Lots of us put a great deal of pressure on ourselves to eat, drink and exercise in a healthy way. We try and ditch everything that we perceive to be bad about our lifestyle in an attempt to detox / cleanse our bodies and generally lose weight. What I want to talk about today is the 80/20 rule and how it can help you.
First off I want to have a look in more detail at the detox periods we go through. Presuming most people do this to lose weight then there's a big issue that is caused by this detox. Stress. Generally during the detox we are depriving ourselves of things we want. We have to fight ourselves and our cravings to ensure we don't have that piece of food we know isn't necessarily good for us. You'd think this would be good as we wouldn't put the food in our bodies, but there's a hidden issue. Fighting your cravings, fighting yourselves and fighting social pressures is stressful. It can seem that everyone around you is eating tempting food and you're stuck with food you don't really want to eat. The impact on your stress levels is huge. And as your stress rises you'll find it even harder to lose that weight. What's more, you'll only be able to fight your cravings for a short period of time before your detox fails and you got back to normal.
I've seen it happen many times, and the result tends to be the same. Yeah, sure, some people last longer than others but generally everyone will revert back to their normal behaviour eventually.
What's my trick then?
My trick is using the 80/20 rule. Quite easily this basically means that 80% of the time make sure you do eat and drink healthily - which is easier than you think when done the right way (read my previous blogs). For the other 20% of the time allow yourself those indulgences. What's more, don't stress about them. If you know you've had 3 or 4 really good days of eating very healthily and drinking well then allow yourself a little time to let lose. If you can says those cravings then it'll be easier to maintain your healthy lifestyle.
What's more, as time goes on and your body gets used to how good it feels 80% of the time you'll start to see how after your 20% food you actually feel pretty pants. This will lead to a natural decrease in this type of food being eaten, rather than forcing it.
One of the key things here is to allow yourself guilt free treats. If you have your 20% and then feel guilty then you've accomplished nothing. Just make sure you get the 80/20 split right and have no guilt!
Give it a go over the Christmas period and see how you feel. I know it's how I survive generally and how I survive over Christmas with all those temptations.