The 80/20 Rule:
Balancing Discipline and Indulgence in Your Diet
CONGRATULATIONS!! Reaching your ideal healthy weight is genuinely a fantastic accomplishment. Along the way, you have learned what foods work best for your body. You have enjoyed movement and attempting new and different types of exercise. You have wrestled with your negative self-talk and won! Now it’s time to learn how to maintain your ideal healthy weight forever and enjoy food, alcohol (if you choose), and explore movement. I know how extraordinary it is to live without guilt, self-recrimination, feelings of failure, and all the craziness surrounding food. Let’s live free from all of that.
The 80/20 rule, a balanced approach to eating, offers a sustainable way to keep the weight off while enjoying your meals. This rule is simple: 80% of the time, focus on healthy, nutrient-dense foods, and 20% of the time, allow yourself to enjoy your favorite foods. For me, it’s usually having a bagel, a couple of fancy cocktails, pasta, yummy bread, and maybe some dairy free ice-cream (twice a year I indulge in that).
Whatever it is for you, that 20% is personal and different for everyone. If knocking down a big bag of chips while watching an old movie or binging on your favorite TV series is your idea of bliss, GO FOR IT!
The beauty of our weight loss programs is that you will learn what foods work best for you and how to compensate for that 20%. You may feel crappy the next day, bloated, achy, headache, stuffiness, or just plain Yuck. It’s okay; the key is to savor and enjoy those 20% days, knowing your body is balanced and you can release all that quickly.
Our clients enjoy life. They travel, have dinner out, go to events, and tell me that if they put on a few pounds within a few days, it comes right off. WOW, wouldn’t that be a better way to live with food? No guilt, no agonizing.
Cindy told us, “I love that this is a weight loss program but not a DIET. We get to explore the edges and eat according to who we are, not as defined by some cookie cutter plan.”
Let’s Explore the 80%: Nutrient-Dense, Healthy Eating:
Your diet should contain foods that nourish and fuel your body.
Fruits and Vegetables: Various types ensure a wide range of vitamins and minerals. Load up on non-starchy vegetables. Be sure to have a rainbow of colors, peppers, greens, broccoli, cauliflower, string beans, cucumber, carrots, asparagus, celery, tomato, and others.
Fruit – have two per day – apples, oranges, berries, kiwi, melons, explore and enjoy.
Starchy Veggies are okay; however, I would keep them to 2-3 times per week – winter squash, white potato, sweet potato, corn, and peas. You get the idea. Keep all these starchy veggies to one-half cup cooked. (unless it’s a 20% food for you – in that case, enjoy more than you would during your 80%).
Options like chicken, fish, tofu, and legumes help in muscle repair and satiety. Lean steak, hamburger, turkey burger, lamb, bison, seafood, all good. Keep it to 5-6 ounces.
Whole Grains: Foods like quinoa, brown rice, and whole wheat provide sustained energy. White rice is okay if that is your favorite, but brown is more fibrous and filling. Watch your portions. I find that it’s very easy to eat an entire giant bowl of brown or white rice – keep it to about half a cup cooked.
Healthy Fats: Avocado, nuts, and olive oil contribute to heart health and overall well-being. This is another category where over-indulgence can be easy. For me, nuts are a trigger food. In other words, if I start eating them, I can only stop if it’s walnuts. So, the only nuts in our house are walnuts. They are healthy, and I find it challenging to eat more than a handful – one handful per day.
If you put me in front of cashews or pecans, I can make them all disappear quickly (embarrassing at parties since all I do is stand by them and eat). Unless there is also shrimp, then you can find me there once I grab most of the cashews.
These foods provide the foundation for a healthy diet, contributing to hormone balance, which is crucial for women over 45.
The 20%: Savoring Your Favorites:
Life is about balance; occasional indulgences are part of a happy, healthy lifestyle. Whether a slice of cake at a birthday party or a special dinner out, this 20% allows you to enjoy life’s culinary pleasures without guilt. The key is moderation and not letting this 20% overshadow the 80%. You know what foods you love that are not exactly healthy. Don’t keep them around.
They are only to be purchased on a 20% day or when you are eating someplace else. For example: when I want that awesome bagel, I buy 2, not a half dozen or a dozen. Saying it’s a better deal and I will freeze the rest DOES NOT WORK FOR ME. KNOW YOUR YOURSELF, and don’t make it complicated. This is easy stuff if you follow a few guidelines.
Implementing the 80/20 Rule:
Start by planning your meals, focusing on the 80% healthy options. Then, identify the times or occasions when you’ll indulge in your cravings. Remember, the 80/20 rule is about overall balance, not strict calorie counting. There is NO calorie counting on our programs. It’s about paying attention to portion size, reading labels, understanding your triggers, knowing what works best for your body, and not stressing over food.
The 80/20 rule is not a diet but a lifestyle choice promoting sustainable weight management and overall well-being. It’s about enjoying the journey of healthy living without feeling deprived. This approach is a cornerstone of the Maynestreet program and the Maynestreet VIP program for women over 45, guiding you toward a healthier, happier life.
DISCLAIMERS The Client understands that the role of the Maynestreet program is solely for weight loss, not to prescribe or assess specific meal plans; provide healthcare, medical, or nutrition therapy services; or diagnose, treat, or cure any disease, condition, or other physical or mental ailment of the human body.
The Client acknowledges that, if under the care of healthcare professionals, the Client should discuss any dietary changes with those professionals. If the Client currently uses prescription medications, the Client should not discontinue any prescription medications without first consulting the Client’s prescribing healthcare provider.