Many weight loss programs (like South Beach and Slimfast) have very restrictive diets. While these certainly control the calories, the repetitive meals and expensive supplements can feed the temptation to quit.
That’s why the weight loss program 90/10 has a higher success rate. Designed by nutritionist Joy Bauer (and described in detail in her book) this program is a balanced mix of foods with the freedom to enjoy favorite treats 10% of the time. Here is a basic guide on the 90/10 diet and why it may work for you.
The premise of the 90/10 weight loss program
Bauer believes that people are more likely to stick to a diet if there is room to occasionally indulge in favorite foods. Think of it as a ‘carrot on a stick’ (or in most cases, chocolate cake on a stick). Since you don’t feel deprived, you’re less likely to binge or give up on a diet out of sheer frustration and desperation.
The nutritional approach of the 90/10 weight loss program
Though there’s room to indulge in favorite food, Bauer did design diets (with 1,200, 1,400 and 1,600 calorie levels) that you have to follow 90% of the time. The good thing about the book is that you actually get meal plans—ideal for busy people— plus tips on controlling portions and calories. As you get the hang of the weight loss program, you can begin to personalize and customize the food while still remaining within the calorie limit.
A typical meal plan may include a high-fiber and low-fat breakfast item like cereal and fruit, a light tuna sandwich for lunch, a fruit for a mid-day snack, and then a low-fat chicken breast and brown rice dinner. However, the total calorie intake gives you the freedom to indulge in one treat—like a small piece of chocolate, or a brownie.
The reviews of the 90/10 weight loss program
Many people who have tried this weight loss program enjoy the freedom to enjoy one favorite food a day. Lots of dieters give up in the middle of a diet (or struggle with yo-yo dieting) because they’re sick of the food or they’re miserable because they can’t enjoy a plate of their grandmother’s homemade pasta. This ‘all or nothing’ approach can be extremely difficult—at least in the long-term. But since the 90/10 diet is ‘reasonable’ there are higher chances of sticking to it, and changing your lifestyle and eating habits to eat healthy food the majority of the time.
However, there is a challenge in working in a fun food if your weight loss program requires you to stick to a 1,200 calorie plan. If your treat is 350 calories, then that doesn’t give you much room for the other meals. It’s also crucial that you know the calorie count of your treat.
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