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The Psychology of Weight Loss: The Pareto Principle,
Tips, and Caution

The Psychology of Weight Loss: The Pareto Principle, Tips, and Caution

Weight loss is a time- and resource-intensive process and it makes people go to all lengths to lose their flab. They walk, run, work out, eat cautiously, and spend their time and money but the fat often does come back. Here’s why you should take out a leaf from your Psychology book to get better results- and here’s how starting with Pareto Principle (or the 80 20 Rule) can help by a mile!

Several thousand aspirants try their best but often do not go past making resolutions and paying gym subscriptions. What they are missing is not any “spark”, but the reason or the psychology that runs behind a successful weight loss experience. A comparative and scientific study of the contributing factors vis-à-vis a person’s mental outlook can provide us with valuable insight into a person’s lifestyle.

We are looking into the reasons that could lead to a partial or complete failure of your fitness schedule and what exactly you can do to change the result in your favor. We shall also look into how several unrelated factors like environment and festivities can slow down the process of shedding some pounds- and how psychology can help us address those issues.

Psychology of weight loss

Several reasons could reduce the efficiency of your workouts. Psychology can help us decode the mistakes made and understand the patterns required for being a successful health professional. One such rule that can govern your fitness program is the Pareto Rule or the 80-20 Rule.

It is one of the best principles to follow for getting a fitter body. Named after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, this theoretical rule stemmed from an observation about how ‘80% of property in Italy was owned by 20% of the country’s population.’

Part 1: Pareto Principle: 80% Health & 20% Indulgence

The Pareto Principle is a standard principle across all learning dimensions and can be applied seamlessly to manufacturing, management, human resources, and fitness too. In the context of weight loss, the 80:20 rule is not any type of diet but it refers to overall lifestyle changes that one may adopt for better fitness goals. Followed properly, it may help you shed some flab and get into a better shape faster.

The key to these results would be your diet plan. Personalized as per your health and fitness levels, it would comprise a list of foods and drinks that you should take daily. Our nutritionists and psychiatrists both agree that the diet plan would also keep you away from indulging in unhealthy habits for a longer period of time.

What is the 80/20 diet rule to lose weight?

The 80:20 rule for your fitness-based diet means that you can follow a restricted diet 80% of the time and you may indulge in the foods that you like eating the most 20% of the time.

A professional nutritionist can help you learn more about balance and moderation, two concepts that possibly do not exist in today’s fad-based diet practices. As an expert, she can keep it simple and straight, and by following her tips, you can expect yourself to stay healthy for around 80% of the time.

Eating Rainbow-themed foods:

Please note that you should include fresh seasonal produce, lean organic protein, unprocessed whole grains, and good quality essential fatty acids in your daily diet. Preferring a rainbow-themed diet (a plate of brightly colored fresh organic produce) is a good way to start, as follows:

1. Red: tomatoes, carrots, beet, etc. (Purify blood)

2. Green: cabbage, broccoli, grapes, etc. (Build healthy cells)

3. Blue: Blueberry, black currant, blue cheese, etc. (Provide protein)

4. Yellow: Orange, corn, lemon, etc. (Provide immunity)

5. White: Milk and dairy products (Improve bone strength)

6. Black: Roots and Seed-based foods (Improve heart health)

Following this rule for dieting and fitness would motivate you to make healthier choices. There is not much wrong with having 8 parts of health and 2 parts of indulgence, and you can follow it for the rest of your life too. If the fat on your belly or lower body dwindles after a month, it means you are on the right track!

Foods that cause weight gain

As per leading psychiatrists, you can apply this principle by eating 80% of the healthy foods on weekdays and enjoy the 20% indulgence on weekends. Be sure not to go overboard even on weekends because this can quickly sabotage your efforts- you should still watch your portion sizes and stay disciplined.

The key to success is to plan your treat meals so that you have something to look forward to. In case you don’t feel the need to indulge, avoid it. We also recommend checking with your nutritionist for a personalized 80/20 diet plan and the instructions to help you go about it.

Here are some foods that you can avoid to shed some flab faster:

1. Alcohol

2. White bread

3.Refined flour

4. Potatoes

5. Sugar

6. Ready-made meals

7. Fizzy drinks

8. Caffeine

9. Refined carbs

10. Junk food

Tip: Exercising for at least half an hour every day at your home is an awesome way to get started. Simple exercises like lifting kettlebells and climbing stairs will provide you the benefits of both aerobic and anaerobic exercises, and you can use this advantage to stay in shape.

You can also follow healthy eating habits, starting today:

  • Cook in healthy oils

  • Breakfast is a must

  • Eat slowly and stop when 80% full

  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water

  • Smart snacking on fruits, nuts, etc.

