The 80/20 Diet
The 80/20 Diet is all about promoting moderation and balance. Although ‘everything in moderation’ is a well-known concept, it helps to have structure when it comes to your own healthy eating so as to avoid over-indulging ‘in moderation’. Therefore, balance is vital to healthy eating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In addition, the 80/20 Diet veers away from all-or-nothing style diets which are restrictive and oppressive, causing more temptation and resulting in an almighty binge and falling off the healthy eating wagon altogether.
How The 80/20 Diet Works
Any day of the week, even any meal, can be either 80% or 20%. In other words, many people who practice this eating plan stick to a whole foods diet during the week and relax their food choices on the weekends.
On the other hand, if your weekend starts on Friday and ends on Monday, you’re not really practicing the 80/20 diet. To lose weight, make sure that your 20% really is only 20%. That equals one and a half days per week (or about four meals in seven days).
How to Use the 80/20 Diet
No Food is Off-Limits
The first tip is to know that no food is off-limits. When you are having a more indulgent meal or snack, don’t restrict yourself. The whole point of 80/20 is to incorporate all foods into your diet and promote balance.
Good Food/Bad Food
Don’t think of it as a cheat meal/day! We are bombarded with Good versus Evil when it comes to healthy eating and it can be overwhelming. The 80/20 Diet eliminates the idea that you are cheating on being healthy when you are deciding to let loose a little and not over restrict because you have a balanced lifestyle in place. And as tip #1 states: no food is off limit.
Don’t Overthink It
Don’t get too worried or anxious that your 20% is going to cause a huge detriment to your health or goal. By eating 80/20, you are learning how to incorporate indulgent foods into your diet without compromising your overall goal.
The 80/20 Diet Plate
What is 20%? We can often be a little too generous with our 20%. It can be tough to know as it varies depending on the individual. To start, visualise a plate with 80% vegetables and 20% your indulgent food of choice, this is what your day, week, and month of 80/20 will look like.
Don’t Force It
Eat what you love! This applies to the 80 and the 20. If you dislike broccoli, don’t eat broccoli. Replace broccoli with a vegetable you prefer. Don’t loathe the idea of your 80%. This goes for your 20% too. Don’t have an indulgent food just for the sake of it. Make sure you are always enjoying your choices. Food is meant to be enjoyed.
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Rebecca is a registered Associate Nutritionist with the UKVRN through the Association for Nutrition. She completed her Bachelors of Science Degree in Nutraceuticals in Health and Nutrition before achieving her Masters Degree in Public Health Nutrition in Queen Margaret’s University, Edinburgh. Before joining the GourmetFuel team, Rebecca was a Nutrition & Allergen Menu Analyst. She is passionate about food and promoting ‘real food’ diets! She is also interested in Childhood and Elderly Nutrition.
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