More Proof of the 80/20 Rule

For those of you new to this blog I have recently moved to a small island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean called Kwajlein. You can check out my adventures on my other blog Kwajalein Adventure.

The reason I bring it up here is because in this new environment things are much different than my old life. Mainly, the main form of transportation here is bicycle or on foot (mostly bicycle)and we get to eat for free in what I call the mess hall. As much as you want, all for free...there is a salad bar and several entree's to choose from, there is water, coffee, soda and milk at every meal and there is dessert and ice cream on hand at all times as well. The ice cream machine is offline a lot but that's another story.

What I've been observing is that a majority of the folks that live here are overweight and quite a few are flat out obese. Yet they all ride bikes every day of the week as well as quite a few other activities, it's warm all the time here so there are a lot of outdoor activities to participate in. But they are still overweight.

I mentioned in a previous post 80% of weight loss is diet and 20% is exercise. It's much easier to make a significant reduction in the amount of calories you take into your body than it is to exercise enough to burn the excess. I proved this in my own weight loss journey.

Getting into an exercise routine is tough. Breaking the inertia of being a non-exerciser takes some time and effort. So I would exercise a little here and there. Then it got to be more and more over time but what I did do was start tracking my calorie intake and using the weight loss equation. I kept my calorie intake less than my calorie expenditure and I lost weight. A lot of weight.

Another example of how the 80/20 rule applies is to take a sample of some numbers. A Big Mac meal from McDonalds with a medium fries and a Coke is 1130 calories; for one meal! Pair that with a Denny's Grand Slam for breakfast and a deli sandwich for dinner and you are looking at over 2500 calories for the day. If you are a snacker or drink several sodas or gatorades or have a few beers at the end of the day and you could hit 3500 easily. My calorie goal to maintain my current weight is 1800 or less. If I ate 3500 calories a day I would gain a pound every two days!! That doesn't sound like that much food does it? It adds up.

Now lets look at exercise. Lets say I'm going to go ahead and eat like the above example everyday but I'm going to try to exercise the extra calories off so I don't have to cut back on my meals. Using my calorie goal I would need to burn 1700 calories a day to keep from gaining weight. I would have to run at a pretty intense level for almost 4 hours a day to burn those calories! 4 hours! Is that going to happen? Heck no!

Portion control and calorie tracking are the way to go. You still want to exercise, it makes you healthy and will make you look and feel better but you will not achieve your goals with exercise alone.

Try the Calorie Counter at


Luis Portugal said...

It has a nice blog.
Sorry not write more, but my English is bad writing.
A hug from my country, Portugal


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