Archive for August, 2017


If you type the question, “Which is more important, diet or exercise?” in Google, you will most likely come across the arbitrary formula of 80/20. This formula is used for weight loss, stating that 80% of successful weight loss comes from eating a healthy diet while the remaining 20% comes from the efforts of working out. The question now is, why did this formula become so popular?

Despite the constant message that you should exercise at the gym to burn your body fat away, people who also eat less tend to lose more weight compared to those who only increased their physical activity.

A recent study published in the PeerJ journal found that people who incorporated 30-minute exercises everyday (with no diet alterations) tended to gain more weight compared to those who exercise less. This ultimately tells you cannot expect a weight loss miracle by just exercising and sweating out.

If you want to lose weight faster, you must control your nutrition!

Why Is Diet More Important?

According to fitness experts, you need to achieve a negative energy balance in order to lose weight. This means you have to take and eat less calories compared to the number of calories you burn during a usual day.

In fact, you need to realize a 3,5000 calorie deficit just to lose a single pound. If you follow the 80/20 formula, you will burn at least 750 calories a day. This totals to 3,750 calories of calorie deficit in a week.

The reason why this formula is more effective than exercising alone is because it requires more from you to actually burn off calories than simply avoiding them.

As per Holly Lofton, M.D., an assistant professor of medicine and director of the weight management program at Langone Medical Center, New York, you would have to run at least 7 miles a day just to lose weight every week. An average person cannot keep this exercise regimen up, especially without increasing their calorie intake to improve their fitness level.

It is not exactly a requirement that you follow the 80/20 formula. But it is primarily vital that people focus on their diet when they are trying to lose weight. After all, it is possible for you to shed those extra pounds without exercise, but you will not lose weight if the food you eat counteracts your workout energy expenditure.

Is Exercising Still Important?

It is indeed much easier to decrease 500 calories from your daily meals rather than exercising to burn 500 calories a day. But just because the 80/20 formula is effective does not mean you should trade your daily workout for meal preparations.

The essence of the 20 in the 80/20 formula is that you do not need to make dramatic changes to your lifestyle. For example, instead of slashing out 500 calories from your appetizers and dessert, you can simply exercise and burn 250 calories for you to enjoy that 250-calorie dessert.

Another important weight loss factor to remember is that your body will soon resist burning your stored fat when you start eating less. This may cause your weight loss rate to reach a plateau. Fitness and health experts call this the “starvation mode”.

It is expected that your metabolism will slow down when you try to lose weight, but you can speed up your weight loss once more by adding more cardio and incorporating strength training.

To counteract your body from going into starvation mode, you must eat small yet frequent meals. This will give your body the illusion that you are constantly eating and there is no shortage of food. Along with exercising, you will soon get out of the plateau phase and continue to lose additional weight.

In conclusion, the mechanics of weight loss could restrict the effectiveness of your exercise. It was highlighted and confirmed by the American Dietetic Association that it is impossible for obese or overweight people to produce the required daily deficit of 750 calories or more per day without eating less calories. This makes the 80/20 formula a fundamental rule to lose weight.