Strong opinions, weakly held

Another line diet success story

Sam Ruby has had success losing weight and keeping it off on the line diet, which I wrote about earlier this year. I’ve lost about 35 pounds on the line diet since the end of August last year. I’ve also been working out at the gym religiously since October.


  1. Question: how does the line diet take into account that muscle weighs more than fat?

    It seems to me that you’re in danger of under-feeding yourself if you’re working out and doing the line diet.

    If I used line dieting in my active training periods, I’d be so fatigued I’d never be able to function – or the lack of nutrients would make an injury inevitable. I start out in early spring at a flabby 185, and end the summer at 195 pounds of muscle. As soon as I start working out with the intention of losing weight, I increase my calories, biasing heavily towards healthy lean proteins (like chicken), starchy carbs (like brown rice), fibrous veg (like asparagus). I drop all nutritional garbage down to once a week. Even with more calories, my weight will dip down near 175 as I start in earnest, then begin to climb again. I have a difficult time eating enough to fuel my activity during the early/middle period, when I’m burning 700 or so calories per treadmill session.

    When I’m fatigued from a workout, and my blood sugar is down, my brain will scream HIGH SUGAR SNACKS!! NOW!! The brain needs blood glucose to function properly, and doesn’t care where it gets it. It’s a clear signal I need to up my caloric intake of good stuff (protein/carb/veg) at regular mealtimes.

  2. Since I have plenty of weight available to lose, I don’t worry about that too much, as long as my performance at the gym keeps going up and my weight keeps going down. I guess eventually you get skinny enough that working out and eating enough to support your workout will result in (good) weight gain, but I’m not there yet.

  3. I’ve also had some success with the line diet; lost about 28 pounds since January 4th (we started eating less meat and more vegetables, cooking lots of stir-fry, signing up for a CSA basket, etc.). The first 12 pounds disappeared in the first five weeks or so, and from there it’s been harder – especially as it’s been interrupted by travel, SxSWi in Austin and the associated meatfest, and so forth.

  4. A great tip I’ve always used when wanting to drop weight fast, is to have a walk after dinner and then exercise in earnest just before breakfast. Being somewhat ‘starved’ from the overnight fast gets the body burning pure fat much quicker than it would otherwise.

    I use a dilute Gatorade mix (you never need full strength to replenish, and it really is way too high in sugar) to keep the hypoglycemic/hungry ‘bonk’ away.

  5. Thanks for the idea! I started the day of your post, Jan 4. Working beautifully. Bang Bang says I’ll hit my 50 lb loss target at June 1, then I’ll set a flatter slope for the last 20 pounds. -2.5lb/wk is ok, but cooking meals in small enough portions is a little strange.

  6. 2.5 pounds a week is a lot! My pace is a lot more gradual, mainly because I really like eating tasty stuff and I figure as long as I’m making forward progress, it doesn’t really matter how fast I’m making that progress.

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