If you are looking to lose weight in a more natural way and don’t want to log your food or track calories, then the 80/20 lifestyle method might work good for you. All this means is that 80% of the time you eat healthy, well-balanced, nutritious foods, and the other 20% of the time, you might eat those occasional treats or what you would consider less healthy.
Here are some things to know about the 80/20 eating method to help decide if this is a good option for you.
What Does 80/20 Lifestyle Mean?
When you follow an 80/20 diet, it means that you will eat your version of healthy food 80% of the time, and your version of treats or healthy food 20% of the time.
Using one meal as an example, then maybe you have a big salad for lunch, and all the veggies are your 80%, with 20% of the meal consisting of the fatty dressing you really wanted. It is a very small part of your salad, but brings you joy and satisfaction.
However, over the course of days or weeks, it is better to look at it per meal. While you don’t want to obsess about numbers, in the beginning it helps to calculate how many meals would actually be 20% of the time for treats.
For example, if you tend to eat 3 square meals a day with no snacks, that is about 21 meals for the week. If your calculate 20% of 21, it comes to about 4 meals. So if you follow the 80/20 lifestyle rule, you’ll know that 3-4 meals in your week can be more of the treat meals.
Why Balance is Important
You want to aim for this balance so that you are focusing on proper nutrition and fueling your body, but also getting satisfaction from your food. Eating should not be just about fueling your body, but also not just about treating yourself and indulging every time you eat.
You want a healthy balance that allows you to healthy, filling foods that your body needs for energy, with a little wiggle room for sweets and treats when you crave them.
Easy Ways to Sneak in Treats
On the days when you do want your treats, there are some ways to incorporate them without feeling like you are binging or out of control with them.
The first option is to actually schedule a treat meal every week. This can be pizza on Friday nights or brunch on Sundays with your friends. It is something you will look forward to.
Choose one treat item to buy every week. Maybe you want to grab a bag of peanut butter filled pretzels, a bar of dark chocolate, or a big bag of chips. You know you have this for when you crave it, but it’s not a cart filled with snacks and processed foods, so you still limit how much of it you consume.