable device. Did you get a nice iPod touch for X-mas? Lucky you! Then, buy some books. Hide inside your home and enjoy the literature. Some very nice reads I've enjoyed lately:
- The Sun Also Rises
- Wicked Prey (Lucas Davenport Mysteries)
- Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-34
Monday, October 12, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
So... since this is a very nice feeling, I started thinking. How to bring more harmony into the workplace when the vacation is over - to elongate the effect of the holidays? I came up with three bullet points that I will test when I have spent a few more weeks doing absolutely nothing but reading, swimming and relaxing;
- add some physical activity during the work day (my job is very far from manual labor...), like a walk during lunch time (I know this is a classic, I've just never made myself do it).
- plan for procrastination... or plan for meaningful breaks duirng the day. Like reading a poem. If you plan for it, it won't make you stressed out.
- cut through during stalled meetings such that you don't have to spend your time there.
When I am back to work I will start to practice this and try to devise a way to judge the effect of it on my own well-being as well as my work day productivity.
Enjoy the holidays!