With advanced research revealing more about the nutrients in food and mechanism of our body, there is a trend of living a healthier lifestyle. Eating a healthy diet is a fundamental part of living healthy. With options of diets available online, it can be difficult to understand what each one offers. Lost in a sea of names like Atkins diet, Gluten free diet, Paleo, Vegan, Whole 30, 80/20, choosing a diet can seem overwhelming to many of us.
What is 80/20 diet?
Broken down to the simplest terms, the 80/20 diet is about eating healthy foods for 80 per cent of the time and indulging in your favourite calorie-laden foods in the rest 20 per cent of the time. Healthy food means whole grains, fruits; vegetables, nuts and seeds which you need to have 80 per cent of the time while 20% of the time you can savour that pizza, white sauce pasta or that calorie-laden dessert you want to eat.
The fact that you are not completely cutting down on the tasty but unhealthy foods actually makes this diet a more sustainable option over the long term.
There are a few more points related to the 80/20 diet that needs consideration:
Calories still count: Just because you are eating healthy for 80 per cent of the time does not mean that you can eat as much as you want. Serving sizes matter and you need to be mindful of the number of calories you are taking in. The rule is to maintain a calorie deficit especially if you are trying to lose weight.
Indulge with caution: Indulging in your favourite foods for 20 per cent of the time does not mean that you can go overboard and have a fatty meal along with a big portion of dessert. The key is moderation even when you are indulging. Spread out the food over different meals and keep a tab on the serving size.
Keeping a notebook helps: Since there is no one size fits all approach with the 80/20 diet, you need to make your decisions on which food to have and when to have it. Beginners have advised that logging your daily food intakes in a diary helps to analyse and plan out your meals.
Timing the 20 per cent: For deciding when to indulge, there are conflicting views. Can you indulge yourself 20 per cent of the time daily or should it be one or two days a week? Teresa Cutter, author of the book on 80/20 diet recommends keeping one or two days for indulging and not doing it on a daily basis.
You still need exercise: Even though there are many celebrities who swear by the 80/20 diet and advocate it for weight loss, remember that diet cannot substitute exercise. Doctors recommend at least 30 minutes of exercise for 5 days a week for being fit.
Remember to check with your doctor before starting any diet especially if you have medical conditions that put restrictions on your diet.