The 80/20 rule is simple–eat healthy, clean foods 80% of the time, and enjoy more indulgent foods 20% of the time.
Personally, I adhere to the 80/20 diet year-round, which allows me to indulge in some of my favorite meals and treats while still keeping fit.
Here are three reasons you should adopt the 80/20 diet:
1. YOU’RE LESS LIKELY TO GO OVERBOARD
Anything that is too restrictive isn’t realistic for the long haul. Balance is key.
In most cases, when you are too strict with your meals or cut out an entire macronutrient group (e.g. going super low carb, or cutting carbs completely), it ends up backfiring.
While you may be able to stick to this approach for a week or two, maybe even a month, inevitably you'll learn this is not realistic or sustainable.
Instead, it puts you in a position to binge on tons of foods that were previously “off limits.”
The beauty of the 80/20 rule is that no food is EVER “off limits,” as you can quite literally have your cake and keep your abs too. Everything in moderation!
2. YOU’RE IN CONTROL
A meal or two got off track this past weekend? Don’t sweat it.
With the 80/20 rule, you can kick that “all or nothing” mentality to the curb. Instead of fretting over an extra cheat meal or a few cookies, you can make these options PART of the plan.
As I mentioned earlier, no food is ever forbidden, so you’re in control of when you have your cookies and when you have your protein pancakes.
3. YOU WON’T FEEL LEFT OUT
Unfortunately, people automatically assume eating healthy and being fit means making extreme sacrifices. They believe it is necessary to skip out on events, holidays, social gatherings, etc., and only eat home-cooked meals that are “on plan”. It doesn’t have to be this way!
With the 80/20 rule, you can think outside the Tupperware container.
If you have an event coming up, follow your meal plan wholeheartedly leading up to it.
Enjoy the event, live in the moment, then get right back on track and on plan the next day.
Make eating healthy a lifestyle with 80/20
The 80/20 rule allows you to stay fit but leaves room for you to enjoy Grandma’s lemon squares during the holidays or a burger and some sweet potato fries on the weekend.
It's ok to splurge a little! Having an indulgent meal or dessert factored into your meal plan means you’re more apt to stick to healthy meals other days of the week.
Don't feel guilty about enjoying yourself in moderation!
About Jen Jewell
Jen Jewell is the bubbly meets badass fitness personality who takes a versatile “fun with fitness” approach to training. Although she is a fitness pro, she isn’t overly restrictive with her nutrition and workouts. She loves yoga, hiking, and outdoor workouts. She actively coaches people around the world who want to get healthy and fit. Follow Jen on her journey.