80/20 rule – Take the Power and Permission to Enjoy Your Life

Better Body Programme in London - The Better Body Guru

Lifestyle not Diet


Being healthy is a lifestyle choice. Not a week of eating spinach whilst exercising 5 times a day like a crazy person - to then reward yourself with 3 weeks of junk food and back to back box sets!  Leading a healthy lifestyle means making the majority of your choices in your life healthy ones.


But being a realist is hugely important too. We cannot always be eating healthily - we must treat ourselves occasionally, to stay sane. Everything in moderation - including moderation!


The Rule


The 80/20 rule means you eat nutritious foods 80% of the time and allow yourself to indulge a little for the other 20% of the time. Nutritionist and personal trainer Teresa Cutter, the author of the book "The 80/20 Diet," claims that the 20% portion of less healthy eating should occur (once) or less times per week, and not consume 20% percent of what you eat each day.


Another way to follow the diet principle is to cheat 4 meals per week, assuming you eat the typical three meals per day. A study published in ‘Obesity Facts’ in 2014 found that people can still lose weight after small splurges like cheat meals on the weekend if they continue to eat healthily overall.


It’s About Choices.


One of the many wonderful things about being a human being is we can decide exactly what we will put into our bodies! We have the choice. We have the freedom. So it is our responsibility to decide what to eat, how much and at what times. It’s that simple.


Yes we are ruled by hunger at times (which we must see as a blessing rather than a curse, as hunger makes the act of eating very satisfying!) But we are also able to think logically and that helps us separate emotions from our eating habits, which we must ensure we do regularly.


If you’re invited to a drinks night and you want to drink, do it! Have fun and enjoy yourself - after all it’s in our nature to enjoy a beverage with friends and let our hair down! Just be sure to keep in mind that a big night out probably constitutes at least 2 cheat meals, so you’ll need to make up for it by eating even more healthily in the week!


You Don’t Have to be Perfect


If you start the day with a super green smoothie, walk your 10,000 steps by midday and have a salad for lunch, it’s ok to treat yourself with that mid-afternoon cookie. It’s ok. You will soon master the art of not feeling guilty about indulging in a small treat, whilst ensuring it’s always something you do occasionally, not often.


It’s good to look at the week as a whole. Those 4 ‘cheat meals’ can also be snacks (maybe 2 SMALL snacks to every cheat meal). Be careful to make sure you don’t get obsessed either way. Thinking about food constantly is very unhealthy too. Whatever happens remain in the headspace of eating healthily all the time, so that when you do fancy that treat, you know you’re probably on the right track to eat it.


So, Give it a Try!


This stuff really works when it’s your lifestyle - consistency is key! Mix things up too! If you’re working out often throughout the week, choosing to walk up the escalator rather than standing, putting more vegetables in your fridge and getting creative in the kitchen with nutritious ingredients, you’re creating a fun and varied lifestyle, which will, without doubt, reflect in how toned and lean you look.


It’s about enjoying life to the full - stay true to your healthy eating and exercising regime and those luxuries will taste and feel even more fantastic!

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