Stop yo-yo dieting. Instead, take the 80/20 approach for sustainable weight loss
Stop yo-yo dieting. Instead, take the 80/20 approach for sustainable weight loss.
By Stephanie and Zachary Dorworth
Yo-yo dieting and weight fluctuations are becoming far too common. Many times the seasons of New Year’s resolutions, summer swimsuits, and holidays are contributors to these common fluctuations.
Many people force themselves to go cold turkey on the things they enjoy like sugar, sweets, burgers, dairy, or soda. Sound familiar? This lifestyle change is too drastic, unrealistic, and ends up being far from successful most of the time. What often results is a binge session, a quick rebound, and weight gain. Does this describe your January and February each year?
Some people simply see too much conflicting dietary information and have no idea where to start. So they choose something drastic that may give short-term results but is not sustainable for more than a few weeks.
The solution to the struggle is practicing a diet that is sustainable, smart, and enjoyable. Yes, it’s possible for a diet to be mouth-watering delicious with no food off limits. Flexible dieting is the answer to your needs. You’ll be able to enjoy eating a donut in January instead of being miserable with asparagus. Flexible dieting can aid in your journey whether it be to lose weight, gain muscle, fit into your skinny jeans, lose the beer belly, drop those baby pounds, or just to stay healthy while aging.
Flexible dieting consists of an 80/20 approach. This means 80 percent of your daily food intake should come from nutritious, wholesome, and minimally processed foods, while 20 percent can come from other foods you enjoy. The freedom of mixing in the foods you crave will ensure long-term nutrition adherence and accomplishment of your goals.
It’s quite simple to follow. You just calculate your macronutrient needs and then each day track your macros using an app like MyFitnessPal or MyMacros+. Typically you will use body composition, activity level, a nutrition history assessment, and target goals to get an approximate baseline calculation of macros. Macronutrients consist of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. These are all energy yielding nutrients and are derived from the foods we consume. The energy that these nutrients provide is expressed in calories. Nutrition labels will provide their values in grams and from there you can use a food scale and your phone app to enter what you have eaten.
Flexible dieting is the key to long-term sustainable dieting. Your challenge is to make this upcoming News Year’s resolution last all year instead of a month or two. If you strive to make this a lifelong strategy you’ll find self confidence and happiness in the healthiest way possible.
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