Weight loss: The 80/20 rule is rubbish

BE THE BOSS: When it comes to being CEOs of their own bodies, top athletes like LeBron James and Allyson Felix are the Richard Bransons of the world.
BE THE BOSS: When it comes to being CEOs of their own bodies, top athletes like LeBron James and Allyson Felix are the Richard Bransons of the world.

I hear or read it so often you'd think it was carved into stone tablets as the 11th commandment: "Weight loss shalt be 80 per cent diet and 20 per cent fitness".

I disagree, because losing weight has at least as much to do with what's north of your mouth - your strength of mind, mental wellbeing, and ability to change.

Forget yoga and yoghurt; forget push-ups and protein shakes, because weight loss begins with your mind. It's about you becoming the boss of your body.

Who doesn't fantasise about being the boss? From bankers to housewives with million-dollar ideas, everybody envisages becoming the CEO and calling the shots.

Well, guess what? You can. With the percentage of people classified as overweight heading to the wrong side of 70 per cent, you need to take a business approach to weight loss. You are the CEO of your own body.

I recently delivered this harsh-with-a-hug message at a seminar, and saw attendees nodding. They got it. The message is simple: good or bad, you've got to own what you are. Your life. Your musculo-skeletal system. Your senses. Your organs. And the 100 trillion living cells that comprise you. If you were the CEO of an underperforming company entrenched in poor business practices, wouldn't you want to turn it around? Think of your body as a corporation in need of firm leadership.

It's a relatively simple psychological shift to go from "What new Hollywood diet or AbDominator is going to help me?" to "I own my body and I'm going to change my lifestyle to become a healthier and happier individual." It makes you a better partner, parent, employee, lover and friend. What other motivation do you need? A healthier you is a better you.

Here's how becoming the CEO of your body can be the mental spark required to get your health and wellness in control ... 

Invest wisely

Andrew Forrest wouldn't fund a mining project using junk Zimbabwean dollars. So why are we funding our bodies with energy drinks, processed food, and sugary sweets?

Food should be fresh, healthy and tasty. Invest in food ... as fuel.

Keep it simple

The camera industry is a complicated one - from iPhones to Canons with cannon-sized lenses, yet Nick Woodman kept it simple with his GoPro cameras and has become an industry leader and billionaire.

In the kitchen, do the same ... fish/steak/chicken and salad/vegetables still works.

A morning jog for 20 minutes, followed by 12 minutes of as many rounds as possible of five push-ups, 10 sit-ups, and 15 body weight squats, still works.

Simple worked in 1930, it worked in 1970, and it still works today.

Be patient

For business or for your body, making a change is about developing a strategy, then executing that strategy. Lifestyle change won't come overnight, and you can't download it like music or order it like a pizza delivery. For the medium and long-term, say no to the naughty, and say yes to healthy food and fitness. Weight loss will follow.

Don't be a Dick (Fuld)

CEO Dick Fuld took on debt and risk and left Lehman Brothers with $NZ666 billion in debts and did plenty more financial damage around the globe. Your waistline is your debt, and doing nothing about it is negligent in the face of a GWC (global wellbeing crisis). A healthy CEO makes a change before the obesity snowball picks up speed, doing ever more damage.

Cut the BS

You probably know what's holding you back. Video games? Throw them out the window. Boyfriend/girlfriend? Dump them. Partying? Stay in. Chips and cakes? Bin it all. Cut out what's holding you back and get it done. This is your life, your responsibility. No one else can do it for you, no matter what those infomercials and fad diet gurus say.

The most important question I have for anybody about weight loss has little to do with food or fitness. It's a simple question that 70-plus per cent of us need to look in the mirror and ask: can you change?

You can always count calories and count steps, then decipher the statistics to your heart's content, but don't talk to me about 80/20. It's about lifestyle change. And lifestyle change is 50 per cent about becoming the CEO of your body, and the other 50 per cent about fresh, healthy foods and efficient exercise.

What do you think is the most important component of weight loss? Is it the food, the fitness, or the mental approach?

You can follow me on Twitter here.

Sydney Morning Herald