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How the 80/20 Rule Will Change Your Approach to Weight Loss

Could the 80/20 Rule be the way to finally lose weight and keep it off for good?

The 80/20 Rule for Weight Loss

Could the 80/20 Rule be the way to finally lose weight and keep it off for good?

Of course, if you go on any type of restrictive diet, you are likely to lose weight. The problem is, once you go back to eating the same way you had been eating before you started the diet, you’re going to gain back that weight you lost, and possibly even more. Here at FitDay, we always recommend making permanent, healthy lifestyle changes over temporary fad diets that promise quick results but can’t be sustained over your lifetime.

So What Is the 80/20 Rule?

Following the 80/20 Rule means you eat a healthy, well-balanced, nourishing diet 80 percent of the time, and you can indulge in your favorite treats the other 20 percent of the time, within reason. This means you shouldn’t go on an all-out, no holds-barred, hog-wild binge during the 20 percent of the time--you will still need to practice portion control. Each day, you should be mindful of portion control, balance, variety, and the environmental impact of your food choices. Be sure to include a colorful array of seasonal fruits and vegetables, lean protein (including some non-animal sources of protein), whole-grains, healthy fats, and plenty of water.

The impeccably gorgeous supermodel Miranda Kerr and the always-flawless Jessica Alba abide by the 80/20 Rule. Proponents of this lifestyle claim it helps you establish a healthy relationship with food. Nobody can stick to a strict diet 100 percent of the time, but you do have the willpower to eat healthy 80 percent of the time, while giving yourself some slack 20 percent of the time. If you deprive yourself of treats or special occasion foods, you will not be able to sustain that type of eating your entire life. It's almost impossible and is no fun.

It’s Not a Diet

Following the 80/20 Rule ensures that you’ll be getting a variety of beneficial nutrients without having to cut out entire food groups, deny yourself your favorite foods, or relentlessly count every single calorie. Since this type of eating is relatively simple and does not require unrealistic restrictions, it helps you foster a healthy relationship with food that will help you get to a healthy weight and keep the weight off for good through dietary changes you can actually sustain over your lifetime.

Put it into Practice

One of the best ways to put this way of eating into practice is to do a little planning ahead of time. Stock your fridge, freezer, and pantry with healthy ingredients in order to ensure it’ll be easy to eat nutritiously 80 percent of the time. Plan your treat meals and snacks ahead of time each week. It’ll allow you to be more in control and will help you avoid an unhealthy eating binge. Again, the 80/20 Rule is about building a healthy relationship with food, not one in which certain foods or entire food groups are demonized and forbidden, which often increases the likelihood you’ll overindulge in that food.

If you find that you have saved up for a treat meal but don’t really feel the desire to indulge, you don’t have to. The 80/20 Rule allows you to be intuitive about your body. Listen to your body--it’ll tell you more than you think.

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