What is the 80/20 rule for a balanced diet?

The 80/20 rule encourages you to eat balanced meals. If you can manage 80% of your meals to be clean that leaves room for 20% to come from non-compliant meals.
The knowledge that you are not restricted to a certain type of diet and that you can indulge in some chocolate if you are craving it, motivates you to stick to the 80/20 plan. This makes for sustainable habits, which do not feel intimidating and better you at reaching your fitness goals.
Moreover, it reduces your chances of relapsing to old eating patterns, as you will be practicing moderation.

Here are some tips to efficiently to incorporate the 80/20 rule in your life:

  • Aim for quality foods. For example, Burrata cheese is loaded with vitamins and is highly nourishing for you. But because it has a higher fat percentage, you can keep it under the 20%. Consuming this should feel good — imagine your hair being bouncy from the nutrients it provides! Similarly, if fat loss is your fitness goal and you are aiming to consume meals slightly lower in carbs, a pizza since it is higher in carbs, could be a food that you make fall under your 20%.
  • List down what foods fall under the 20% for you. Labelling these foods as bad can be counterintuitive to the results you would want from applying this rule. It should not make you feel guilty. Including good quality of foods that fall under the 20% would be a wise thing to do.
  • Save your 20% for the weekends or for special days of the week only. If your 20% consists of sugary foods, you may want to keep this to a specific day to avoid feeling low on energy or craving more sugary stuff throughout the week. This also helps maintain some self-discipline and avoids the risk of you binge eating.
  • Follow the rule knowing that it gives you the flexibility. Don’t use this as an opportunity to binge as it beats the purpose of having this rule in the first place.
  • Exercise portion control. The point is to love the 80% of healthy foods that fall into your lifestyle, and keep some room for indulgence in moderation — be it wine, cheese, or pastries. 
  • Exercise and Move! The calorie deficit created by the diet is not significant enough without exercises.

To know more about compliant and non-compliant foods, and to benefit from and accountability coach who can keep you on track with this rule of thumb…join us!

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