Can you lose weight without exercising? Or can you lose weight without giving up the foods that you love—by working them out in your daily spin class? No matter how much weight you want to lose, one thing is certain: there isn’t a magic formula, but instead, a science to losing weight for good. Read on to learn once and for all, how to lose the weight and keep it off.
The 80/20 Rule
Many personal trainers instill a rule of thumb for their clients at the very beginning of their coaching sessions—and that’s the 80/20 rule. The 80/20 rule works like this: spend 80 percent of your efforts on eating better, and 20 percent of your energy working out.
A study from the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity found that participants who changed their diet became over 8 percent thinner, while the participants who solely focused on changing their frequency of exercise became just 2.8 percent thinner. Participants who adopted a 80/20 rule to their lifestyle became 8.9 percent thinner as a result.
scale-154924_640Not All Calories Are Created Equal
800,000 deaths in the United States alone are caused by diabetes, stroke and heart disease. However, studies from the Journal of Public Health of Nutrition show that it isn’t the amount of calories that play a role in disease—but the metabolic food you’re eating that matters most.
For example, food that are quickly absorbed in the body (like bread, pasta, potatoes, and sugary sweets) spikes blood sugar, which causes insulin to rise, followed by a sugar “crash”, which causes you to crave more of those foods. In the long term, this can cause a decade (or more) of poor nutrient food choices and overeating as a result.
However, eating the right kinds of foods—that are full of protein, fiber and vitamins (such as lean cuts of meat, vegetables, whole grains, yogurt, berries, and healthy fats like salmon) are all smart choices that cause your caloric choices to stretch further.
While you’re taking in calories with, say, baked cod and grilled asparagus (like you would with a plate of mashed potatoes and lasagna), you’re filling up on protein, fiber, and healthy fats. The salmon meal will allow you to feel balanced, satisfied and full (without ‘sugar crashing’ after), as opposed to the mashed potatoes and lasagna meal which will cause your blood sugar to spike, and then plummet.
The lesson here is don’t count calories as your number one rule, because not all calories are created equal. What matters most is the types of foods you eat—because when you choose high nutrient food, you won’t be tempted to overeat (which means you’ll save yourself from the weight gain altogether!) Combine your sensible eating plan with an increase in your exercise, and you’ll have that thin, lean body you want in no time at all!