80/20 Rule to Diet and Weight Loss

The 80/20 rule is a rule of thumb that states “for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.”

It can be applied to so many things. Marketing, advertising, production, etc.

And no doubt diet, exercise, and weight loss.

There is so much static and noise in the health and fitness community that it’s hard to sort out truth, fiction, lies, hopes, proof, deception, exaggeration, marketing, etc.

Arguments are made and defended where shades of gray are made black and white for the sake of defending one’s own opinion. Cults form. Paleo, Crossfit. Dogmas form. Intermittent fasting, low carb, slow carb.

There are also pros and cons to everything. Not everything is perfect and there probably isn’t anything that’s entirely bad (besides disorders like anorexia and bulimia). Paleo isn’t the only way to go.

Take for example the debate over calorie in and calorie out. That’s simply a weight loss method that says to lose weight you must consume less calories than you burn. There are opponents who dispute it, with the focus of their argument turning to an exaggerated hypothetical of someone consuming all of their “deficit” calories from Twinkies or Skittles. Strawman anyone?

For weight (and fat) loss, does calorie in / calorie out work? Indisputably yes.

Is it PERFECT? No, nothing is.

Is that the only variable? No, you should also make the calories you consume all healthy calories. You should also exercise, stay hydrated, get enough sleep, etc.

For weigh (and fat) loss, what 20% effort provides 80% of results?

  • Calorie deficit (moderate is healthier than drastic)
  • Eat plenty of vegetables (and a variety)
  • Cut out all added sugar
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Exercise moderately
  • Don’t be afraid of healthy fats

On the flip side, what 80% effort provides 20% of results?

  • Intermittent fasting
  • Eating more smaller meals throughout the day.
  • Meditarrinian diet, South Beach diet, {insert fad} diet
  • CLA
  • Green Coffee Bean Extract
  • Raspberry Ketones
  • Excessive exercise
  • Garcinia Cambogia
  • x% fat, x% carbs, x% protein
  • Broscience
  • millions of other nutty suggestions, gimmicks, etc.

Also, the 80% effort stuff will lead to futility without first taking care of the 20% that drives the most change.

I’ve documented the healthy living part of healthy weight loss methods on my healthy living checklist:
http://mattsoreco.com/healthy-living-checklist/

Here is a great article to help sniff out fads and psudo-science:
http://www.scienceofrunning.com/2011/05/how-to-spot-bad-science-and-fads.html

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