The Pareto Principle
If you went to business school, you learned that 80% of your business comes from 20% of your clients. In sales, you probably heard that 80% of your sales come from 20% of your customers. In economics they say that 80% of the wealth is owned by 20% of the people. At my house, we say 80% of the screaming comes from 20% of the children. Which works out to 0.8 of a child – because, you know, he’s not shrieking all the time. He has to sleep sometime.
Fitness, not wanting to be left out of the Pareto Principle
club, also has an 80/20 rule. 80% of weight loss is nutrition, 20% is exercise (I know, I know, it doesn’t quite fit the pattern. Shush, you). From my personal experience I would put it closer to 70/30 but whatevs. The point is that what you eat is more important, at least for weight loss and maintenance, then how you exercise.
All About the Nutrition
Tom Venuto, a nationally reknowned bodybuilder, has said that a person recovering from an injury or illness can maintain and even lose weight just from “clean eating” – no exercise required. Although he adds that this is a short term solution and of course advocates exercise for a variety of health reasons – hard to make any muscle gains just sitting on the couch. Unless “Nintendo thumb” counts, and it totally should right??
There is a lot of advice out there about what, how much and when to eat. There’s the Primal Diet, all iterations of the High Protein/Low Carb diet, the Low-Fat diet, and my personal favorite – Julianne Moore’s Diet
. People tweak their macronutrient ratios like they’re two years from retirement and their entire 401K is in tech stocks.
But I like Michael Pollan’s advice the best: Eat less. Mostly plants
. Elegant, no? Of course, even he has lots more to say
on the subject becase no one would publish a whole book with only four words, much less two books.
An Experiment I Can’t Run
I’m not saying that exercise isn’t good and important and wonderful and has amazing health & soul benefits. It’s all that AND a bag of whole wheat baked pita chips. But perhaps what we eat matters more.
So I want to know what your experience with this is. Do you think Angie got that body just by “playing with her kids” and watching what she eats? Have you ever had to take an exercise hiatus? I’m too chicken to actually do an experiment with this. I need my exercise to stabalize my mood. Trust me on this one.
Help me out dear readers – what do you think? Is the 80/20 rule a good one?
PS> I’m betting Angie has rockstar genes to thank too.