Jessica Spengler (CC BY 2.0)

Reference Books for Geeky, Science based Weight Loss

I have been asked a lot where I got my facts and science while loosing 18kg in three months. Most of my inspiration started from listening to Penn Jillette on his Sunday School podcast. But the meat (pun intended) of the science was provided by Penn’s weight loss guru Ray Cronise. Ray might not be 100% science based and he admits to it himself. Most of weight loss is a bit woo woo even within scientific circles. To top up my facts I read the following books, but keeping a skeptical mindset.

The End of Overeating: Taking control of our insatiable appetite

I like Kessler because his hypothesis that we have changed our eating habits due to marketing and social pressures. Well researched and mostly science based.

Eat to Live: Das wirkungsvolle, nährstoffreiche Programm für schnelles und nachhaltiges Abnehmen

Basically Cronise copied Fuhrman 1 to 1. A bit too new age for my taste but still enough science to warrant reading. Most important is the way Fuhrman approaches weight loss.

Mach Das!: Die ultimative Physik des Abnehmens

Physics of weight loss. Austrian author, very scientific. Way to little psychology to be a real weight loss how to book. Will start you off on why eating less is more effective that doing more sport.

Der 4-Stunden-Körper: Fitter – gesünder – attraktiver – Mit minimalem Aufwand ein Maximum erreichen

I recommend Tim’s book to those who do not like to read. I know, I know. How deprecating of me. But I do have a lot of friends in this category. Lots of motivation, less science. Still, most of the tips can be supported by science.

Vincent Tcheng Chang (CC BY 2.0)

Does the Yo-Yo effect need to be true?

noyoyoSome friends and acquaintances have been trying to demotivate me (not on purpose) by telling me that I will most likely gain my weight back in no time due to the Yo-Yo effect of dieting.

Most studies around dieting show a strong tendency of those on a diet to gain back their weight after reaching their target weight. What is not well controlled in those studies is the real change of eating habits. The graph on the right shows my weight loss at two separate points. The first was our first vacation after I started dieting. I did not stop my new diet during the vacation, to the unhappiness of my wife. As can be seen, no weight was gained. The second point was a vacation in the USA where it was much more difficult to keep from over-eating. Weight gain was part of it.

Where was the difference? The first vacation was strictly vegetarian, sometimes pescetarian. The second I was calorie counting, but had fat, processed wheat and sugar in my meals. This just showed that most of the science behind The End of Overeating by Kessler is right. Yo-Yo does not have to be your fate. All required is sticking with the new way of eating: 

Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. – Michael Pollan

Roderick Eime (CC BY 2.0)

Yes, alcohol makes you fat

This might not be news to you, but it was to me. I had heard that alcohol was kind of like a sugar, but never thought much of it. Adding my drinks to MyFittnessPal showed me how important it is to quit drinking while on diet. Here a few of the drinks, each as a 0,5l beverage at 1,700 kcal basic metabolic rate:

Beer: 215 kcal (13% of daily allowance)
Alkopop: 340 kcal (20% of daily allowance)
Red Wine: 335 kcal (20% of daily allowance)
Sparkling: 400kcal (24% of daily allowance)
Vodka: 1075 kcal (63% of daily allowance)
Gin-Tonic: 350 kcal (21% of daily allowance)

Germans drink 9,7l of pure alcohol per year – 7% of their daily requirement

I don’t intend to stop drinking altogether. I love the social glue it provides a geek. All I now know is that I should moderate both the type als well as the amount.


Control of the Logitech Media Server using the LogicMachine

I use the Logitech Media Server to stream multi-room audio in our apartment. Lately I wanted to be able to also control the Spotify Plugin from the KNX buttons at home and automate some tasks.

This is a simple user library to allow you to send commands to a player attached to your LMS.

--Functions for Logitech Media Server integration
squeezboxserverip = '' -- IP of the Logitech Media Server

function unescape(space)
return string.gsub(space, ':', '%%3A') -- the telnet server returns : as %3A

function squeezeboxsendcommand(player,command,value)
local client = socket.connect(squeezboxserverip, 9090)
playercommand = player .. ' ' .. command .. ' '
client:send(playercommand .. value .. '\n')
local result=client:receive()
status = string.sub(result, string.len(unescape(playercommand))) --remove the MAC and command to get to the answer

function squeezeboxstatus(player)
local client = socket.connect(squeezboxserverip, 9090)
playercommand = player .. ' status'
client:send(playercommand .. '\n')
local result=client:receive()
status = split(result, ' ')
--status = string.sub(result, string.len(unescape(playercommand))) --remove the MAC and command to get to the answer

to play a Spotify Playlist you need to add this code to a KNX object.

require('user.squeezebox') --get the user library to access LMS

local player = 'b8:27:eb:ad:6b:c3' --set witch player to access

if (event.getvalue() == true) then
squeezeboxsendcommand(player, 'playlist', 'clear') -- reset any playlist
squeezeboxsendcommand(player, 'playlist add', 'spotify:user:1175125342:playlist:7yCDwOnYZTXFTYymXZxp0t') --get this command from the logs of the LMS when playing the Spotify playlist
squeezeboxsendcommand(player, 'playlist shuffle', 1) -- shuffle, if you want
squeezeboxsendcommand(player, 'play', '') -- now play the list
grp.write('11/6/1', 'Playing Spotify')
squeezeboxsendcommand(player, 'playlist', 'clear')
grp.write('11/4/0', false) --turn off player