How familiar is this scenario: You decide it’s time to lose some weight, so you research the supposed perfect diet for your lifestyle. You buy the right foods, designate your gym days, and really motivate yourself to do it right this time.
But only a few days – or weeks – later, you find yourself struggling. Not because you don’t want it or aren’t motivated, but because being on a restrictive diet can be difficult in the long term.
This is where the 80/20 style of eating comes in.
A Diet For Life
If you’ve never heard of the “80/20 Diet,” it might just be the thing that changes your life for the better. Because it isn’t really a diet; it’s a way of looking at eating in a more natural, intuitive way.
According to nutritionists, the 80/20 diet is all about balance. For 80 percent of the time, you focus on eating clean, healthy foods. Then, for 20 percent of the time, you’re allowed (and encouraged) to splurge.
What it basically comes down to is filling your day with fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy whole grains – but allowing some wiggle room for small desserts and a “cheat meal” or two during the week as well. There’s no counting, pre-packaged meals, or specific foods you can or can’t eat; just a focus on foods that make your body feel good.
How To Implement the 80/20 Diet
Keeping a food journal is the best way to ease yourself into an 80/20 lifestyle. Writing down everything you eat (without judgement!) for a few days will allow you to see where you could possibly slip in a treat or two during the day or week – or how you could make healthier choices for 80 percent of the time.
While the 80/20 diet is not about counting calories or restricting, it may be helpful to calculate the calories during these first initial days to get a good sense of what you’re consuming. If you need to tweak your meals a little – perhaps you were eating way too many carbs or a big too much unhealthy fat – do that, and then aim to hit approximately those same calories every day on an intuitive level.
If you decide to go out to eat with friends or enjoy dessert during the week, the 80/20 diet mentality urges you to simply enjoy the treat, and then continue eating healthy for the rest of the week.
The 80/20 Diet and Smoothies
One of the great things about the 80/20 way of eating is that smoothies fit right in. By blending up a smoothie for breakfast or a snack, you’re giving your body the nutrients it needs to function at its highest level. By including fruit along with vegetables, you’re also incorporating natural sugars into your diet, which can help fight against cravings for processed sugar later in the day.
And the best part? Smoothies are easy to measure, and take only minutes to make; simplifying your routine and making intuitive eating a snap.
Jump on the green smoothie train here >>>