Finding Balance: The 80:20 Rule

“I want to eat whatever I want, when I want, step on the scale and be happy with the number.” - Coach Jenna

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I think this often, although I know it can never be the case. Why does it seem impossible to “Bourdain” out and keep my clothes fitting the way I want them to? Frankly, it’s because I haven’t been in balance. The somewhat old saying “You betta check yo’self before you wreck yo’self” definitely applies to my health and fitness goals. One second I’m making a smoothie, the next I am out eating chicken and waffles with a champagne margarita on the side. Not to say enjoying a treat meal is a bad thing, because I believe we all need to live our lives, but making the commitment to a well balanced life is crucial to looking better and feeling better. That’s why The 80:20 Rule is where it’s at.

 

Why Treat Thyself?

  1. Denying myself ANY food makes me crave it more. In all honesty, this makes it more likely to overeat or overindulge.

  2. Diets aren’t sustainable in the long term. Treating myself to food that is “off plan” allows me to have a flexible outlook on nutrition.

  3. It’s simple to implement a longstanding food plan if I know there’s wiggle room for imperfection.

  4. I workout and eat well so I can enjoy my life. I like the idea of finding the balance between what is ideal and what is practical.

 

How You Can Create Balance:

  1. Build TREAT meals (not cheat meals; I despise the implication of guilt with that saying) into a weekly meal plan. Look at the week to see the days when a treat may be needed or wanted.

  2. Play around and find a number that works. If the goal can be reached with the least amount of change or austerity, set up camp there. 90:10, 80:20, 70:30, etc.

  3. Don’t fret if an “off plan” slip occurs. Stressing out and wallowing will not help the goal to be reached!

  4. Be aware of the ramifications and accept them. For me, whenever I spoil myself, I take a big step back and think “It’s okay to enjoy myself right now and I will accept whatever consequences that come afterward.”

This whole balance thing can actually be fun to find. Some days are more difficult than others, but with self-awareness, practice and creativity it can certainly be done. I may or may not eat half a pie of thin crust pizza tomorrow night AND THAT’S OKAY! I don’t plan on working out extra hard to make up for the added calories. I will just treat myself, plan a few days of healthy eating out and move on. I got this. WE got this.

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