Maybe you have heard of the 80/20 rule when it comes to eating healthy and making lasting changes or maybe you are wondering what the heck I'm talking about. Well the idea is when you eat clean, you have to understand that life happens and your plan will not be 100% all the time. Thus, in theory (life happening) would be about 20% of the time. So you eat 100% clean about 80% of the time and the other 20% allow for special occasions, events or weekend indulgences. Make sense?
This rule as always worked well for me, as well as many of my clients over the years. It allows you to have success with your eating goals without feeling deprived, restricted or guilty. It gives you the ability to create a lifestyle of eating healthy for the long term.
I started using this rule a lot when I was in graduate school. Long days and late nights were tough to stick with my 'perfect' healthy eating every hour of the day so I would allow myself to not eat so perfect on the weekends. Maybe a meal or two out, a glass of wine, or my favorite snacks or treats. During the week, I would work out each day and plan my meals with my goals in mind and then give myself some more flexibility on the weekends. I loved this plan because it helped me lose weight (and keep it off!), feel better and even workout more consistently because I wasn't so rigid and strict. I could have that pizza, or chips or chocolate without feeling like I blew it! It actually was part of my health eating plan!
Although my days are still long and my nights late (for different reasons, enter my kiddies). This plan has allowed me to eat clean and healthy for a number of years and to this day if I stray from this, I am just not as successful in reaching (and maintaining) my goals. This technique has prevented me from the on and off again dieting roller coaster. Over time it has made me more conscious of the decisions I make about food. I know I am choosing these options as a part of my eating lifestyle not of my diet du jour.