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Wednesday, 7 November 2007

The Ten Percent Solution*

* I stole the title from a Sherlock Holmes story I think.

"They" (whoever "they" are) tell us that exercise only counts for 10% of your weight loss results and 90% is what you eat.

My dear readers, I beg to differ.

Let me first regale you with a story that illustrates why believing this myth doesn't work for me.

When I was at university (college for you internationals), our marks were made up from handing in a variety of work. I did a Bachelor of Creative Arts in Stage Management.

We were continually assessed on how we worked on shows, our paperwork (cue sheets, lighting plots, prompt copies etc.), small research assignments on the History of the Arts and other practical and theoretical things. At the end of semester we had to hand in a long essay that was worth ten percent of the marks.

Now I am not very good at doing big projects in small bite size pieces and always arrived the week before the 10% essay was due without having even started it. But, I had a secret plan. I knew that I had done very well in the previous 90% of the work, and that if I sacrificed the whole 10% of the final essay by not handing it in, I would still pass with a respectable mark. So, there was no compulsion to do the essay well, or even at all.

If I thought for one moment that exercise only counted for 10% of my effort, there would be no compulsion to do it well, or do it at all. All I would have to do is eat properly (the other 90%) and all would be well.

I know for a fact, that for ME (not you, your cat or your next door neighbour) exercise is a very very important part of losing weight and looking fabulous.

I don't want to be just a number on the scales - I can achieve that by eating low carb AND low fat for a few days and not doing anything at all. But if I lose weight by restricting my food, I have to eat less and less just to maintain.

If I exercise, I build muscle which burns calories all day long. The more I work out the more I can eat. If I exercise consistently and eat well my body changes into a better, leaner shape. AND I can have a free day without gaining back everything I lost in the previous 6 days.

I have seen people 10 kilos lighter than me who wear a bigger size than me. I am 63 kilos and I wear an AUS size 8 and my waist is only 25 inches . My muscles make me heavy and small.

I have only lost 2 kilos in 5 weeks which sounds slow and painful, but I look and feel completely different.

I am convinced that food and exercise count equally in achieving the body I want.

For me it's 50/50.


  1. I believe you are right chick. Thats all !

  2. Yes I totally agree, I too have only lost 2kg or so in 5 weeks since I started comitting to exercise and I look different.

    It is unreal that I have discovered this too:)


  3. Anonymous11:25 am

    always wise words from my katie

  4. Anonymous6:24 pm

    Totally agree with you.

  5. Hi Katie,

    I am just about to begin my first Body For Life challenge and stumbled across your blog. You look like your doing great. Hoping to get some tips and motivation from reading your blog!


  6. Hey Katie I'm a former BFL'r GREAT program. Well done on your results.

    I believe its 90% head. If your heads not in the right spot none of the other stuff will fall into place.

  7. That's a perfect way to put it! I have to agree 100% it's almost easy to starve myself skinny (which is what i DO NOT want to do) but that doesn't make the flab go away and the fat comes back in double quantities!

  8. Yes! I agree completely. Eating broccoli is not going to do squat (pun intended) for my cardiovascular fitness. We need to do both.
    I enjoy reading your blog -- it is very encouraging.