Apr 29

The Devil is in the Details

The idiom “the devil is in the details” means that mistakes are usually made in the small details of a project. Usually it is a caution to pay attention to details to avoid failure. I use the phrase in the opposite way: If you get too bogged down in the details of ONE-TWO PUNCH, you will drive yourself crazy. It will then become just like any other diet that ends up not being sustainable. The “devil” is found in making this process too detailed and in over-analyzing your food choices.

One of the reasons diets aren’t sustainable is that the process is working against you. While exciting at first, all the planning, tracking, measuring, weighing, reading labels and calculating is causing additional stress. Remember when you increase your stress you increase cortisol levels in your body and increased cortisol levels increase your potential to store fat.35 We need to cut out the stress! ONE-TWO PUNCH is designed to reduce the stress of eating and help you eat in a balanced way.

Balance also means balance in the foods you choose to eat. Yes, the fist of carb can be anything, but do we want it to be a brownie every single time, every single day? No. Balance means, for the most part, you are choosing foods in the whole, unprocessed, unrefined form; foods with the fewest ingredients on the nutrition label. But balance also means choosing a Twinkie (think heavily processed) occasionally when it sounds good to you. If you need to think of that balance in more tangible terms, think of an 80/20% rule:

80% of the time you are choosing foods with more fiber, more water content, more protein, stronger flavors and less processing. Generally speaking, these foods tend to be more satisfying, have more nutrients and keep you full longer.

20% of the time you are choosing foods with taste and enjoyment as a priority, not the actual content of the food. These foods, while perhaps nutritionally lacking, can be highly satisfying and make you crave less.

Yes, to be successful at maintaining a healthy weight, the number of calories consumed and the quality of those calories matter. What I’m advocating is that if you eat only when you are hungry, the calories you consume will fall in line to match what your body needs. Even if you allow treats, you are still eating when your body will burn them. I call high-sugar foods, like candy, intense carbohydrates. By giving yourself permission to have treats in a balanced way, you’ll stop the yo-yo action of going on and off various diets. 

You want a balance between protein and carbohydrate, but also a balance between ridiculously healthy and just outright deliciousness, caution thrown to the wind regarding ingredients.32,80 The next section will help you practice your balancing act.


35. Geiker N, Astrup A, Hjorth M, Sjödin A, Pijls L, Markus R. Does stress influence sleep patterns, food intake, weight gain, abdominal obesity and weight loss interventions and vice versa?. [Published online ahead of print August 28, 2017]. Obes Rev. 2018;19(1):81-97.

32. Stroebe W, van Koningsbruggen G, Papies E, Aarts H. Why most dieters fail but some succeed: A goal conflict model of eating behavior. Psychol Rev. 2013;120(1):110-138. 

80. Linardon J, Mitchell S. Rigid dietary control, flexible dietary control, and intuitive eating: Evidence for their differential relationship to disordered eating and body image concerns. Eat Behav. 2017;26:16-22.