When losing weight, getting into a healthy lifestyle, or while trying to break a plateau, your typical “go to” may be a restrictive diet with no wiggle room and lots of exercise. However, that’s unsustainable and makes you more prone to binges and feelings of failure and guilt. That is how unhealthy relationships with food and exercise develop.However, there is a HEALTHY way to go about losing weight, getting into a healthy lifestyle, and breaking a weight loss (or fitness) plateau! It’s called the 80/20 rule. The 80/20 rule is not a diet. It is simply a lifestyle change that leads to a sustainable weight loss and can even help with increasing your energy, etc. You may have seen the previous saying in previous blog posts, this is because the 80/20 rule falls into every health and fitness tip! You need to have balance and moderation of good-for-you-food and not-so-good-for-you-food in order to stay sane and maintain your healthy lifestyle.
When you begin your transition from the rigidly limited diets to an 80/20 approach, you will find that it is all about moderation and balance. Yes you can have that cocktail, or even go out to dinner. Just learn what works for your own body. So here is a break down of the 80/20 rule, along with a few tips about portion sizes.
1.) What does the “80” mean? The “80” part of the rule stands for eating HEALTHY food 80% of the time. However, healthy doesn’t mean only eating protein bars, smoothies, or just having coffee for breakfast. Eating healthy means eating foods closest to their natural origins as well as having balanced meals. For example, a healthy breakfast would be: scrambled eggs with veggies paired with some peanut butter toast. You can still enjoy coffee with this meal, but eating a healthy breakfast instead of just having coffee will speed up your metabolism, and keep you fuller longer throughout the day.
2.) Now… What is the “20” part of this rule? The 20 means that you can enjoy your sweet treats, or the “not so good for you foods” about 20% of the time. This means that you can have a dessert after dinner, or give yourself a cheat day on the weekends, or whatever truly works for your schedule.
3.) Portions are a very important part of learning to eat with balance and moderation. For example, resteraunts seem to love giving us huge portion sizes. Instead of eating every last bite on your plate and feeling bloated and tired after dinner, eat only half. Yes! Only eat half of what’s on your plate, and if need be, ask for a box when your food comes out and put half in a box. This way you do not cheat and talk yourself into eating the whole thing. Also, fill up on a side salad before the main course. This will help to fill you up with healthy food.
So, the takeaway from all of this is to enjoy food you love! Just enjoy it in moderation. Eat your veggies and lean proteins 80% of the time and enjoy your cocktail, special dinner, or special treat 20% of the time. Find what works best for your schedule and remember that this is a life long process. You’ll find what works for you through trial and error, so remember not to give up and let us know what works best for you or if you have any tips you would like to share!