  • Eat green and leafy vegetables every day

The Pareto Rule or the 80/20 rule for fitness is a doable, healthy lifestyle plan that helps you to reach your weight loss goals without losing out on fun and taste.

How to follow the 80 20 diet rule?

It is not a straightforward choice to follow the 80 20 rule for your diet. It would take you some time to get going with it and that you would also need to leave some of your favorite foods out of your list. Staying away from your favorite foods and drinks could hurt your mood too.

This is why our nutritionists and psychiatrists advise you to introduce the changes gradually over a period of time for the best results. Abruptly switching to an alternative eating routine would only backfire- it would make you prone to eat more indulgent foods and the situation could become worse.

a. 7-day diet plan

More than anything else, a proper diet is crucial to your fitness and weight-loss efforts. You should stick to a long-term schedule of restricted diet plans, as advised by your fitness or nutrition expert. This may cut you off from other determinants like Binge Eating Disorder (or BED) and Acid Reflux.

A health and wellness professional may advise you on a personalized 7-day diet plan to address your weight loss plans- and it could imply living on a fruit- and fluid-based diet for quite some time. You should also back it up with regular workout sessions at your home or in the gym.

b. Substitute whole grains for refined carbs

It would make sense to eat whole grain foods (like brown bread, whole grain pasta, and brown rice) instead of regular white ones. The former has more nutrients and fiber that help them digest slowly, thus making them more appropriate for weight-conscious people. Refined carbs are high in calories but offer no nutrition. Whole grains are tastier and lightweight too.

c. Eat lunch like a king

It is a common saying that breakfast should be the biggest meal for weight watchers. Since we may not be too hungry after waking up, we should prefer to eat lunch like a king. This would help us get the maximum benefit because the digestion is at its peak and we can fuel up our body at that time.

Please note that the proverb ‘eating like a king’ doesn’t ask you to eat burgers and fries. It only means having a hearty bowl of healthy foods for your breakfast and lunch. You can also opt for leaner (or zero-fat) diets like Ketogenic, Mediterranean, or South Beach, or Atkins for the same results.

d. Drink a glass of water before every meal

Drinking water is really good for your health. It carries nutrients and oxygen to your blood cells and normalizes your blood pressure. When you drink water before you eat, you’ll already be full and won’t go beyond your point of hunger. This would offer you a smarter way to shed off some extra calories. Your liver would always thank you for drinking enough water.

e. Cut back on sweets

It is really difficult to say no to sweets but doing so makes a massive contribution to hastening the weight-loss process. We advise you to cut down on artificial sweet products like pastries, candies, and other such desserts and satisfy your sweet tooth with natural products like fruits. It would be difficult to stay with such restrictions but you should consider the positive side of staying disciplined.

f. Smart snacking

Snacks should be just as nutritious as meals, it’s just that they should be smaller. There is nothing wrong with having some junk foods once in a while but making it a habit doesn’t come with any benefits. Here are some basic rules that you should keep in mind before opting for those French fries and cola drinks:

  • Never eat snacks if you are not hungry.

  • Don’t forget to include proteins in your snacks.

  • Choose real foods, instead of processed snacks.

  • Go for apples, peanut butter, boiled veggies with hummus, nuts, etc.

g. Don’t give up anything

You can eat all the foods you enjoy but you should control the size of servings, a habit called portion control. If you instantly give up on any food item, the temptation would most likely force you to eat more of it. If you want to achieve your goals, you would need to play smart in what way you choose.

Part 2: How to lose weight fast without exercise?

Nothing would work unless you choose to work out. Exercising, be it at home or in the gym, can help you burn the excess calories stored in your body and thus take out flab from your belly, lower back, and thighs. For those working out at home, starting without gym equipment is also fine. All you would need to get started is willpower and enough discipline to make it a habit.

You can also look into ways that can help you lose weight faster without exercise by just mending your eating habits. This is just where working under professional guidance would help. For example, you can consult a fitness trainer over an audio or video call and take live instructions about how you can do it better. Your discipline and willingness to stay fit would determine the results.

Caution: Pareto Principle could fail too!

You would need to stay exceptionally persistent and disciplined for the first few weeks to lose weight, especially when you are doing so only by staying at home. Your body is accustomed to eating certain foods and even though they may be unhealthy, it would take you some time to go the other way around.

A psychiatrist and dietitian can only offer you support and guidance but you should follow their directives properly. Pareto Principle is based on statistical data and thus the diet plans are the best guess taken over a large number of BMI profiles. The results derived could vary and may not always suit everyone perfectly. However, you can rest assured that it is correct for the most part.

The key is to stay positive and motivated, and to follow an expert-recommended fitness-based diet over a period of time for the best results!