90/10 Weight-loss Plan: What You Need to Know

Publications International, Ltd. 90/10 Weight-Loss Plan focuses on factors you can control, including exercise. See more weight loss tips pictures.

Registered dietitian Joy Bauer, the author of the 90/10 plan, says that years of developing nutrition plans for clients have convinced her that there is no diet that will magically melt fat away. The key to weight loss, she says, is to sensibly cut calories, and that's why she developed the 90/10 plan. The "90" in her title stands for "90 percent sensible choice" and the "10" for "10 percent fun food choices," which allows for some flexibility and indulgence. Bauer believes that no matter what the diet, you won't stick with it for long if you're not already used to eating that way.

She asserts that carbohydrates will not make you fat -- disputing the claims of low-carbohydrate diets -- and that including them in your diet will, in fact, make weight loss easier while keeping your energy level up. While her diet discourages eating refined carbohydrates such as sugar and candy, the 10 percent rule allows for what she calls "soul-soothing" foods that aren't exactly healthful. The diet is a realistic food strategy, not exact math. The program places more of an emphasis on exercise than do most diet plans.

The Rationale

Bauer says the reason her plan works is because it's realistic. Any diet that forbids favorite foods is an invitation to "cheat," which is followed by guilt and surrender to old eating habits. By allowing 10 percent leeway in choosing some typically forbidden foods, it gives dieters freedom of choice. Exercise is also an integral part of the plan. Bauer acknowledges that heredity, age, and frame are factors that impact your weight although you have no control over them.

But her diet focuses on the factors that you can control, such as food intake, exercise, and your metabolism. While you can't control the inherited part of your basic metabolism, she says, you can increase your metabolic rate through exercise. Her suggestions for physical activity range from walking to weight training. The point, she says, is to exercise regularly. She provides lots of tips for warming up and even provides forms for keeping track of your activities.

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