If you are looking to shed a few pounds you are probably searching high and low for the best methods to achieve this. There are many exercise routines, diet plans, fitness programs and conflicting advice out there it is difficult to know where to start. Sometimes it’s so frustrating to know which would be the right approach for you. Everything seems to come with a price tag, whether it’s a gym membership, a personal trainer, ready-made meals delivered to your home with a menu designed to suit you, it can become overwhelming. But at the end of the day you just need to keep it simple, don’t over complicate the matter. After all, losing weight is about getting the balance right mentally and once you do that it’s relatively simple and by following a simple approach you should successfully lose weight fast without exercising. Read on and I will elaborate.
A Calorie is a Calorie, right?
First lets look at calories. Calories are something that we are afraid of. We know from all the advertising that the more calories we consume the fatter we will become and we absolutely must keep our calories to a minimum otherwise we will fail. Hmnn, well not necessarily so. The thing is, if you look at calories in comparison to portion size I think you will be surprised. Some examples below of food that all contain around 200 calories:
- 34 grams of peanut butter (around 1 tablespoon) = 328 grams of kiwi fruit (approximately 2 x kiwis)
- 70 grams of french fries (small portion from McDonalds) = 750 grams of paprika (approximately 15 mini paprika)
- 1/2 litre Cocal Cola = As much water as you can possible drink (water contains zero calories)
So you can see where I’m going with this. It is easy to consume a lot of calories based upon what food choices you make. If you chose to eat large quantities of predominately processed food such as french fries, pizza and pasta to name a few or opt for sugary drinks such as coca cola and sprite then you are going to consume a lot of calories. It is always recommended eating a good portion of vegetables with every meal and drink plenty of water. It is really about getting the balance right.
The average man needs around 2500 kcal per day in order to maintain a health weight, for women this is around 2000 kcal. As a guide imagine you have lunch consisting of a Big Mac, Large Fries and a Large Coke (1litre). That meal will give you around 1100 calories which is half your recommended daily intake for women and almost half for men. Now, I’m not knocking McDonalds here, I actually like to go there from time to time but I’m just highlighting how we can easily consume calories without even noticing.
The 80/20 rule
There are two ways to look at the 80/20 rule with regard to successful weight loss.
- 80% nutrition to 20% exercise
- 80% clean eating to 20% indulgence in your favourite foods
Now, as this post is related to losing weight without exercise then we should focus on the second rule. Basically in order to follow this rule you should be looking to consume 80% of good nutritious food most of the time and leave the other 20% for treats. This will depend on your eating habits of course and whether you are a carnivore, vegetarian, vegan etc.
Let’s take an example of a typical day and break it down into 5 parts. Breakfast 20%, mid-morning snack 20%, Lunch 20%, afternoon snack 20% and Dinner 20%. So for 4 our of 5 of these “eating ceremonies” you will have one where you can indulge. You can do any calculation you like of course, break up the week so that you have an entire day of indulgence but the message really is to stick to an 80/20 split.
But be careful as this can be a dangerous and often misunderstood message. The main goal is not to consume more than your recommended daily calorie intake so it would make no sense at all use one of your eating ceremonies to devour the McDonalds meal that I mentioned earlier.
Everything in Moderation
The best advice possible is to enjoy everything in moderation. In fact once you start to eat a more healthy, nutritious and balanced diet you will notice that you no longer crave the less healthy food choices that you perhaps once ate on a regular basis. The more nutritious food will keep you fuller for longer ensuring that during your 20% phase you will probably only snack on something relatively small in portion size. Here is an example daily routine.
- Breakfast – Home made Granola with Greek Yoghurt and fruit (20%) – (300 kcal)
- Snack 1 – Handful of Almonds (20%) – (200 kcal)
- Lunch – Chicken Ceasers Salad – (600 kcal)
- Snack 2 – Blueberry Muffin (indulgence 20%) – (400 kcal)
- Dinner – Grilled Salmon with Broccoli and Rice (20%) – (500 kcal)
The total calorie count is 2000 kcal which is bang on the recommended daily amount for women and quite below that for men. Anyhow, the main point here is to give you an idea of how to obtain a balance. You can still treat yourself to your favourite snack or meal without it ruining your entire day. You also may find over time that you really don’t need the snacks or simply don’t feel hungry, that’s great, you will have a good calorie deficit. I actually adopted this method of eating a couple of years ago and I was really struggling to eat everything, yet I was still managing to lose.
What Are You Waiting For?
Exercise is important and all authorities in the health industry promote exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle but exercise alone will not ensure you lose weight. You can run for 30 mins and burn 400 calories but if you make the wrong food choices those 400 calories will be replaced very quickly indeed. Besides, exercise is not always possible for everyone. So it even more important for less mobile people to make the right choices with their nutrition.
I hope this has provided an insight into nutritional options. I would love to hear your feedback, questions and success stories so please leave a comment below.