Disclaimer: Always seek the advice of your physician before starting or altering any exercise or dietary plan.
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What is the 80/20 rule? Maybe you’ve heard of it before? It could have been for a healthy lifestyle or a financial post. There are numerous examples out there, but we are going to focus on our Healthy Lifestyle Exchanges.
The 80/20 rule is all about balance, moderation and NOT dieting. If you want to lose weight, you should see results naturally just by making healthy exchanges in your life. It also does not support any fad diet plans.
This can be a hard concept to wrap your head around if you’ve been a yo yo dieter for years. But it doesn’t have to be. Let go of those old ideations and relax a bit (relaxing is also good for you).
If you make healthy choices in your diet, exercise routine and stress management 80 % of the time, you will see huge results! The other 20% of the time, let loose a little bit, ditch the guilt because you ate that cinnamon bun loaded with cream cheese! (See my previous post on that).
So, let’s break this down. If we eat 3 meals a day and 2 snacks, recommended amounts.
That gives us a combined total of 35 snacks and meals a week. If we follow the 80/20 rule, that means that we will eat Healthy choices 28 times and can have our indulgences 7 times in a week, how awesome is that?
I for one do not feel deprived (which is the leading cause of “failure” on a diet. I get to have 7…7 snacks or meals a week. That’s amazing, and it gives me such a feeling of success and power. I can plan a lunch date out with friends, or Mark and I can go out for dinner, or have a dessert once in a while (or a cinnamon bun) and not feel guilty.
Of course, you still want to use moderation with those 7, you don’t want to have a 700-calorie piece of cheesecake every day of the week, and if you do, then you and only you will have to deal with the consequences. You still want to choose wisely, or have half the piece of cheesecake.
This concept of a Healthier lifestyle can be so great when you know you are going to a big event, where you know you aren’t going to be able to make great choices, or plain and simply don’t want to. You don’t have to think you HAVE to eat plain old salad all week to make up for the steak and potatoes you ate at the family barbecue last weekend. You have options. Just watch your portions and what you are choosing for your 7.
I’ll give you an example. We know we are going camping this weekend. My favorite thing to have is a Smokey(sausage) cooked over the campfire. I know that will be one of my 7 this week. So, I will be having the smallest one in the package, and I won’t have a bun with it. Instead of potato chips as a side, like I used to have, I will have some cottage cheese and raw veggies.
See how easy that was, I won’t feel deprived because I got to have what I wanted, but at the same time I made a few tweaks to it so it wasn’t quite the nasty meal it could have been. Best of all, I will feel absolutely NO GUILT, because I know I’ve made great choices 80% of the time this week.
“This Lifestyle Exchange is not about deprivation, it’s about being inspired to live healthy”
I hope you will give the 80/20 lifestyle a try. You will find it so freeing, in my opinion. Let us know what you can do with the 80/20. Would it help you with your feelings of guilt? Or failure?
Doesn’t it feel fantastic to know that we don’t have to behave 100% of the time, and that’s ok!
Comment on this post below, send us an email or join us on our Facebook page. We love hearing from you.
It takes 4 weeks for you to see your body changing
It takes 8 weeks for your friends and family
It takes 12 weeks for the rest of the world.
Never give up, your body will thank you.
As of August 1st we have started a new FaceBook group for likeminded people to join. If you need motivation or would just like to support others on their Healthier Living Journey then please join our group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/971130139764831/
You can also follow us on these other social media sites.
Mark & Shelly
* This post was originally seen on our sister site Levels of Minimalism/120 Day Healthy Living Exchange. We are in the process of moving sites.