Follow This 1 Rule So You Can Lose Fat (and Still Have Pizza and Wine!)
There are tons of diets out there telling you to ditch certain foods. No fruit, no whole grains, no sweet potatoes, no pizza, no ice cream — what kind of life is that? Aside from making you unhappy, that kind of lifestyle isn't sustainable. Maybe you can ditch those delicious foods for a week or two, but soon the cravings will come on so strong that you'll say, "Forget this!" and have a huge binge. Of course that won't help you lose weight.
Fitness trainer and fat-loss coach Ivica Fridrih (@ivicafridrih on Instagram) posted this diagram to show how you can lose fat and leave restrictive diets behind. It illustrates the good old 80/20 rule, in which 80 percent of the time you focus on healthy, whole, unprocessed foods. Then the other 20 percent leaves room for the treats you love (like pizza and wine!).
Implementing the 80/20 rule is the only way you'll be able to sustain a healthy lifestyle for the rest of your life and enjoy it! "What's the point of getting in a better shape if it will make all other areas of your life worse, don't you agree?" Ivica said. You're eating right and exercising to lose weight to enhance your life — never forget that! So the method to get there shouldn't negatively impact your life.
Basically, the 80/20 diet really just gives some structure to the not-so-sexy "everything in moderation" mantra that registered dietitians like Sheri Kasper preach day in and day out, and it's the diet she follows to help herself maintain a healthy weight. Here are her tips for implementing the 80/20 rule.
Remember It's a Lifestyle, Not a Diet
Yo-yo dieting is rampant. Why? "Because most trendy diets simply aren't sustainable over the long-term, so we jump on the bandwagon, follow the latest diet, but quickly feel deprived and fall off," Sheri says. Not many people are disciplined enough or willing to forego pasta and bread, wine, or treats for the rest of their lives — it's no way to live! When you follow the 80/20 rule, you give yourself permission to enjoy treats moderately. But you have to be able to revert back to healthful eating after each indulgence. It's not all or nothing; it's a lifestyle.
Look at the Whole Week
Doing 80/20 can be challenging for people who like to follow (or are used to following) more restrictive diets. With the 80/20 diet, you need to be able to look at your diet as a whole — and planning is key. Sheri says, "If you consider the total number of meals you eat weekly (assuming you eat three meals a day), four of those meals (20 percent) can be less healthy."
Think about your commitments, and then schedule and plan accordingly! Do you have a date? A dinner party? A work function? Plan to use those occasions as your indulgent meals, and eat healthy the rest of the time.
If you're trying to stay healthy, and especially if you're trying to lose weight, Sheri warns to be careful during your 20 percent time. Enjoy a piece of cake at a party, not half the cake. Keep in mind that if you adopt the 80/20 lifestyle, you'll be able to have another piece of cake (or whatever treat you choose) later that week. There's no need to overindulge.
Know What (and How Much) to Eat
Sheri recommends that "at least 80 percent of your diet should consist of nutrient-dense food choices. Be sure to keep your portions in check and include a wide variety of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, legumes, and low-fat dairy." These foods will support your overall health as well as your weight-loss goals. Take joy in all the fresh-tasting, nutritious foods you can eat — it'll make 80/20 that much easier.
Again, implementing the 80/20 rule is the only way you'll be able to sustain a healthy lifestyle for the rest of your life and enjoy it! "What's the point of getting in a better shape if it will make all other areas of your life worse, don't you agree?" Ivica said.