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What is the 80/20 Rule?

We’ve all heard of the 80/20 rule, right?

For those who haven’t, it’s NOT a diet. It’s more of a way of eating - for LIFE. I know, that’s a LONG time, but rest assured, this is a rule you’re going to be able to maintain HAPPILY. It’s not scary once you familiarize yourself with it.

There really isn’t too much to it, so let’s dive right in, shall we?!

To put it simply, the 80/20 rule is eating clean, whole foods for approximately 80% of your calories for the day, and then treating yourself for the other 20% of the calories for the day.

This is a great way to keep everything in check WHILE still being able to enjoy the foods you love. I will say this, though, it is not intended to help you drop weight, but rather, maintain. It’s a great addition to any diet that’s already well-balanced and in place.

Now, it’s important to implement the 80/20 rule the CORRECT way. We still need to pay attention to moderation and portion control.

It’s not just a free-for-all for the 20 percent. Yes, if you’re aiming for a 2,000 calorie per day intake, then about 400 of those calories are what you have to “play” with, however, those 400 calories are not “throw away calories” to be wasted on food with absolutely no nutritional value.

We still need to understand and acknowledge that we need to nourish our bodies with the appropriate foods.

Also, you shouldn’t feel like you NEED to use all 20 percent. It’s actually best to shoot for less than 20 percent since we are not the best at estimating how much food we eat and tend to underestimate calories/portions.

Try not to think of the 20 percent as a reward or time to let it all go, but rather just some wiggle room to not be so strict and to have some balance.

As mentioned before, the 80/20 rule is definitely a more sustainable diet style or way of eating. It allows you to enjoy a few special treats here and there without feeling guilt.

Afterall, studies show that when you feel guilty about eating something that doesn’t fit into the “healthy” category, it can lead to binging and disordered attitudes about eating and body image.

So, the 80/20 rule is a safe and well-balanced place to be not only for physical health, but emotional and mental health as well!

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