Are you someone who struggles to diet?

Manage to limit your calorie intake for a month or two, before crashing and burning?

You are not alone.

In fact, this all or nothing approach to dieting is known to have a real yo-yo effect on people’s weight.

We can all be good for a short period, but as the weeks click by, it becomes harder to be so controlled. This results in a period of unhealthy eating habits and the thoughts that it is all a wasted effort. The person then heads back to their usual eating habits and any weight lost piles back on.

So, do you just give up? Nope, not at all!

Why not try a totally different approach?

Enter 80/20

The idea behind 80/20 is simple. It is an eating plan (not a diet remember) that encourages you to eat healthy foods 80% of the time. It does this by allowing you to indulge yourself for 20% of the time. It is recommended that this pattern is on a weekly basis, not daily. For most people this equates to around 4 20% meals every week.

The 80

One of the most common questions asked about the 80/20 rule is what makes up the 80%? Your aim is to try and eat unprocessed foods. Lean proteins, fruits, vegetables and foods that are high in water and fibre are great. You should also make sure that you drink plenty of water too. You will want to eat foods that help you to feel full up, all without taking in too many calories.

Succeeding at the 80/20

If you want to try out 80/20 for yourself then you will need to make sure that you plan in your meals properly. By knowing what you are eating and when, you are more likely to stay on track. This is because you can take into account the times when you will be eating out, or away from home as these are more likely to make up your 20% for the week.

Exercise more

Whilst you can lose weight on the 80/20 plan, you may find that you can increase the results all the more by upping your levels of exercise. You should try to aim for around an hour of moderate to intense exercise at least 5 days per week. If you can, work in some strength training too, as this will ensure that you keep up your muscle levels, whilst losing the fat.

By allowing you to feel that you are having those little treats, the 80/20 approach gives you the motivation to be good when you need to be. Whilst you may not see amazing results with eating alone, combining it with exercise could yield some fantastic weight loss.

So, rather than looking longingly at that slice of cake, why not let yourself have that treat? You may find that it helps to keep you fully on track.

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