Heidi

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Mom, desperately trying to get the health thing right! I started this blog so that I can pass along all the great things that I learn everyday on damage control for our wonderful bodies. It is tough to keep up sometimes with all the things going on in our daily lives so hopefully some of the helpful hints that I provide can make your life easier and healthier. I welcome your comments and tips as well! I am a vegetarian, animal rights advocate and avid animal rescuer.
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2008-10-16

Want To Lose Weight & Keep It Off? Try The 80/20 Rule

This diet, that food, those pills-ahhhhhh-it gets so confusing trying to figure out if the food you heard last week was great for weight loss is still good for weight loss this week or if it has suddenly turned into a taboo food that will pump you up into a blimp. I am always one of the first ones (okay maybe I am not out of all the millions of people in the world but I think I am) to jump on the- this will make you skinny bandwagon if it sounds even remotely reasonable ( I am not even going to get into all the ridiculous things I have tried). So, now that I am older and wiser (I wish the wiser were true) I know there is no miracle diet that lasts forever.

Tonight while I was reading my book, "Eat, Shrink and Be Merry" by Janet and Greta Podleski (for some reason I like to read this cook book and pretend I am really going to cook-that will be the day) I came across the 80/20 rule. This is simple, reasonable, healthy and still allows you to dive into your favorite foods once in awhile. Below is their take on how to stay slender and trim-

"Moderation, moderation, moderation. Most foods in moderation are okay. Most foods in excess- even some healthy foods-are not okay. It's our excesses that can lead to problems. Obesity, cancer, diabetes and heart disease are not the result of eating "unhealthy" or "taboo" foods every once in a while. They're usually the result of regular consumption of unhealthy foods-day in and day out, year after year. A helpful and realistic healthy eating guideline is the 80/20 rule: Eighty percent of the time, try choosing foods that are nutritious, high in fiber and low in bad fats. Twenty percent of the time, eat what you wan and let yourself and an indulgence. Craving chocolate ice cream? Scoop up a small serving and savor every spoonful. Then get back on the healthy eating track for the rest of the day. It's not every morsel of food you eat that's important-it's what you do consistently, over the long haul that really counts."

This is pretty much how I eat on a daily basis. I try to eat healthy and then I allow myself my "taboo" (I like that word) foods. If I did not have self control I would eat the "taboo" foods all the time and be huge. I think this is a reasonable way to stay slim as it works for me!

P.S. Halloween is a hard time for the 80/20 in our house as we just bought tons of chocolate so after just polishing off 3 mini Hershey chocolate bars (and feeling very guilty) I am going to strive for 70/30 until Halloween ends and this chocolate is gone (God willing it will not all be "gone" to my stomach).

37 comments:

aybi said...
i love this idea! I think it really works for me. I savor every food i eat. And I'm trying to eat in moderation.
Robin said...
Hi Heidi,
I have never heard of the 80/20 rule. Sounds like a winner to me. I'm going to link your post to my blog. I like your Halloween rule also. Thanks for sharing this helpful information with us. :-)
KentuckyGal said...
Sounds like a great idea.

About Halloween, if I mention 80/20 Rule...my kids would probably ask if that meant they could eat 80 pieces of candy in 20 minutes! (Can we say sugar coma?) OY!
Punam said...
That's a really good idea, Heidi! I am sure it will work. Thanks for such useful guidance. Thats why I love to visit ur blog.
Cheers!
Dori said...
Heidi,
This is great advice and it is much more realistic. I am going to give this one a try for sure. As you said, everything in moderation. :-)
Hi Heidi,
Thanks for sharing! I havent heard about this rule.

On Halloween I suggest you to go 50/50, and then the following 5 days 90/10, and then continue back on 80/20... !

Good luck!
johnb said...
This is what I try to do, just didn't know it had a name. I make an effort to eat healthy all week and enjoy the "good life" on the weekends! It is definitely hard to stay on track this time of year. Good luck to us all!
Doris said...
Moderation is the key - and I really like the 80/20 rule idea. What a great way to help make us think about what we eat.

I started long ago eating super-healthy during the week, and on Friday nights splurging at dinner then one dessert on Sunday afternoon. For me I just have to make sure I've planned ahead for meals and snacks to keep myself from over eating.

