# Vitamins for the Mind – Solutions

The 4:00 Meeting – Solution

Let Tt be time it takes Tom to walk half the distance between their
original places.

Let Tb be time it takes Bill to walk half the distance between their
original places.

A) Bill leaves at 4:00 – 3Tb.
Tom arrives 11 minutes later. That’s 4:00 -3Tb +11.
Tom walks back to the center: 4:00 -3Tb +11 + Tt.
At which time it’s 4:00: 4:00 -3Tb +11 + Tt = 4:00.
The 4 o’clock’s cancel:

Tt -3Tb + 11 = 0.

B) Similarly,                           Tb -3Tt + 15 = 0.

C) Solving, we get Tt = 7 minutes, and Tb = 6 minutes.
So Tom leaves at 3:39 and Bill leaves at 3:42.

Alice Forgets Her Purse – Solution

Let Ve be the rate of the down-moving escalator in steps per second.
Let Va be the rate of Alice in steps per second as she goes down the escalator.
Let L be the number of steps on the surface of the escalator.

A) Alice takes 50 steps going down and 125 steps going up, so because her rate
going up is five times as fast, the ratio of her down and up times is

50     125         50    25          50     Va         2
—- / ——   =   –/ —-   =   –— x —-   =   —-
Va     5Va         Va    Va         Va     25         1

So if Alice takes 50 steps going down, she takes 25 steps going up.

B) As Alice goes down, 50Va steps disappear go over the bottom, so the
difference, L – 50Va, must be 50 because she arrived at the bottom in 50 steps.

We have L – 50Va = 50,  so:
50Va = L – 50.

As Alice goes up, 25Va steps come over the top, so the sum, L + 25Va, must be
125 because she arrived at the top in 125 steps. We have L + 25Va = 125, so:

25Va = 125 – L.

C) Dividing the equations in A) and B), we have:

50Va             2         L – 50
———-   =   —-    = ———
25Va             1        125 – L

Solving:   250 – 2L = L – 50;    L = 300;    and, finally,

L = 100 steps on the surface of the escalator.

# How to copy videos and live video streams from the internet

How to copy videos, live video streams, or live news reports
(like from CNN) to your Windows computer

by Bob Day

September 15, 2018

1. What you will need:
a) The VideoCacheView app from NirSoft.  Here's a link:
http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/video_cache_view.html
Near the bottom of the page, there's a link to

b) Another useful app is MediaInfo, which is able to
determine the format of a video file.
A link to it is:

c) Another app is the VideoSolo Free Video Converter, which
can convert FLV format video files to MP4 format video files.
https://www.videosolo.com/free-video-converter/

2. Copying a video using the Firefox browser:
a) Play the entire video or live video stream until the end.
Then close the browser.

b) Run VideoCacheView.exe, and locate your video.  You can
recognize it by the browser you used (in this case Firefox),
the very recent date and time, and probably its large file
size.  Also, note the format under "Content Type".

c) Make a copy of the file on your computer desktop and change
its file name to an appropriate name.  (If you want to post
it on YouTube, give it a very unique name so you will be
able to find it easily.  (Note: YouTube allows you to slow
down the speaking rate of speaker without changing the pitch
of his or her voice — a very nice feature.))

d) If the file's Content Type is MP4, add the extension ".mp4"
to the filename and you're done.  If the Content Type is
MP2T, the file is an flv format file.  In that case, add the
extension ".flv" to the filename and run the VideoSolo app
to convert the file to the MP4 format.  (Also see Appendix 2,
below.)

e) Post the video on YouTube if you'd like.

