There should be a huge (umm, pun partly intended) market for this, but I'm afraid after a short time the used market would be full of robots decommissioned by owners whose desire overcame their deligence.
re: "Unfortunately, the reward I want at the moment is an ice-cold beer..."
After I finish my robot, maybe I'll make a system that can give you just that reward. Of course, it will calculate the amount of physical work you need to perform in order to compensate for the calories consumed. It would then requires some type of action, like stair steps, treadmill, iron pumping... not opening the refrigerator until you've first burned off the calories.
Version two of the device could offer you warm beer when you've burned off the calories and reward you with cooler beer for additional exercise.
Engineers and scientists are ideally suited to diet. We respond to logic, evidence, data, and results. That said, the necessary ingredients are a means to count calories ingested and (secondarily) a means to estimate calories expended. I'd suggest a calorie counting smart phone app in which EVERYTHING eaten is logged. The magnitude of the problem quickly becomes apparent and then those foods with the highest caloric contribution and least psychic benefit can be dropped. Exercise earns caloric credits (or faster weight loss). Determining a daily upper limit of food calories that is 500 calories or more below the body's burn rate will result in a pound loss per week (3,500 calories). It is simple math. Fasting for the rest of the day if the limit is reached will quickly correct any wayward snacking. Recognize that the caloric requirements of the body are reduced as the body weight is reduced so the caloric limits need to be adjusted downwards through time. An app such as Keyoe's Diet Assistant (which I bought for my Palm Pilot in 2004 enabled me to lose 40 pounds in 6 months) can do these calculations. I still down more than 30 pounds. Such software will display net calories after food and exercise are entered and estimate time to reach a particular goal. If data entry sounds burdensome, it is actually a quite beneficial side effect - skipping the exotic doughnut is less trouble than looking up the caloric count. Good luck!
Hi Andrew -- thanks for the advice -- I'm not sure what P90X is but I will look it up. Re GOMBS ... I think I'm more of an OMBS man, unless we make the G stand for Garlic ... and I'm assuming that there's a "Silent I" for "Ice Cream" and an even more "Silent B" for "Beer" (grin)
Well, You cannot beat doing 2 or 3 rounds of P90X. I am 55 years old and have done three rounds, and have gotten fit. Also, Dr. Joel Fuhrman's GOMBS (YouYube, "3 steps") approach to diet is a good start too. I follow Dr. Fuhrman's GOMBS:
B: Beans and Berries
but I add another G:GARLIC, and another two M's:Meat(lean/not too Much).
Finally, now that I have finished 3 rounds of P90X, I was able to get on my bicycle and start riding 40 miles, 50 miles, 60 miles, 90 miles, ... 100 miles in one day. Once you get to where you can ride a Century, "Boy, you are in shape".
And finally finally, an anti-candida program will help fight the aging process. This not for the faint of heart though.
Andrew Ancel Gray
Great advice -- one thing I'm currently doing is trying not to eat anything after 6:00pm -- on the days when I do achieve this I sleep a lot better plus I never wake up in the middle of the night with an "acid tummy" ... my neighbor said that he lost 30 pounds just doing this but eating as usual in every other way...
My wife found that she has type 2 diabetes, which is unfortunate, but by watching her carb intake, substituting whole carbs for processed carbs, and a good deal of walking, she dropped 40 pounds over the course of a few months. It was like having a wife that is 10 years younger (she is 57). She has more energy and is much happier. One idea is to divide the dinner plate into fourths. One for protein, one for starch, one for a green vegetable, and one for a colored vegetable. Voila - balanced nutrients and reasonable calorie intake, if the plate isn't too big and you don't fill it too many times ;-)
Good luck Max!
"In the meantime, do you have any tips and tricks on how to lose weight (and keep it off) and generally increase one's health and well-being?"
Here are 4 food toxins you should avoid eating:
1. Sugar (especially high-fructose corn syrup)
2. Cereal grains (especially refined flour)
3. Omega-6 industrial seed oils (corn, cottonseed, safflower, soybean, etc.)
4. Processed soy (soy milk, soy protein, soy flour, etc.)
It may be difficult to follow at first, but it gets easier over time and your body will thank you.
For a full description on this, please refer to the following links:
Good luck and stay healthy :)