When to start

Plan to start your diet at a time when you have at least two weeks, ideally a month, of normal life, what you do in a typical day, ahead of you. It's hard enough to make the initial adaptation to losing weight without trying to fit it around a vacation, the holidays, extensive travel, lots of entertaining, and the like. All of these events can be taken in stride once you're used to managing a diet, but it's best to hit your stride before dealing with the distractions, complications, and...

Forecasting life extension

To calculate the extra minutes per day equivalent to extending your life by a given number of years, start with a guess at your minimum lifespan, overweight and out of shape. If you're less than 60, use 65 years, figuring on dropping dead on the day you retire. Life's like that, isn't it If you're 60 or above, add 10 years to your current age. Next, subtract your age from this number, giving the years you'd live in your present shape. For example, if you're 40 now, and assuming you'd live to 65...

Living longer

I was never much of a one for sports. Every time I played baseball, I got hit in the mouth with a ball or bat. Whenever I played football, I ended up with a mouthful of mud. Imagine my delight when I discovered that the physical education requirement at my college could be satisfied by playing ping pong or on the rifle range. After reaching that glorious stage in life when other people couldn't make me do things I'd rather not, the case against exercising seemed straightforward and...