Wow, thanks for the detailed response Ming!

  1. Design thinking. Very good point. I didn’t spend much time talking about motivations, but I agree that it’s essential in coming up with solutions that stick. I use Headspace regularly and many of the exercises are about intentionality.
  2. A pound is not a pound. I had heard that conductive and volumetric displacement measurement of body density are inaccurate in determining lean muscle mass, so I wanted to see exactly what the differences were. I got a DXA scan in December 2015 for exactly this reason — my insurance covered it since it is an effective test for osteoporosis! I think most of the time precise measurement is not necessary. The pinch test works pretty well.
  3. Habits. I’ve read a couple of resources on habits like Thinking Fast and Slow, Nudge, and The Art of Learning. These helped me to design the specific habits I chose. I use HabitBull to try to increase my awareness and track how well I’m achieving my goals.
  4. Mindfulness. I now purposely use smaller plates and bowls whenever I can, and create Schelling points by e.g., asking for my burrito to be cut in half and wrapped separately. This means that I will have a natural moment to decide whether I want to eat more, rather than automatically consuming everything in front of me. I almost always stop after the first half or the first plate and feel satisfied, saving the rest for next time.

Software engineer, tinkerer, aspiring mad scientist

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