Updated: Mar 26
Have you heard of the 80/20 rule regarding diet and fitness which suggests that in order to lose weight, you need to combine both exercise and nutrition together?
Exercise alone will help you lose weight but it can be quite tough to burn off enough calories. Similarly, dieting will also help you lose weight but will still be difficult and will only result in weight loss, rather than burning fat. Dieting alone also won’t help you feel more energetic, stronger or fitter.
To lose weight, your body needs to burn more calories than it consumes. Most people eat 2-3 times a day, so approximately 21 times a week. However, on average we only exercise 2-3 times a week, so you can see quite quickly how trying to achieve all of your weight loss by exercise alone is not only going to be difficult, but will also take longer.
To reduce your weight by 1lb, you need to burn approx 3,500 calories. If you exercise 2-3 times a week and burn off around 300-400 calories every time, that means it will take you around a month to lose one pound in weight. Albeit this amount of weight loss would be long lasting and sustainable, most of us aren’t that patient and will give up rather than persevere.
According to the office of national statistics, most UK adults under estimate the amount of calories they are consuming every day by around 1000! This is mainly due to forgetting some of the things they have eaten (the sweets in the car on the way to work, the croissant and coffee at tea break, the extra snack in the evening after training) and not realising that over time, their portion sizes have also increased.
Popular chain restaurants don’t help us by offering huge meals and even bigger deserts for cheap affordable prices. It’s easy to over indulge when you’re out with family and friends for a ‘treat’ especially if it happens every week or so.
It’s also easy to forget that the tea, coffee, lattes and alcoholic drinks you might have alongside your meal also contain calories too.
You may have heard of this term, it refers to your bodies reaction to a reduction in calories. The theory is that if you start a diet which reduces your calories intake, your body will identify this and panic incase there is some form of global food shortage.
Your body is extremely good at keeping you alive, and when threatened with a lack of calories, it will make some metabolic changes which will not only reduce the amount of calories you burn during normal rest, sleep and exercise, but will also make you feel hungry more often, making it more difficult for you not to eat.
Secret to Success
So, what‘s the solution? How do we stop our body from making these changes so that we can lose weight?
Well, we can’t stop it from happening, but we can mitigate the effects.
The best way to do this is by adding some strength training to your exercise routine. This doesn’t mean that you have to start weight lifting though - body weight resistance exercises (such as press-ups, plank, sit-ups etc) are just as effective, plus when included in a group outdoor fitness class in the way we do at Get Fit Today, you will also add some cardio exercises as well which really gets the fat burning and destroying calories.
Combining diet & exercise
This is the most effective way to lose weight and stop it from returning.
The concept itself is simple - you reduce the amount of food you eat and increase the amount of exercise - easy eh! 😀
However, the process of doing this involves commitment, honesty and dedication. It also involves keeping some form of Food Diary
A study in 2008 by Kaiser Permanente's Centre for Health Research revealed that the process of keeping a food diary can double a person's weight loss.
This is because in doing so you almost immediately start to cut out some of the snacks and nibbles you would normally treat yourself to every day, because you are now accountable.
Maintaining and reviewing your food diary also helps you to identify any trends and habits you have as well as revealing the types of foods you tend to choose and where you can make changes.
Taking this a step further and using an online food diary tool such as My Fitness Pal will also help you understand what is in the foods you are eating and where you can make small changes to cut back on calories whilst making sure you are still enjoying your meals and staying fuller for longer.
At Get Fit Today, we are strong advocates of using a food diary for weight loss, especially when you first join us as a member. We offer a 2-month membership package which includes an online nutrition program and unlimited access to classes. The nutrition program is accessed via our website and every day you will be sent new information including health and fitness tips, guidance on things like sports drinks, energy drinks, coffee and tea plus lots of tips and advice regards fitness and exercise.
Every week you will be given a new task to complete, whether this is simply taking a few moments to think about and write down your personal weight loss goal, or downloading, using and sharing your food diary on My Fitness Pal with us to review and provide you with feedback on.
You can complete as much or as little of the program as you wish, but we have found that the more you complete, the more you are likely to achieve.
By reading our daily articles and advice, you are keeping your mindset focussed on health, fitness and weight loss. We also give you a free e-book with a ton of healthy & tasty recipes as well to inspire and motivate you.
If you or someone you know would like to give this a try, please get in touch, or click this link.
We are there for you throughout the 2 months to chat, advise and support you. We want you to achieve your weight loss goals and will do everything we can to make this happen.
Get in touch for more information or click the link to start straight away.