Updated: Mar 8
If you’ve ever tried….
…No sugar diets
…and so on, then you know sticking to a specific diet can be HARD.
Getting the results you want from a diet is easy.
It’s making the diet a lifestyle that’s the difficult part.
But it can be done if you approach it with the 80/20 mindset.
What is the 80/20 Lifestyle?
80% of your diet comes from GOAL FOODS (whole, unprocessed foods).
20% of your calories come from SOUL FOODS (processed foods).
“Dieting” in this way helps to avoid bingeing and encourages sustainability because there are no specific restrictions. YOU get to be in control of the foods you eat.
It also helps to promote social life balance so that you can still enjoy foods you love with friends and family without the guilt of “cheating” on your diet. It’s the diet that doesn’t make you feel like you’re on a diet!
Again, this is a LIFESTYLE and is not for any one specific phase of dieting. Whether you’re seeking to lose weight or not, the 80/20 lifestyle fosters healthy living.
How to Identify GOAL vs SOUL Foods?
To determine whether a food is a goal food or a soul food, ask yourself:
Does this food fuel my goals or my soul?
How many ingredients does it contain? Can I pronounce them?
Can I find this in the perimeter of the grocery store (goal foods) or in the center isles (soul foods)?
Example of GOAL foods can include, but are not limited to:
fruit (not dried or processed)
nut butters (with minimal ingredients)
*some* protein powders and bars (with minimal ingredients and sugars)
greek yogurt (with minimal ingredients)
popcorn (with minimal ingredients i.e. not a lot of butter)
On the other hand, SOUL foods may include:
fatty cuts of meat
highly processed protein bars and powders
How to Implement the 80/20 Lifestyle
You can implement the 80/20 lifestyle on a daily or a weekly basis.
DAILY: Take your total calories for the day and divide it by .2. This is your soul food allowance for the day! This is for you if you have a huge sweet tooth, want to have fun/instant gratification on the weekdays, or you’re working on your relationship with food (bingeing, cheat days, etc).
If you are not tracking your caloric intake and would like to use the daily method, I suggest including one soul ingredient or food that makes up a small portion of your meals. For example, having some chocolate or ice cream at the end of the day or having some homemade fries with your meal. This would still require self-control in determining your portion sizes. This is why understanding caloric and nutrient intake is VITAL!
WEEKLY: Crush your goal foods during the week and save some of your soul foods for the weekend. THIS IS NOT A CHEAT DAY. You will still stay within your calorie range and hit your protein and hydration goals, but you are adding soul foods to the mix! This is good if you want to be social on the weekends, have self-control during the week, or are able to maintain the “no cheat day” mindset.
As you adjust and adapt to the 80/20 lifestyle, continue to refine your habits. You may find that in time your lifestyle will become more 90/10 than 80/20, getting you even closer to your goals!
I work with individuals seeking to find a SUSTAINABLE diet for their lifestyle. If you’re not sure where to begin with the 80/20 mindset, click here to schedule your free consultation with me.