The 80/20 rule has always been at the core of the Hungry Girl philosophy. In a nutshell, it means making smart food choices 80 percent of the time and loosening up the reins for the other 20 percent. Here are six ways to make 80/20 work for you…
Jot down what you eat.
When you're first getting started with 80/20, it can be really helpful to track your food. Otherwise, you might think you're only splurging occasionally when you're really making not-so-great choices half of the time. Keep tabs on your food decisions, and review them at the end of the day. Try to hit that 80/20 balance.
Take it one meal at a time.
If you go out to dinner and want to enjoy a decadent dessert, send away the bread basket and keep your entrée light to balance out the indulgence. If you're craving pasta, pair a small portion with broth-based soup and a big side of veggies. Another way to think of the 80/20 rule is to make most of your meals 80 percent produce and lean protein, with 20 percent of everything else.
Keep it clean after a day of excess.
If you have a full day of over-the-top food choices (it happens!), keep things lean and clean for the next several days. The 80/20 approach is all about being realistic. No one's perfect 100 percent of the time! So if you go a little nuts one day, don't panic… and definitely don't "wait until Monday" or the start of the next month to get back on track. Instead, consider that day your "20 percent," and take the rest of the week to make really smart choices as often as possible.
Amp up your exercise.
This is another way to balance out excess food intake. Aim to get at least 10,000 steps per day -- go Housewalking
! It keeps your metabolism moving, and will help you feel great. If you go a little overboard on treats one day, step it up (pun intended!): Pick up the pace when you walk, and try to hit around 15,000 steps.
Pack smart emergency snacks.
This tip is especially great when you're traveling and out of your normal food routine. If you're dining out for most of your meals, you're probably eating richer, more calorie-heavy foods than you'd make at home. Snacking between meals is a smart way to downsize your appetite and reduce your food intake at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Here are some of Lisa's top emergency snack picks
Take the 80/20 approach to the types of foods you eat.
It's not just about calorie intake. Choosing natural, whole foods the majority of the time -- and giving yourself a little leeway the rest of the time -- makes a healthy lifestyle more realistic. So if you're trying to eat clean but can't quite give up your morning non-dairy flavored coffee creamer or occasional sugar-free popsicle, don't beat yourself up! An all-or-nothing attitude could lead you to throw in the towel altogether.
You got this!
Hungry for More?
Tune in to The 80/20 Episode of the Hungry Girl podcast
! In this very special episode, Lisa shares how the 80/20 philosophy has helped her maintain her weight loss. Listen in for…
⭑ how to apply the 80/20 concept when dining out
⭑ healthy “80%” staples to keep in your fridge
⭑ how to loosen the reigns without overdoing it
… and so much more!
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