Tuesday, September 9, 2014

My 80/20 Rule

When trying to loose weight, 80% comes from nutrition. The other 20% comes from everything else. This of course is a general rule and there are always exceptions. Like when I was young. Because then I could loose weight eating a bunch of stuff, but then I was doing about an hour of cardio a day (mostly intervals) and weight lifting like crazy. I was playing a ton of DDR, running miles (never more than 3, but daily it adds up), and biking lots and lots. Oh, yeah, and swimming a ton of laps (trying to help my back). Most of that was all on the same day.

So, now that I’m not doing hours of cardio, I’m starting to see the light that nutrition does matter. Who would have thought!

So I've been reading around about nutrition and the general consensus is that 80% of weight loss is nutritionally related. That not eating enough can slow you down just as much as eating too much as well. Not eating enough slows us down, less twitching, less miscellaneous movements… And of course eating too much just gives us excess calories.
Then also about calories and weight loss… If a person is eating double the calories they should be (sort of an exaggeration here), and cut down their calories by 25%, they are still in a caloric surplus. For anyone math inclined, say I’m eating 4000 cals a day, I’d gain weight steadily. Now if I cut that by 25% I’d be eating 3000 per day. I’d still be gaining steadily even though I dropped my caloric intake.

It is important to know what your maintenance level is to be able to eat the right amount of calories. Just cutting calories doesn’t really do much if you don’t know if it’s enough or too much. There are online calculators for this on pretty much any food tracking site. I personally like the daily plate.

So, if nutrition is our 80%, the rest of weight loss is everything else. It’s how much exercise we do. It’s whether we choose to sit or stand, walk or run, sleep or play a game with the kids. All those random choices in a day to take the easy way out or to take those few extra movements do add up. Taking the far spot at the grocery store might only burn an extra five calories, not nearly as much as a mile run, but it does beat burning zero extra calories. Toe tapping during lectures, being fidgety, all those things add up. Of course, some of us who do crazy amounts of intervals, cardio, and other stuff might bump this 20% category to 30%, and those of us with desk jobs and who do a mere 30 min workout here and there- well then nutrition might play a larger role and the “extra’s” might only add up to a measly 10%.

I'm so getting old if I have to worry so much about nutrition! I remember the good days when I ate everything in sight and lost weight :(.

Do more, be active, live life :)

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