In the process of trying to eat healthy, lose weight or hit our fitness goals, how many of us get hung up on counting calories? Denying ourselves certain foods? So much that every day is a stressful mess with constantly calculating and debating whether to eat this or stay away from that. Not good for your body, and certainly not good for your mind either. Well, let us introduce you to the concept of the 80/20 rule.
This rule, when applied to food is more an approach to “healthy eating” rather than “dieting”. Getting on a restrictive diet may help you lose weight fast, but you risk putting it on again as soon as you go back to eating normally. Following the 80/20 rule, which involves a more permanent dietary and lifestyle change, can prevent this from happening.
HOW IT WORKS
Very simply, the 80/20 rule goes that you eat healthy foods 80 percent of the time, which allows you to dig into your favorite treats the rest 20 percent. This way of eating helps you stick to a healthy meal plan and implement long-term dietary changes.
BEING EIGHT-PART HEALTHY
Eating healthy involves eating whole, minimally processed foods like fruit, vegetables, lean protein and whole unprocessed grains. Don’t forget to also include plenty of water. However, you still stand a chance of eating too many calories while still eating nutritious foods so make sure to avoid eating at times you don’t feel hungry.
BEING TWO-PART INDULGENT –
To make it easy for you, follow the 80 percent part on weekdays and limit the 20 percent part on weekends, where you can schedule your treats. Much like a reward for getting through the week and also, something to look forward too.
Do remember though that just because you are allowed to indulge does not mean you go all out unhealthy. Continue to watch your portion sizes and ensure you’re not eating anything which has too much sugar or fat. You may be surprised but after a week of eating healthy, you might not even feel the urge to splurge. Just in case you end up tucking into some junk food during the week, you can make up for it during the weekend. Planning is the key!
PLENTY OF RELAXATION AND EXERCISE –
Healthy eating does not mean you can automatically neglect your fitness. Try getting in some moderate exercise every day, like walking or running. Add a few strength-training exercises to build muscle and make sure that you’re burning fat, not muscle as you lose weight. Relax at the end of the day and get at least 8 hours of sleep.
APPLY THE RULE TO LIFE –
You can even extend the rule to beyond your eating habits. For example, exercise. You can schedule training sessions 80 percent of the week while having your off days on the rest 20 percent. Just make sure not to schedule your cheat days and rest days together. You can also apply it to spending. Like investing 20 percent of your earnings every month in something worthwhile – whether it’s saving up for a future trip or for a financial plan.
The possibilities are endless with this rule.
A FINAL WORD
It is quite demotivating to think that you have to lose your favorite foods in order to be healthy. This eating philosophy helps develop a long-term realistic approach to health. We’ve got a few yummy recipes below that you can start to follow for your weekday meals:
Monday: Mushroom Cheese Omelette
Tuesday: Ultra Low Carb Hariyali Rotis
Thursday: Seitan Glass Noodles
Friday: Quinoa Dosa with Tomato Chutney
Saturday and Sunday: Go have fun!
Also, try our Stay Fit Meal Program which offers delicious, healthy meals having a balanced ratio of protein, carbs, and fat. Ideal for athletes, the physically active and people who just want to keep healthy, this program can also help you follow the 80/20 rule! 🙂