Now that the holidays have come and gone, it’s time to focus on fitness – especially if you made healthy resolutions – and start losing that holiday weight. Indulging on sweets and treats over the holidays is often fun and delicious, but once January arrives, it’s time to get serious about hitting the home fitness equipment again.
If you’ve resolved to get in the best shape of your life this year, you must remember that in addition toÂ being consistent on the home elliptical machine and stationary bike, you must stick to healthy eating. Unfortunately, many “diet” plans are very rigid and don’t leave a lot of room for splurge meals or variety. Because of this, they can become boring very quickly, causing them to be abandoned. There are also so many different diet methods claiming to be the most effective, so it can be a challenge deciding which is the right one for you.
The good news is, there’s an eating plan that’s super easy to follow and allows the freedom to make your own choices when it comes to meal planning: the 80/20 method.
What is the 80/20 rule?
The 80/20 rule is quite simple: 80 percent of the time you eat healthy foods and the other 20 percent of the time you can indulge in cheat meals or your favorite sweet or savory treats. This plan provides a lot of flexibility and it’s easy because you don’t have to adhere to any specialized food choices. This makes it easier to stick to for the long term and doesn’t force you to ignore cravings, which can lead to crankiness and overindulging.
For example, if you eat three meals a day, that’s 21 meals a week. With this plan, you canÂ eat 17 healthy meals and have four splurge meals If you opt for five small meals a day, you have 35 total mealsÂ a week. With the 80/20 rule, you eat 28 healthy meals and seven splurge ones. Similarly, if you count calories and aim for 1,200 calories per day, 960 of them should be healthy and you can treat yourself to the remaining 240.
Why try the 80/20 method?
One problem with certain diet plans is that they make you believe you have to be on pointÂ 100 percent of the time, but no one is perfect. Therefore, even if you run every day on your home treadmill and strive to eat well, chances are you’ll have an off day. When that happens, it can cause you to feel guilty or bad about yourself. With the 80/20 rule, however, you can alter your ways of thinking to accept that it’s OK to have a cookie or slice ofÂ chocolate cake once in a while.
Eating well 80 percent of the time and splurging the other 20 percent keeps you happier in the long run, because instead of focusing on what you can’t eat, you can enjoy the foods you can consume and you won’t feel deprived of your favorite edible goodies. And there are no rules saying what you can and can’t eat, so you don’t have to worry about making a mistake and eating a food itemÂ outside of the guidelines. That can also lead to negative feelings.
If the 80/20 rule sounds like something you want to try, remember not to be hard on yourself. With this plan, you’re allowed to have foods you love and may not be the best for you occasionally. If you do eat a candy bar or a cupcake, don’t feel guilty about it, and remember that you’re mostly dining well and sticking to regular workouts. ThatÂ beingÂ said, don’t go too crazy with the indulging, as that will prohibit you from losing weight as successfully as you want.