Habitual Experimentation (day #1–5)

Expired Scientist
3 min readFeb 12, 2023


I have tried, again and again, to lose weight. Mostly because I am short and being in the heavier side will definitely make me shorter. So for the past 5 years I have tried many.

Sugaer cubes stacked on top of each other
Photo by Mae Mu on Unsplash

Cutting sugar

I started to stop drinking coffee with condensed milk ca. 2020. It was hard at first because nescafe o kosong has a bittery and weirdly, sour taste to it. But knowing myself, I would drink it if I know the benefit and, more importantly, the science behind it. So I keep drinking them — till drinking any drinks with processed sugar became hard to my throat (imagine my panick during COVID). Now I am perfectly fine with it.

Intermittent Fasting (IF)

I tried IF because it was so hard on me to exercise portion control, especially if it is warm rice with sambal. My Asian gene will demand more. plus IF is actually friendlier to my wallet. So when I started doing this AND exercise (running and jump ropes), I lost 8 kgs.

But like many others, it is hard to keep doing it and as fate dictates, my weight increases again, but not as heavy as it was.

I decided then, was it beneficial to stress over my weight? I set another target so I can wear my old pants and not having to buy new pants because of the increase in waistline is such a noble economic goal.

Photo by Nubelson Fernandes on Unsplash

Creating habit

I guess the key to sustainable weight loss (and weight/form maintenance) is to create habit. I successfully eliminating sugar from my dietary needs, so that is a win. Portion control is still hard for me and to exercise regularly is still something that I am struggling with.

Then I found this Andrew Huberman, the American neuroscientist, who suggested a quite reasonable approach by focusing on the dopamine effect to our body. So this is how it goes, which I modified it to my style

  • To drink plain water first thing in the morning and delay my caffeine to at least one hour after waking
  • To work out intensively before I get my caffeine
  • Get my first caffeine and no food until afternoon (1 -2 pm)
  • have my last meal of the day 2–3 hours before going to sleep

So I started this last week and notice good result for the first few days, almost overnight. I wake up early in the morning energetically, with no push to stay in bed. My night sleep was easier too. No difference in weight, though.

Then on Saturday, after successfully ran 5k — delayed my caffeine and food — I succumbed to my tiredness after cleaning the house and slept until evening and almost did nothing for the whole day. Sunday was even harder. Although Huberman did say not to have any skip day, I did skip today and sleep in. I still delayed my caffeine and food, but did not do any workout. My body is still sore from all the morning workouts I did in the last four days, I think I should listen to it.