Appendix 1
The default size of Firefox's cache buffer for temporary files
is 50 MB (megabytes) The cache is where Firefox stores all of
its temporary files, including video files.  If you want to
copy videos that are longer than, say, 10 minutes, you'll
need to increase the size of the cache (so the cache will have
plenty of room for all the files it needs to temporarily store).
Here's how to do it with the Firefox browser:
a) Enter "about:config" (without the quotes) into the address
bar (where "http://" URLs go).

b) After you "accept the risk", Firefox's internal settings will
be displayed, and starting at the top left will be a search
window.  Enter "browser.cache.disk" (without the quotes) into
the search window and press Enter.

c) Then right click on "browser.cache.disk.capacity" and click on
"Modify" and enter the value you wish.  The units are in
kilobytes (KB).  So, for example, 50000 is fifty megabytes (MB).

d) On the next line, if necessary, modify the value of
"browser.cache.disk.enable" to "true".  Exit the window and
you're done.

Appendix 2
Often a video will be composed of a sequence of several MP2T (flv)
files, and to get the complete video, this sequence of MP2T fles must
be strung together, from earliest to latest.  To do this, first

Then, do the following steps:
a) Use Video Cache View to find the video you want.  Then copy the
MP2T files in the sequence to a folder you've created (They'll be
very close together in time, spaced just a few seconds apart.).
Rename the files with names that indicate their order in time,
and tack onto each the extension ".flv".

b) Bring up the Avidemux app, and drag the files in the folder, in
time sequence, into the area next to the column of option
selections on the left. (Note: the first file will create an
image in this area — just copy the succeeding files onto the
top of the image.)  Make sure that a little window saying
"Checking if timestamp…" pops up when you drag an MP2T file
onto the area.  If it doesn't, the file hasn't actually been
copied.  In that case, drag the file again.

c) Under "Output Format", select the option "MP4 Muxer".  Then click
on the save icon (looks like a floppy disk) in the toolbar at the
top of the window.  Give the file a name and click on "Save".
The output MP4 file will be saved in the folder you created for
the MP2T files.  Exit Avidemux and you're done.

# Easy to Build 40 Hz Gamma Wave Flashing LED Lamp

According to an artcle in the December 8, 2016 issue of the journal Nature, an
LED light that fashes at 40 Hz, which is the frequency of Gamma wave in the
brain, may alleviate the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. Also, a 40 Hz
fashing LED light is said to be an aid to meditaton.

In this artcle, I will describe an easy way to build a 40 Hz fashing LED foor
lamp. About all you need to know is a litle bit about electricity that you probably
learned as a kid, and a litle bit about household wiring, such as how to replace
an electrical outlet in the wall of your home.

The parts you will need
1
Price on Amazon: \$11.20.

2. A DC solid state relay,
Digi-Key part number CC1126-ND. Price on Digi-Key: \$20.20.

3. A 12 volt DC power supply, such as this one on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/Selectec-12-Volt-Power-Supply/dp/B009ZZNHYC/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1533387536&sr=8-3&keywords=12+volt+laptop+power+supply

Price on Amazon: \$13.99.

4. Two 12 volt LED light bulbs, such as this one on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01M28CQ32/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Price on Amazon: \$15.98.

5. Dual light bulb socket, such as this on Amazon:
Price on Amazon: 6.99.

6. Two to six foot extension cord. Available at a local hardware store.

7. Twist-on wire connectors, such as these on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/Gardner-Bender-25-AWC-Assortment-Electrical/dp/B000F5TTE8/ref=sr_1_4?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1533389567&sr=1-4&keywords=twist+on+wire+connectors
Price on Amazon: \$2.07.

8. A standard foor lamp.

9. #22 gauge hook-up wire, such as this on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/Electronix-Express-Hook-Wire-Solid/dp/B00B4ZRPEY/ref=sr_1_3?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1533390498&sr=1-3&keywords=hook+up+wire+22+gauge+solid
Price on Amazon: \$18.95.

10. Soldering iron and solder. Soldering the connectons to the DROK Square Wave Generator is preferable but not absolutely nessesary. If you don’t solder the connectons, strip about V/8ths of an inch of insulaton of the ends of hook-up wires and loop them through the connectng holes in the DROK in twist-tie fashion, and twist tghtly.

