5 Universal Rules

There are 100’s of diets and 1000’s of dieting do’s and don’ts that are often contradictory and at odds with one another.  Despite this complex mess of advice, all of these diets and all of their rules fit into just five rules.  I call these rules THE 5 UNIVERSAL RULES OF WEIGHT LOSS.

The 5 Universal Rules of Weight Loss

If you can follow “The 5 Universal Rules of Weight Loss”, you will more than likely lose weight and keep it off.  Here are the rules:

  1. Meal Plan to Create a Calorie Deficit: weight loss requires a caloric deficit (negative energy balance).  Every single diet works this way.  Create a weekly meal plan that results in you consuming less calories than you burn. There’s no easy answer for how many calories you should be consuming each day.  It depends on how big you are, how much weight you have to lose, how fast you want to lose it, your ability to adhere to a diet, and many other factors.
  1. Log Your Food Daily and Self-Correct as Needed: log/food journal everything you eat and drink. Auto correct by consuming fewer calories when you go over your calorie allotment to get back on track.  You can autocorrect within one day (i.e., lighter dinner after heavy lunch) or between two days (i.e., went over yesterday, need to dial it back more today). MyFitnessPal is currently the industry standard for electronic food records.
  1. Exercise 300 Minutes/Week: work your way up to exercising 300 minutes/week (60 minutes/day for 5 days). Walk, run, bike, swim, hike, weight train, the mode and intensity doesn’t matter as much as the volume and consistency of your exercise/physical activity.
  1. Weigh Yourself (at least) Once Weekly: weighing yourself weekly gives you the opportunity to see if your meal planning, food logging, and exercise match your weight loss. If they do, great, if they don’t, reassess and change accordingly.  It is really easy to think you are eating fewer calories than you are actually consuming.  You may also need to do a better job of controlling your food environment.
  1. Control Your Food Environment: limit temptations and maximize low calorie/healthy food alternatives in your local food environment (i.e., pantry, kitchen, fridge, work, car). If the food isn’t available, you cannot eat it.  A poorly controlled food environment can derail even the best meal plans.

There are, of course, other factors contributing to weight loss such as managing negative emotions and developing a great support network, but none are more important than the 5 Universal Rules of Weight Loss.

Whether you are following social media influencers, reading self-help books, or attending support groups The 5 Universal Rules should be at the core of your program.

Finally, most people can follow the 5 Universal Rules for a few weeks or even a few months.  But the key to losing weight and keeping it off is being able to follow the rules for months and even years.  This will require you to create a sustained, systematic, streamlined, lasting way of doing things.  If you want help getting started on creating your new eating/exercise patterns please contact us, we’ve love to help!