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Jeff Duntemann’s Metadiet Picobook, Part 1

As my inner circle already knows, I’m planning a new technical book with a big publisher, and it’s consuming more of my life than I had expected. That’s most of what I’ve been off doing for two weeks. Once I nail the contract, I’ll be mighty busy for a few months, and may not report here as often as I’d like. Bear with me. In the meantime, I’m finally getting a long-overdue Contra project written up.

Another backchannel correspondent suggested that I write a diet book the other day. Jim Tubman’s been asking me to do that for a couple of years, because what worked for me worked for him. Problem is, there’s no such thing as a diet book–at least one that lays out a prescription for food that will allow you to lose weight.

Here’s the kicker: There are seven billion ideal diets, one for every single one of us on this planet. Alas, they’re all different, and nobody knows what they are. The only way you can find your very own is to engage in a long-term science experiment, keep good records, and do what works. This won’t be the same for everyone, and in fact will be radically different for a lot of people. Metabolism is a complicated business. We are not all identical. Write those words in fire in the back of your head. Forget them, and you will fail.

What I’m going to do here over the next few days is write a sort of metadiet book. It’s a method of determining what exactly allows you to lose weight. In the process, you will write your own diet book. It will have an audience of exactly one, and thus is unlikely to become a bestseller. But it may well be the best book you ever read.

I don’t intend this as medical advice. Nor is it dietary advice, since you’re the one who’s going to determine the sort of diet you’ll follow. Like I said, it’s a science experiment. I’m going to suggest a number of hypotheses, and you’ll test them, in a marvelous lab that begins right behind your teeth.

We’ll get underway tomorrow.


  1. Sounds very interesting and look forward to it.

  2. […] note: This is a series. If you haven’t been reading it from the beginning, please go back and do […]

  3. Ron says:

    Buddy of mine and I were talking – what happened to Jeff – he was the most clear writer of all the tech books – really good. When I saw you blog about diets – I cheered. Please consider writing a book on this. As we get old, it’s a -huge- problem (pun). There is an Engineering approach missing. No cheerleading, fads, or speaches. Let get data. That’s why I kinda like Tim Ferris (4 hour diet), in that he Bio-hacks himself to see what works. Well he is not 50+ years old, and we all cant do weekly blood tests. Please consider a book – you know come spring everyone buys it. Why not get some substance. Cheers -Ron

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