Putting it together
1. Connect the negatve wire from the power supply to “VIN –” (the negatve input) on the DROK square wave generator.
NOTE: “
VIN -” is internally connected to GND on the output terminal screw #1 (the positve output) on the solid state relay.

2. Cut the extension cord at a convenient length, measured from its socket end.

3. Connect terminal screw #4 (the negatve input) on the solid state relay both to the Neutral (wide slot) side of the extension cord socket AND to GND on the output side of the output side of the DROK square wave generator.

4. Connect the positve wire from the power supply both to “VIN +” (the positve input) on the DROK square wave generator AND to terminal screw #1 (the positve output) on the solid state relay.

5. Connect terminal screw #2 (the positve input) on the solid state relay to PWM on the output side of the DROK square wave generator.

6. Connect terminal screw #2 (the negatve output) on the solid state relay to the HOT (narrow slot) side of the extension cord socket.

7. Turn the foor lamp of, unplug it, and screw the dual light bulb socket into its socket. Screw in the two 12 volt LED light bulbs.

8. Read the instructons that came with the DROK square wave generator.

9. Plug the power supply into the wall and set the DROK to 40Hz and the duty cycle to V0%.

10. Plug the lamp into the socket of the extension cord.

11. Turn the foor lamp on and it should now be fashing at 40 Hz! If you like, you can experiment with other frequencies and duty cycles.

# About Butterscotch and How to Make Butterscotch Flavor Powder

My sources for this are many Google searches about butterscotch on the internet.
First, there is no such thing as "true butterscotch".  The many recipes I found have various
ratios of sugar to butter, and there is a variation in the ingredients.  So there is only
"version A" of butterscotch, "version B", "version C" and so on.  The commonality
among most of them is that they contain sugar, butter, salt, and molasses.  The sugar
can be light brown sugar, dark brown sugar, or just plain sugar.  If it's just plain sugar,
molasses is added to the recipe; otherwise, molasses is optional.  If molasses is added
it can be plain molasses or, occasionally, blackstrap molasses.  The sugar to butter
ratio varies greatly — anywhere from 4:3 to 16:1 by weight, I've read.

The sugar, butter, salt, and molasses are mixed together and cooked until the temperature
is raised to anywhere between 245 degrees F to 310 degrees F.

One question I asked myself is why, if molasses is just mostly caramelized sugar (as many
sources on the internet say), why, if it's added separately, is it always cooked along with the
other ingredients and not added later?  After further research on the internet, I found the
answer: Molasses is NOT caramelized sugar!  Why?  To refine sugar, sugar cane is boiled in
a vacuum at 160 degrees F.  160 degrees F is well below the caramelization temperature of
sugar, which begins at about 320 degrees F.  Also at 160 degrees F the Maillard reaction
(which I'll get to shortly) is very slow, so molasses has undergone very little Maillard reaction.

Caramelization is not important for butterscotch because butterscotch is not caramelized, but
the Maillard reaction is very important since it is what develops the butterscotch flavor.  The
Maillard reaction takes place at an optimal rate between 270 and 310 degrees F.  To avoid

caramelization from occurring, among all but one of the recipes  I've seen for butterscotch,
the maximum cooking temperature is 300 degees F.

How to Make Butterscotch Flavor Powder
I like the flavor of butterscotch a lot, and after some experimenting I figured out how to
make a butterscotch flavor powder that I could add to other things, such as yogurt.  The
following recipe is based on recipes for butterscotch I've found on the internet, plus a
couple of my own ideas, which seem to be original.

