January – Day 5/31

Just a short one today – It’s the 80:20 rule!

The 80:20 rule is designed so that your eating habits are maintainable and avoid any binge behaviours. Basically, 80% of your daily food intake should be nutrient dense foods – whole foods that are unprocessed and are high in nutritional value (they provide you with all of the essential macro-nutrients – protein, fat and carbohydrates, as well as a multitude of vitamins and minerals) then the other 20% can be made up of what you like, as long as you stick to your calories – think a chocolate bar or a glass of wine, those types of things.

Notice how I refer to the foods; only by nutritional value – foods which are either high or low in nutrition. I don’t refer to foods as “clean” or not, or as “good” or “bad”, or even as “treats” – these terms affect how we feel about foods and how we feel after consuming them. There should be no guilt involved when it comes to eating – only understanding of what you are consuming.

There is more to tracking food than just the above which I will go into in tomorrow’s post but I am just trying to ease you in gently, making it small steps rather than overwhelming you from right away! By allowing yourself to have the thing that you like and enjoy in small servings you avoid the yoyo process of a strict diet. You aren’t restricting yourself to any extreme and so avoid that “fall off the wagon” moment, if you want a glass of wine with your evening meal you can have it, you just have to make sure it fits in with the rest of your day (in terms of calorie and macro consumption).

If you’ve been in the habit of eating ready made meals and this is a huge change for you then start out small. Say for example you start with breakfast; instead of Coco Pops try some porridge with milk and fruit, or maybe toast and a boiled egg. Just making small changes like this on a consistent basis quickly add up and you will see and feel improvements.

And remember, we’re weighing what we eat – example: even if the packaging say one slice of bread equals 100 calories, weigh it – all slices of bread in a loaf are not the same size and weight. Weigh it, log it in MyFitnessPal with the correct weight and you will be accurately recording your calorie intake.