If you’ve ever tried a new weight loss plan, you’ve probably heard of a little something called the 80/20 diet. In simple terms, this eating plan asks that you stay on track 80 percent of the week per your new healthy choices, while allowing yourself a 20 percent “cheat” for all of the goodies and favorite foods you’ve been craving.
When you undergo a lifestyle change, from an unhealthy diet to a healthy diet, the transition can be rough. That’s where the 80/20 rule comes into play. Say you’re a health nut, but have a secret obsession with sour gummy worms and Milano cookies; the 80/20 rule is there for you, too. No matter what your fitness or health goals are, an 80/20 view on eating is a foolproof way to go about eating healthy and including proper nutrition in your daily diet.
So, what’s this 80/20 rule and what’s it all about? It’s a way of maintaining healthy eating habits, as well as a healthy lifestyle without feeling like you’re sacrificing comfort foods like ice cream. With this rule, you’re dining on healthy foods, like whole grains and healthy fats, 80 percent of the time. The other 20 percent belongs to the treat meals you’ll eat during the week.
According to a study done by Obesity Facts in 2014, it’s fine to have up to four cheat meals per week, seeing that the average person eats three meals a day. This means that you don’t necessarily need to forego your diet during special occasions, as weekly meals can be made of healthy recipes and clean eating, while the weekend can be
For the 80 percent of your week, you’ll want to focus on solely whole, real, and unprocessed foods. The reasoning for this is what they do for your body and mind. Eating countless healthy meals may seem boring to you now, but once you get into the groove of it and find a meal plan you like, it’ll become to be second nature. Focus on fruits that are low on the glycemic index such as grapefruit, strawberries and apples.
For vegetables, it’s more of a dealer’s choice than a matter of this one is better than the other. Reach for large portions of carrots instead of sour gummy worms (or 10). Mix up a salad with cranberries, walnuts and chicken rather than that carb-overload dish of pasta and protein. Remember, just because there are lean meats in a restaurant dish, that often doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Be careful of the mayo in chicken salad, and swap in plain Greek yogurt, for example.
For this reason, it’s recommended to make your meals in your own kitchen. This way, you know exactly what’s going into your food and how much of a certain ingredient (talking to you, salt!) you’re going to install into your dish. If you’re going to eat out while following the 80/20 rule, you’re not out of luck!
Many restaurants are accommodating to the healthier and the gluten-free citizens of the world, providing healthier meals for you and yours on a night out.