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Home » The Mathematics of Weight Loss: Ruben Meerman (Transcript)

The Mathematics of Weight Loss: Ruben Meerman (Transcript)

Here is the full text and summary of Ruben Meerman’s talk titled “The Mathematics of Weight Loss” at TEDxQUT conference.

In this TEDxQUT talk, titled “Mathematics of Weight Loss”, Ruben Meerman, a reporter on ABC television’s Catalyst program and Play School’s first ever ‘resident scientist’, answers the question: When you lose weight, where does it go?


All right. Well I might get myself into a position here. And on the red carpet. I don’t think I need to introduce myself, do I? But this is the last talk for the day.

We will have a little bit of wrap up after this. And we’ll have a little time to reflect and maybe some questions. I know that some of you will want to get home. But let’s get cracking, because we’ve got about 12 minutes. My talk maybe might go for 15, so don’t panic if that thing goes over.

Here we go, the mathematics of weight loss. Well, let me start with this. Last year, I went surfing in Fiji. And the resort had a photographer following us around, taking photos. Which is really great, except that I couldn’t help but notice this.

Somehow, I’d managed to become five kilograms overweight. Couldn’t believe my eyes. So I did what they tell you to do, I ate less and I moved more. And within just three months, I discovered that I’d lost six kilograms. So then I did what a normal person does. I did physics, but anyone would do this. I graphed my weight.

And when I did the linear regression, I discovered that, lo and behold, on average I’d been losing 85 grams a day. Which got me thinking, in fact it got me very curious about this question that I’ve since discovered most people have no clue about. In fact they’ve never even thought about this.

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