I’m such a huge fan of this rule in my life and those that I Coach and train to get themselves healthy – The 80/20 rule! This approach is an excellent way to go about your program and will not only help you see optimal success, but in most cases, will also help to ensure that you stay healthy as you go along as well.
Your ears perk up? Sounds like something you can do? But what is it really? Super easy and something YOU can be successful with, let’s just break it down.
The 80/20 Rule
What the 80/20 rule essentially states is that in order to see best success, you should be maintaining your program and nutrition plan 80% of the time, while the other 20% of the time, you can relax on your current regime (sort of).
When most people start up on a fat loss diet plan, one of the first things they always want to know is, ‘can I eat X food’?
There’s always something that we naturally crave that we simply do not want to give up.
Many diets won’t allow it however. They expect you to be 100% perfect at all times. But, who is really 100% perfect in the real world? Or, who wants to be 100% perfect, 100% of the time? You’ll drive yourself mad!
Trust me, I’d be doing you a disservice if I led you to believe I was 100% strict and perfect on my diets and workouts, 100% of the time! I certainly have made significant changes, but I’m not perfect either…I’m just human.
But here’s the secret….come closer to your screen and read this >>> Giving yourself that leeway – and knowing that 20% of the time you can actually relax on your regime (again, sort of) without guilt will do amazing things for helping you stick with the program.
When you adopt this rule, then foods do not become ‘never eat’, they become ‘eat later on’ and ‘less of’.
This simple shift in mind frame as you go about your diet is going to make the diet more enjoyable, make you feel more compelled to stick with it, and help to ensure that you maintain a positive relationship with food.
As soon as you start putting food on the ‘never eat’ list, that’s when you run the risk of problems coming about with regards to long-term eating behaviors. Let’s avoid that, as it’s simply about changing your relationship with food and how we look to it for sustainability.
Making This Work For You
So to make the 80/20 rule work for you, designate a time throughout the course of your dieting program where you will indulge in your favorite foods.
Perhaps it’s one cheat meal each week. Notice I said cheat meal, not cheat day. As, if you have goals, you’ve got to continue focused on the 80%, as cheat days, only allow for your body to be put in a tail spin and eventually spiral out of control and revert back to old habits that perhaps got you to your current state. Right?
Think about what will work best for you and then go from there. Perhaps you allow yourself to look forward to enjoying a cheat meal on Saturday evenings. Maybe that’s historically the evening you go out with your spouse, family or entertain with friends. Allow yourself to enjoy that meal and evening without guilt, although keeping your goals in focus.
Remember though, that it will be important that you do keep these cheats under control. You aren’t going to see optimal results if you let yourself go on a full out binge once per week. The calories you consume will simply overtake the calorie deficit that you created in most instances.
Instead, keep it more moderated. And, realize that the more often you’re cheating, the smaller those cheats need to be.
As long as you practice some self-control and stay smart in the approach, there should be no reason why you can’t have some fun with your diet plan 20% of the time and still see amazing results.