Very few things in life can be considered perfect and the same can be said of your diet. It is very difficult to not look at the cakes when buying your morning coffee, or to say no to dessert when you’ve just eaten a salad. This is where the 80/20 rule comes into play. It is very unlikely that in day to day life you do everything 100% perfectly, so why do we demand that of our diet day in day out? If you want to lose weight effectively and more importantly, keep it off then bear in mind the 80/20 rule.
For 80% of the time eat a healthy, balanced diet and 20% of the time have some well-deserved treats – it really is that simple.
For example, over the course of a week you will eat in the region of 35 different times (based on 3 meals a day and 2 snacks) and you will over the course of the week make 35 different food choices. So 80% of those food choices need to be healthy, for example:
✓ Lots of fruit and veg
✓ Eat good quality protein
✓ Eat good quality wholegrains
✓ Incorporate beans, lentils and nuts
✓ Include nutrient rich fats – olive and coconut oils and avocados
✓ Calcium rich dairy products
✓ Reduce alcohol intake
✓ Increase water intake to approx. 8 glasses per day
✓ Portion control
The remaining 20% of the time, so approximately 7 times a week, relax a bit! A glass of wine, a couple of biscuits, a couple of squares of dark chocolate, your favourite latte or a slice of cake will not bring the world tumbling down. Make sure you eat mindfully though – this means enjoy it, appreciate it, savour the flavour but above all DO NOT feel guilty.
A healthy, balanced diet can accommodate your favourite things but as always in life it is about moderation. Life would be very boring without just a few of the things that we love and enjoy.