Ingredients
60 grams      dark brown sugar

30 grams      unsalted butter
1/8 tsp          salt (not sea salt)

1 1/2 Tbsp    blackstrap molasses (optional, to make the flavor "extra butterscotchy")
2 tsp             water (approximarely)

Cooking
Mix the ingredients together in a pan, adding just enough water to wet down the
other ingredients, set a stovetop burner in the medium heat range, and, stirring
constantly, cook slowly until the temperature of the mixture is a carefully measured
310 to 315 degrees F.  Cooking slowly is important for giving the Maillard reaction time
to take place. (The Maillard reaction is what develops the butterscotch flavor.)  For
measuring the temperature, I use an infrared surface temperature thermometer.
There are many brands of these infrared thermometers on Amazon.

When the mixture is cooked, pour it immediately (not letting it harden) onto a flat
surface that has been covered with a sheet of parchment paper, and let the mixture
cool for, say, 20 minutes, until it is rock solid.  Then crack it up with your food-gloved
hands, transfer it to a blade type coffee grinder, and grind it into a fine powder.  This
may require several "transfer-grind" operations.  Store the powder in a refrigerator,
and use it as desired.  When using the powder, also add some vanilla flavor or extract.

Serving size 1 Tbsp.  Makes about 7 servings.

# Minus Times Minus Equals Plus

Here’s an example I like of a negative number times another
negative number equaling a positive number:

I have been giving away five dollars each minute.
Currently, at time t = 0, I have zero dollars, but I am continuing
to give away five dollars each minute in the form of IOU’s.
Thus, the equation for the number of dollars I have at time t is
D = -5t, where D represents dollars.

Using that equation, calculate how many dollars I had four
minutes ago.

# Vitamins for the Mind

The 4:00 Meeting
Tom and Bill are standing at two places on a straight road.  Tom starts
walking toward Bill and arrives at Bill’s original place 11 minutes after
Bill had left.  At perhaps a different time, Bill starts walking toward Tom
and arrives at Tom’s original place 15 minutes after Tom had left.  When
each reaches the other’s original place, he immediately turns and starts
back, and they meet in the center at 4:00.  Assuming that they walked at
constant rates, when did each start to travel on the road?

Alice Forgets Her Purse
On her way out of Macys, Alice walks down a down-moving escalator
in 50 steps.  When she reaches the bottom, she suddenly remembers
she forgot her purse, and she turns and runs back up the escalator in
125 steps, stepping five times as fast as she went down.  How many steps
are on the surface of the escalator?

The Twelve Coins
You have 12 coins.  They are identical, except that one of them is either
heavier or lighter than the rest.  In three weighings on a balance scale, find
the odd coin and whether it’s heavier or lighter.

# Complete Protein Organic Whole Grain Bread Recipe

It took me many trials and many adjustments to develop this recipe for a nicely rising whole grain bread.  Note: The amounts may look over obsessive in their precision, but they are just the amounts I somehow ended up with over many trial loaves.  They probably don't need to be all that exact.

Dry Ingredients                                                    Liquid Ingredients
78g  King Arthur organic whole wheat flour         322g   water
(not stone ground)                                        29g     clover honey (or other mild
honey)
79g  organic whole amaranth flour                       1/2 Tbsp  extra virgin organic olive oil,
(not stone ground)                                                       first cold press
79g  organic whole quinoa flour (not stone ground)
79g  organic whole buckwheat flour (not stone ground)
70g  Bob's Red Mill vital wheat gluten flour
23g  King Arthur Baker's Special Dry Milk (a nonfat non-instant dry milk)
7.7g salt (not sea salt)
6.1g Fleischmann's bread machine yeast

Notes
1.  The wheat, amaranth, quinoa, and buckwheat should add to 315g — measure these without rezeroing the scale: 78g, 157g, 236g, and finally 315g.

2.  For baking the bread: In my Zojirushi BBCC-X20 bread machine I used the Home Made baking course in Memory 1, which I set to the following numbers of minutes: Preheat 30, Knead 23, and Rise1 45.  Then I  transferred the loaf to a 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan and did a final rise in the bread machine for about 44 minutes (a "Rise2" so the surrounding temperature would be 82.4 degrees F).

