On the scientific method

I have been engaging in research these past weeks. It involves the application of the scientific method – that is, deep thought coupled with stroking one’s chin, while wearing glasses and a lab coat – to everyday life, and the improvement of the conditions thereof.

Also, I have been working on identifying specific things to change, and developing hypotheses about how best to bring about this change, and then testing the hypotheses, rather than, as previously, wishing for a lottery win, or for certain people to be struck by lightning.

I will provide an example. Problem: Subject feels, and looks, like hell. Solution: lose ten pounds, for starters. People generally look better when they lose ten pounds, unless they are already too skinny, which is not the case here. And when they look better, they feel better, as a rule.

Problem: how to lose ten pounds. Solution: employ a weight loss method that exploits the subject’s strengths, while minimizing the recidivistic effects of his weaknesses.

Subject’s strengths: ability to forget things, and to ignore things. Weaknesses: likes food.

Two weight loss methods were employed. The first involved using the strengths as follows:

  1. Forget to eat.

  2. Ignore the resulting hunger.
  3. Eventually forget you are hungry.

The subject ate less every day for a period of several days. Then he stopped eating altogether. His family finally noticed. He said he was on a hunger strike. They asked what for. He said until they forgave him. They said, for what? He said, your choice.

The hunger strike lasted three days, during which only water was consumed. Then, forgiven, and somewhat light-headed, he celebrated by going out for Indian food with his daughter. This disproved the hypothesis that going out for Indian food must be a good idea after the fast because Ghandi probably fasted a lot and probably had Indian food afterwards.

Results of experiment: seven kilos lost. Which is, what, fifty pounds about, at current rates of exchange. Also, increased difficulty remembering names.

Second experiment: eliminating sugar, yeast and white flour from diet will result in weight loss.

This works because it is simple. Subject needn’t count calories, and can eat whatever he wants, as long as it fulfills the above-listed requirements, which practically nothing does, it turns out. Result: no weight regained after conclusion of diet 1, so far.

2 responses to “On the scientific method

  1. Jann

    I think the first part of your theory is right; I remember learning in nursing school that, “A change in behavior generally precedes a change in feelings.” I always remembered this because, while I recognized it to be true, it seemed somehow counterintuitive.

    The people I know well, by which I mean family members, who have succeeded in losing substantial amounts of weight (30-50 lbs), and in keeping it off for long periods, by which I mean not months nor years, but decades, have three things in common:

    1. They eat what they like but control portions.
    2. They engage in regular exercise, e.g., a brisk 30 minute walk around the neighborhood after supper.
    3. They don’t skip meals, especially not breakfast.

  2. D

    That reminds me, must book six month follow-up appointment with my shrink