As you begin your adventure into nutrition, whether you are simply looking to clean up your day to day intake or start an official diet plan for weight loss, one concept that you need to know about is the 80/20 rule.
While not everyone needs to use this to be successful, many people find it definitely helps make the process of healthy eating less stressful and more enjoyable.
Let’s go over what you need to know about the 80/20 rule.
What Is The 80/20 Rule?
The 80/20 rule basically states that you should be ‘on’ the plan around 80% of the time, which then allows you time to have freedom and flexibility the other 20% of the time.
Most people when they first start out on a healthy eating plan expect themselves to be 100% healthy 24/7.
Sadly, this only leads to failure, as no one can be perfect no matter how much they try. The 80/20 rule takes this into account and ensures that you don’t have to.
The Benefits Of Using The 80/20 Rule
So how does this benefit you?
First, it helps keep you more psychologically sane. If you expect perfection from yourself, this is placing a high level of stress on you at all times, which could lead to you cracking and going on an all out binge. By having 20% of the time when you may fall off the plan – and having that be your plan, this puts your mind at ease entirely.
Second, it also helps give you some psychological relief from food cravings. If you are craving a cinnamon bun for instance, that’s fine – eat it during your 20% time and then stick with the diet the rest of the time. By using this rule, food is never off limits entirely. It’s only off limits until later. This can really go a long way towards making your diet more manageable.
Another way in which the 80/20 rule helps out is by improving your relationship with food. When some people put a whole list of food items entirely off limits, labeling them as ‘bad’ foods, this can start a sort of obsessive, unhealthy frame of mind where you could be putting yourself at risk for an eating disorder of sorts.
By allowing the less than healthy foods in your plan 20% of the time, you will come to see that you won’t gain all the weight you lost back by indulging slightly, which can help keep you more mentally at peace with the overall notion of eating and what it entails. Sometimes dieters who are too strict start to get unrealistic in what they think will happen if they do eat a slice of cake or pizza. It’s not the end of the world!
Finally, using the 80/20 rule can actually help speed up your weight loss. This is because cheating on your diet from time to time can actually be a good thing and help boost your metabolic rate, ensuring optimal progress.
Sometimes when people stick with a very low calorie diet plan for far too long, this results in their metabolic rate becoming very slow. That in turn brings weight loss to a screeching halt.
By having those high calorie foods now and then, you will shock your body, sending your metabolic rate soaring and speeding up the overall rate of fat burning taking place.
So as you can see, using the 80/20 rule comes with many advantages – too many to pass up.
Now, while this all sounds great, make sure that you are honest with yourself about the 80/20 divide. Some people will start to relax a little too much and soon 80/20 becomes more like 70/30 or even 60/40.
If this starts to happen, you will find that you are no longer seeing results on your plan as it’s simply too much time spent off your diet plan. Keep yourself accountable. The Weight Tracker Fitness Journal is a great tool to help you document your food and/or weight loss journey! This way, you can better monitor exactly what you are doing and ensure that you are on track to maximum success.