There are many interpretations of the 80/20 rule. Some define as 80% nutrition - 20% exercise however I'm referring to eating nutritious food 80% of the time and indulge a little 20% of the time.
Going on a restrictive diet can help you lose weight but the majority of those people, like many dieters regain the weight because eventually life catches up to us and we reform to repetitive poor eating habits. Lets face it, eating quinoa, kale and egg whites can get old real fast.
This past year I was determined to get to a weight I was happy with and stay there. I just had to figure out how. I joined a great workout and nutrition program that gave me the jump start I needed. The instructors were great and gave me the motivation i needed. The biggest lesson I took away from joining this program is that along with regular exercise, you don't need to eliminate foods you enjoy. Its all in moderation. The first 5 weeks of the program i followed the program meticulously. Carb cycling, low fat or no fat some days, low carb other days, no fruit past 12pm, high protein... with one cheat meal a week.
Realistically, who can maintain that as a lifestyle once the program is over? So I decided to just make healthy choices on a daily basis using the 80/20 rule. Some days i would even try 90/10. What i learned was that as long as i maintained my regular exercise the weight came off. In 12 weeks, I went from 214 to 188.
Planning is Key
If you don't plan those meals you are going to use the 20% of less healthy eating, you may find yourself getting tempted and indulge more than 20% of the time.My suggestion is Meal Prep. See my previous blog post for details.
For the 80% fill your plate with whole fresh foods like veggies, fruit, whole grains, legumes, nuts, lean meats and fish. I do suggest going dairy and starch free as much as possible. I refrained from cheeses and milk. I used almond and cashew milk. I also replaced sliced bread with Ezekiel bread. (Sprouted bread, is a type of bread made from whole grains that have been allowed to sprout, that is, to germinate.) No gluten.
Moderation is important for the 20% of the time you plan on relaxing your healthy eating standards. One serving of a treat meal is good but eating an entire meal containing the whole days calorie intake is not.
Exercise and Rest
A steady of combination of cardio and strength training makes it more likely you will burn fat as you lose weight. Rest days depend on the type of athlete you are. Mind and body athletes (think Pilates and yoga) may want to take a day off altogether, whereas bodybuilders may only want to take a day off from lifting, but still do a little cardio. It also depends on your level of fitness. If you’re just now starting out in the fitness world, your rest day should probably be a real rest day in which you do not do any activity at all.