Weight Loss and the 80% Nutrition, 20% Exercise Rule

Monday, August 31 2020 12:36 PM
By Ellen Healy

When it comes to losing weight, we’ve all heard the formula “it’s 80% nutrition and 20% exercise.”

What exactly does this mean and is there any truth to it? Let’s take a deeper look.

The 80/20 Rule


Creating a Caloric Deficitcooking at home

According to experts, weight loss is achieved when you take in fewer calories than you burn. To shed one pound, you need to burn or have a caloric deficit of about 3,500 calories. Why 3,500? Because it is equal to about one pound of fat. To create this deficit, yes, you could try your hardest to burn that much during workouts, but it would be much easier to cut out calories than to run 10 miles a day, burning only 500-700 calories.

Breaking a Sweat? Still Important

woman runningSo, if it’s easier to shed pounds in the kitchen than it is in the gym, why do we need to work out at all to lose the weight?

Yes, it’s easier to cut calories through nutrition than it is through exercise, but a strict diet that cuts out 500-1,000 calories a day is way more difficult to maintain and may not be sustainable. You could go hungry, leading yourself to binge. You could feel tired all the time. Instead of starving yourself 500 calories a day, burn 250 calories in the gym - strengthening your muscles and bones, promoting a healthy heart – then, cut out the other 250 calories by nixing the chips and queso at home. Add exercise to your healthy diet, and you’re on the road to weight loss.


Reaching the Common Plateau in Weight Loss

During the first stages of losing weight and cutting calories, you’re taking away calories that your body has gotten used to. Interestingly enough, your body resists weight loss when you first start making cuts to your diet. This is because the body goes into a kind of “starvation mode,” where your metabolism slows as it tries to keep the food you’ve eaten and store it as energy to use later. Anyone and everyone who has lost pound after pound on a successful weight loss journey, has experienced this slowed metabolism, or plateau if you will.

Rev Up Your Metabolism!

How do you speed up your metabolism – the process in which your body converts food into fuel? How do you push past plateaus and continue to lose weight? The answer is, you guessed it, through exercise, especially strength training. This is why it’s important to do both. To eat well and to work out.

Using Both Diet and Exercise

meal prepping

For stable, successful, and effective weight loss, it takes diet and exercise, but what you eat matters more than how you work it off. Therefore, the 80/20 rule is a great model to follow.

How do you create and maintain a caloric deficit in the kitchen is up to you. We all know what makes up a good diet. Have a cheat day every once in a while, but continue your weight loss journey by being disciplined. Know when your body has had enough. This is easier said than done, but once practiced, it becomes easy.



Feel Full for Longer and Stay on Trackwoman drinking water

When you cut out calories, you will feel hungry, there’s no question about that. That being said, you can do a few things to help you stay on track, to feel full and satisfied. Adding more fiber to your diet will help you feel full for longer periods of time. Choosing good proteins and healthy fats will also help you stay satisfied. Another way to feel full and to have your body function at its best is to stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water will help you stay in tune with your body’s fullness. If you have a craving, honor it in moderation. Listen to your body and pay attention to when it’s time to stop.


The bottom line:

weightloss and nutritionTo lose weight and keep it off, follow the 80% nutrition, 20% exercise rule. Creating a caloric deficit and speeding up your metabolism through exercise, can help you be successful on your weight loss journey.

Stay motivated and stay disciplined, Genesis Family. We have every faith in you!








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