3.  Put the loaf into an oven preheated to 425 degrees F and immediately lower the temperature to 400 degrees F. After 9 minutes lower the temperature to 350 degrees F.  Tent the loaf after 19 minutes and continue baking until the internal temperature of the loaf is 201 degrees F (94 degrees C).  The total baking time should be about 34 minutes.

4.  Makes about a 1 1/2 pound loaf.

# Free Will

I have been reading Sam Harris's latest book, "Free Will", in which he
claims that free will does not exist.  Basically, he refers to some scientific
studies that show that all actions that you consciously decide to take
have actually been decided for you, totally unconsciously, in your
unconscious mind a few hundred milliseconds, or sometimes a few
seconds, before it enters into your conscious mind and you "decide" to
take it.  But since your unconscious mind has already decided, your
conscious decision is an illusion — you actually had no free will about it.

Harris is aware of the idea of quantum uncertainty, and acknowledges
that Martin Heisenberg, a biologist, has found that certain processes in
the brain occur quantum randomly (thus truly randomly), but says that
has nothing to do with free will.

But I think it may.  Consider this example, which is based on an actual
experience I had in solving a problem:  I had previously noticed that
when you heat a UPS label on a package with a hair dryer and peel it
off, it leaves a sticky area where the label was.  My problem was to
figure out how to get rid of the stickiness.

I don't know much about how the brain works, but as far as I know, there
is nothing to contradict the hypothetical mechanism I will suggest.  And
it coincides with my thinking process in solving the problem:  When you
are trying to solve a problem, perhaps there is an unconscious
mechanism in the brain that generates possibilities at random,
randomly cranking through and randomly associating past events,
objects, tools, materials, devices, et cetera that you know about.  And
when it finds an association that might relate to your problem, presents
it to your conscious mind for further consideration.  In my case of how
to get rid of the stickiness here's how it might work:

My thinking process:
How to get rid of the stickiness???  — think… think… think… (unconscious
mind cranking out a possibility).  Conscious mind:  Aha!  Try rubbing it with
a white pencil eraser.  Hmm — no, that sounds like it would just rub the
sticky around, but not get rid of it.

So,   — think… think… think…
(unconscious mind generating another random possibility).  Conscious
mind:  Aha!  Try spreading glue over the stickiness and letting it dry.
Hmm — Maybe.  I have some Elmer's white school glue, I'll try that. …
No — sorry — it didn't work.

Back to   — think… think… think…
(unconscious mind generating yet another random possibility).
Conscious mind:  Aha!  Try rubbing over it with a wax candle.  Hmm —
interesting.  Strange, but who knows?  So try it. … Yes!  Amazing.  It
worked perfectly!  Problem solved.

That's a pretty good description of how my thinking went in my
conscious mind.  Of course, I have no idea what actually went on in my
unconscious mind.  But where do these ideas that just pop into your
head come from?  Especially the one about the wax candle.  The few
candles I even own have been sitting on a back shelf for several years,
untouched.  I haven't even the vaguest (conscious) clue about where
that idea came from.

But, if there is a part of your unconscious mind that randomly
generates ideas for your conscious consideration and decision as to
whether or not to act on, I think that would be an example of free will.

# Derivation of the Formula for Mortgage Payments

Derivation of the Formula for Mortgage Payments

A while ago, I wanted to know the reasoning behind the amount of my payments on my home mortgage. I looked in some accounting books, and all they gave was the formula. None of them gave the rationale behind it. So I sat down and derived it myself. It's not too hard.

Say we borrow an amount "A" at an interest rate of "r" per payment period. (If the payments are made monthly, "r" is the annual interest rate quoted by the bank divided by 12.) We pay back the loan in "N" payments or periods.

For example, for a 30 year mortgage on which payments are made monthly, N would be 30×12 or 360. After N payments, each of the amount "P", the loan is paid off and the amount we owe is reduced to zero.

