Let’s face it, losing weight is a fairly simple proposition but not an easy one.
What I mean is, there’s a difference between simple and easy.
To lose weight, basically all you have to do is consume fewer calories than your body uses for energy, daily activities, keeping you alive. Figure out the total number of calories you need in a day, based on your gender, age, and size; eat and drink a few hundred fewer calories than that and voila! you will eventually lose weight.
Not so much.
For one thing, the typical American reportedly consumes as many as 3,600 calories a day. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends 1,600 to 2,000 calories a day for a sedentary (somewhat inactive) adult female, and 2,000 to 2,600 for a sedentary adult male. That extra 1,000 calories or so a day could mean packing on an extra pound or two a week. Consider adding an extra pound or two a week for a year and … oh, boy.
So what to do?
Well, it depends on who you ask.
Of course, there are tons of diets, supplements, and weight management programs out there. Before the COVID pandemic arrived, the U.S. weight loss industry reached a reported $78 billion.
Especially when you consider more than two-thirds of American adults are considered overweight or obese.
According to some sources, 70 percent of the average American diet consists of processed foods. Americans spend 10 percent of their disposable income on fast food, and the average person consumes a whopping 130 pounds of sugar each year.
What to do; what to do …
Let’s face it. Nutrition is the number one issue when it comes to achieving and maintaining good health. Exercise is important, but if you work out and eat like a garbage disposal all the time, you probably are not going to get the results you want.
So what’s the answer?
One thing you can try is following the 80-20 rule.
What the hell is that, you say?
Well, according to wallstreetmojo.com, the 80-20 rule is a statistical principle that says 20 percent of efforts produce 80 percent of results. In other words, 80 percent of results come from 20 percent of causes.
There are lots of examples, but let’s stick to the subject at hand and talk about nutrition. We’re not going to use that vulgar four-letter word “diet,” because for a lot of people, diet means starving yourself. Not necessarily true, but let’s stick with nutrition.
For weight management, the 80-20 rule means eating healthy 80 percent of the time, and then 20 percent of the time going back to being a pig.
But 20 percent of the time, you can have that piece of cake. Enjoy a bowl of ice cream. Scarf down half a pizza with everything on it.
The idea is to not completely deprive yourself. When you try and go cold turkey and completely cut out all your favorite, delicious but not-so-healthy foods and treats, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
So be smart; be disciplined; but be sensible.
How many days in a week?
7 times 80 percent equals what?
Let’s round that up to 6.
That means 6 days a week, you’re going to eat healthy and stay away from fast food, processed stuff, sugary stuff, high-calorie stuff that you know ain’t good for you.
At the end of that six days, one day a week … time for a little reward.
Again, be sensible about rewarding yourself, but also enjoy.
And, remember, get back on the 80-20 train the next day.