There are so many diets in the world today – Keto, Paleo, Mediterranean…The list is endless! And all of them restrictive in some way, shape, or form. We have all done the research and read that this diet or that fad will change your life. And for some people, it might work. More power to them!
But for the grand majority of us, these diets can mean completely cutting out a lot of foods that we love. And, personally, when I continue to deny myself anything – a cookie or a Diet Coke – it only makes the craving worse! It is all I think about, and when I cave (and I do because I’m human), I feel so guilty and disappointed.
But here’s the thing…WE ARE HUMAN! And food is meant to be one of the great joys in life.
So here is where I introduce the 80/20 Rule of Clean Eating you can start implementing in your diet today!
The 80/20 Rule of Clean Eating is simple. 80% of your nutrition during the week should be dedicated to clean and healthy foods – lean meats and proteins, good fats, and fruits and vegetables. For example, 1,600 calories of a 2,000 daily calorie diet, or 80%, should be dedicated to clean foods. Try to plan out your meals and your grocery list ahead of time to ensure that you are picking these healthier options. When grocery shopping, try to stick the perimeters of the store where the fresh produce and frozen sections are located.
The remaining 20% of the week is built-in leeway used to satisfy your cravings without overdoing it. This 20% is your wiggle room to experience life and make mistakes! Based on the 2,000 daily caloric diet, you have 400 calories as your wiggle room. This means that you can have a small slice of cake to celebrate your coworker’s retirement. Or have that fried chicken sandwich from Chick-fil-A because you only have 20 minutes and you forgot to pack a lunch this morning.
That being said, we want to make sure you stick to your weight loss goals. The old saying is true – everything in moderation. While you can have that fried chicken sandwich once a week, don’t overdo it by getting a large fry and a large milkshake as well. On a 2,000 calorie diet, that all adds up to be over 1,600 calories in ONE meal. In order to lose weight, we have to burn more calories than we consume and, therefore, create a calorie deficit (stay tuned for more on this topic in our upcoming blogs!). And an easy way to begin to do this is to eat SMARTER, not LESS. So if you’re going to Chick-fil-A and getting fried chicken sandwich, be sure to choose a healthy side, like a salad or a fruit cup.And your variations of the 80/20 Rule of Clean Eating can change day by day! Some days might be better than others, where you eat 90% clean. Or you can have the days that you only eat 60% clean. Both are okay! We understand some days are harder than others. Use the 80/20 rule as a way to still enjoy food in moderations while still working to meet your goals. Give yourself this wiggle room to satisfy your cravings and to get right back on track!