Derivation of the Formula
The Initial amount we owe is A. At the end of the first payment period, the amount we owe has increased by rA, one payment period of interest, and we make a payment, P. So the total amount we owe after one period is
: A + rA – P, or A(1 + r) – P. We note that this A(1 + r) – P is not only an amount, but also an operator; that is, given the amount of principal outstanding at the beginning of any period, we can apply it to determine the amount of principal remaining at the end of the period.

So applying the operator A(1 + r) – P to the amount A(1 + r) – P remaining at the end of the first period, we get (A(1 + r) – P)(1 + r) – P as the amount remaining at the end of the second period. Similarly, at the end of the third period, the amount of principal remaining is: ((A(1 + r) – P)(1 + r) – P)(1 + r) – P. After N periods (applying the operator and then expanding), the amount remaining will be:

A(1 + r)^N – P( (1 + r)^(N-1) + (1 + r)^(N-2) + (1 + r)^(N-3) + … + 1 ) = 0  [Equation 1].

It equals zero, because after N periods the loan is paid off. Considering just the (1 + r)^(N-1) + (1 + r)^(N-2) + (1 + r)^(N-3) + … + 1 portion, we can reverse the order of its terms and rewrite it as: 1 + (1 + r) + (1 + r)^2 + … + (1 + r)^(N-1)

Representing this series by "S", and letting "R" equal (1 + r), we get:
S = 1 + R + R^2 + … + R^(N-1)
So, RS = R + R^2 + … + R^(N-1) + R^N
Subtracting: S – RS = 1 – R^N, and so S = (1 – R^N) / (1 – R)
Inserting this value for S back into Equation 1:

A(1 + r)^N – P( (1 – R^N) / (1 – R) ) = 0

Finally, Solving for P, the amount we pay each period, we get:

P = rA / (1 – (1 + r)^(-N))

I checked this formula against my own mortgage amount and payments and it agreed exactly! Voila! For example, for a 30 year mortgage for \$300,000 at an interest rate of 6% per year paid monthly, the parameters are: A = 300000 (the mortgage amount) r = 0.06 / 12 = 0.005 (the monthly interest rate) N = 30 x 12 = 360 (the number of payments) And the monthly payments would be: 0.005 x 300000/(1 – 1.005^(-360)) = 1798.65 dollars per month.

Another Way: Approximation with a Differential Equation
We can also use a differential equation to get a very close approximation of the payments on a mortgage.  A while ago I was trying to figure out how long it would take a bug walking along a stretching rubber band to get to the end.  After I solved that problem, it occurred to me that the problem of mortgage payments could be solved in a similar way.  It's a nice example of how a differential way of thinking can be used to solve a real-world problem.  Perhaps many problems in finance and economics can be solved using a differential approach.

We start by looking at how fast the mortgage is being paid off:  We now let A(t) be the amount we owe on the mortgage as a function of time.  Note that A(0) is the amount of the mortgage, the amount we borrowed.  Each month, the bank adds an interest amount of r * A to the mortgage and we make a payment of P.  Consequently, the amount we have remaining to pay on the mortgage changes by: dA/dt = r * A – P each month.

To solve this equation for A requires a little bit of mathematical gymnastics, but it's strictly cookbook.  It can be very easily solved by entering "solve (dA/dt = r * A – P)", without the quotes, into WolframAlpha at www.wolframalpha.com and clicking on the = sign.

The solution is: A(t) = P/r + C e^(rt), where C is a constant we need to evaluate. After a time T, the mortgage will be paid off, so we have: A(T) = P/r + C e^(rT) = 0. Solving for C, we get, C = -P/r e^(-rT). Replacing C in the solution, A(t) = (P/r) (1 – e^(r (t-T)). So, A(0), the amount of the mortgage (the amount we borrowed) is: A(0) = P/r (1 – e^(-rT)). And finally, solving for P we get: P = r A(0) / (1 – e^(-rT)). For A(0) = 300000 dollars, i = 0.06 / 12 = 0.005 percent per month, and T = 360 months, we get: P = 1797.05 dollars per month, very close to the amount we calculated before.  (But, of course, not quite good enough for the bank!)

