Can The 80% Nutrition and 20% Exercise Rule Help You Lose Weight?

Celebrity Fitness Trainer and Nutritionist, Sumaya Dalmia gives you the lowdown on the 80:20 principle that is believed to be the *ideal route* to weight loss. 

The seemingly arbitrary formula—80 percent diet and 20 percent exercise—is believed to be a sure-shot way to drop those extra calories. But, do you even know what it really means? 

According to experts, weight loss is achieved when you consume fewer calories than you actually end up burning. However, this is no way undermines the umpteen benefits that your daily workout has to offer. "For weight loss, you must calculate your 'macros', along with how much protein your body requires to build muscle. The 80% entails clean eating, in accordance with your fitness goals, and the remaining 20% involves regular exercise," explains Sumaya. 

Many individuals who spend long hours at the gym fail to witness visible results on the scale, and this can be attributed to the lack of healthy food consumption. "While over-exertion can spike up your cortisol levels, it may not necessarily grant you the desired results. Instead, the secret lies in establishing a balanced, structured workout and meal plan that brings you closer to your fitness goals, every day," she adds. When speaking of diet, there must be a focus on quality, not quantity. It may not always be all about eating low calorie meals, but nutritionally dense meals instead. 

Keeping the 80:20 principle in mind will allow you to lose weight in a healthy manner. You will become nutritiously-conscious of what you put on your plate, and controlling your workout will ensure that your cortisol levels don't spike and cause inflammations and injuries. "In the end, it's all about understanding what works for your body, and how what works for others might not be working for you," says Sumaya. 


A few things to keep in mind:


1. Calculate your protein requirements to make sure that you’re consuming an adequate amount.

2. Increase your consumption of green, leafy vegetables for a fibre boost. 

3. Consume enough healthy fats from chia seeds, olive oil, nuts, avocado etc.

4. Avoid eating processed foods, or anything out of a packet, as far as possible. 

5. Opt for whole grains including brown rice, oats, and quinoa.


A Meal and Workout Plan For Weight Loss


Start your day with a warm glass of water, with added cinnamon powder and lemon. For breakfast, eat 2 whole eggs, 2-3 slices of avocado, and some grilled vegetables with a slice of multigrain toast. A serving of sprouts is perfect for a mid-morning snack. For lunch, you could go for a brown rice pulao with nutrient-rich veggies. A protein shake or a serving of fruits works well as a post-workout meal. However, ensure that you avoid mixing your fruits, and focus on one fruit at a time. For dinner, include any kind of a protein.

Balance your workout to include strength, mobility, flexibility, as well as cardio-based exercises—focusing on one type, each day. In case you don't have access to a gym or don't own the required fitness equipment, try to hit at least 10,000 steps by walking, per day.