# How to Lose Weight: Calories Aren’t Everything

… Calories are the only thing.  If you burn more calories than you take in you will lose weight — beginning, middle, and end of story.  Maintaining a negative calorie balance is the only thing that matters for weight loss.

The therapy professions and pharmaceutical companies would have you believe that obesity is an uncontrollable disease or an addiction.  They want you to pay for therapy or buy their drug.  Both are total nonsense.

But, losing weight is difficult.  It's a long, lonely, and solitary road.  It's not just a matter of going on a diet for a while, and it requires changing much more than just your diet.  It requires a permanent change in lifestyle, including discarding friends who disparage or try to discourage your efforts.  You, yourself, inside your soul, have to decide that losing weight is something you want to do.  Not because friends said you should lose some weight; not because your doctor is on your case about it.  You look at yourself in the mirror and decide you don't like the way you are and decide that you want to change your life.

I know all this for a fact.  I've lost over 50 pounds, gone from being overweight to being a few pounds above underweight, and have kept it off for more than ten years.

Caveats
1)  Diet Programs like Weight Watchers can help you to find a weight losing diet, but not for support.  If you need support from others, you'll probably fail.  Your desire to lose weight, which requires establishing a new, permanent, lifestyle, must come from within.

2)  Gaining Weight as you get older you're older is *not* inevitable. It's just another excuse.

3)  Exercise has many health benefits, but it is not necessary for weight loss.  It can help only if you don't use exercise as an excuse to eat more.

Recommendations

1)  Eat mostly to get the nutrition your body needs, and less for enjoyment.  Establish a healthful diet and learn to enjoy healthful foods, and make eating less a part of your life.

2)  Three meals a day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  That's it.  No snacks, and no "in between" meals.

3)  Give up sugar.  No sugar in coffee, soda, or on cereal.  Give up fruit juice — it's mainly just another form of sugar.  Water is the only liquid you need.

4)  No alcohol.  Alcohol has no food value, alcohol is just empty calories.

5)  In the beginning, establish a very regulated moderate calorie diet.  Don't follow any sort of fad.  Just pick a selection of foods that add up to a normal balanced diet  — whole grains, veggies, fruit, dairy, a little meat, etc.  But start out by having exactly the same three meals each day — the same foods and the same amounts.  Weigh the portions on a scale.  Consider frozen dinners.  Healthy Choice, Lean Cuisine, Kashi, Smart Ones, and probably other brands have several that are low in calories (350 or less) and saturated fat, 25% daily value or less of sodium, and high in fiber — no need to weigh these.

6)  Round out your diet with supplements for nutrients that your diet does not contain enough of.

7)  Weigh yourself every day on a 0.2 lb. accuracy scale.  Your weight will fluctuate, but with a constant diet it should trend down over every two or three days.  If it doesn't, eliminate items from your diet or reduce the size of portions until your weight does go down.  (If you don't have a 0.2 lb. accuracy scale, I'd recommend the EatSmart Precision Plus Digital Scale, which is sold on Amazon.)  Don't obsess over the scale — let it be your friend and point the way to a weight losing diet.

8)  When you have achieved a weight losing diet, then you can start making adjustments to add variety, but make sure that you keep losing weight.

9)  Establish a routine of regular daily exercise.

10)  When you're down to the weight you want to be, you can adjust this diet to be a weight maintaining diet.  Make changes for variety, but keep to the approach to eating recommended here.  That can be your permanent diet for life.  Eat mainly to get the nutrition your body needs and less for pleasure  — find pleasure in other things.