Thanks for the useful information.
Jacqueline said...
Excellent! That way you won't always feel as if you're on punishment.
Dawn said...
Craig & I do a somewhat modified version of the 80/20 rule.
We stay strict Monday through Saturday - then on Sunday we indulge if we want.
It's true ... if you know you can have something ... you don't crave it so much.
And ... after doing so well M-S ... your much more likely to eat your indulgence foods in moderation.
For Craig & I, it's all about a lifestyle change.
Caroline said...
Thank you for your kind words on my blog yesterday! I love a new day!

Great post...this is how I try to eat!
Karen said...
Thanks a lot for the excellent post. You have suddenly made me feel less guilty about the muffins I had in the morning! I think you are right. I have tried all kinds of diets but the moment I stop dieting, the extra pounds creep on me. These days I have stopped dieting and am just trying to eat healthy food, 5-6 meals a day and doing some exercise. I am losing weight quite slowly but I hope whatever I have lost will surely stay lost!! Your post reaffirms my belief… there is nothing better than healthy eating. Thanks for sharing your experiences!
Swubird said...
Health Nut:

You are so right in everything you say. Moderation is the key in all things, not just food. But what amazes me most about all those nice folks out there who want to lose weight is that for some reason they will not, or cannot stay on a diet of fresh fruits and vegetables. I read a great book several years ago titled "Fit for Life". This little book tells you not only the benefits of fresh fruits and veggies, but also how to eat them. Eat fruit in the morning, and then for lunch and dinner mix concentrated foods with high water content veggies, etc. It's simple, it's delicious, and you will absolutely feel better and lose pounds. Guaranteed! PLUS, you can have your chocolate once in a while, or, if you like, you can have a pizza, taco, or even a steak. It's up to you. But follow Heal Nut's advice - MODERATION.

The bottom line is that there are really three absolutes in this life: death, taxes, and the health benefits derived from properly eating fresh fruits and vegetables! So go for it.

Unfortunately, I am one of those folks who has a great deal of trouble following a healthful diet. I try, but I fall off. So I know how difficult it is. But I keep trying.

Sorry for sounding preachy. I just got fired up.

Another great, thought provoking, energizing post Health Nut.

Happy trails.
Liza said...
first time i've heard of 80/20, thanks for sharing. holidays are coming so 70/30 is still ok. :D

have a great weekend.
Nancy Ellyn said...
The older I get, the harder it is to keep my weight where I want it to be. I have to be very careful with carbs and I HAVE TO exercise A LOT! Thanks for the great info, girlfriend!
Raquel said...
Great tips and I like the idea of 80/20. Sometimes, I let myself eat what I like to eat then maybe for about 3 to 5 five days, I'll get back my daily routine of eating healthy foods.
BeadedTail said...
I've heard of this idea before but was hoping the 80/20 mix was the other way! It truly is a great way to think of moderation though. Denial just leads to disaster for me so I find this great advice!

By the way, I'm south of Topeka right now and enjoying the nice weather. When I lived in Topeka way back when, I always went to Oak Park Mall in Overland Park since it was the biggest and closest mall around at that time.
Carol said...
Makes sense. I think we end up craving that which we deprive ourselves of.

Moderation. Imagine that.
The 80/20 rule sounds great. Right now I am on the 40/60 side of things so I have some work to do!
Noreena Pugh said...
Now you know that just sounds too simple. I find the most difficult part of dieting is the bad food. My eating is horrific and has not changed, despite my need to lose weight. I have lost six pounds so far, but it's a bit unhealthy because I am pretty much eating a banana and apple during school hours and then I indulge in whatever fast food or fast cooked food that I want. It's a vicious cycle that has to stop for the sake of health. Wish me luck.
Rachel said...
This sounds like a really good idea. As much I would like to be completely healthy all of the time, it is very difficult and impossible at times.
foongpc said...
Yes, moderation is the key. A bit of chocolate once in a few days won't kill you. A little bit of ice cream once a week won't make you fat. The 80/20 rule is great! Don't deprive yourself of your favourite food - indulge in them once in a while and just remember to eat as healthily as humanly possible : )
Sherer said...
A very good rule - everything is an 80/20 rule I dont get it. Ha ha, Enjoyed the post as always.

Oh yes, and if you don't mind in my latest post, I referred you as THE best source on the internet for up to date healthy eating tips ect.

Jesse
Politi Gal said...
Now that, amiga, is a rule even I think I could live by! Brilliant!
ChristiS said...
I really like this idea, and that is kind of what I do anyway! Thanks!
betchai said...
i agree, moderation, moderation, moderation. even healthy foods can be not good if we have them in excess. and the problem is, i have low self discipline when it comes to telling myself to stop eating already :( i eat a lot, though i may eat healthy foods a lot of the times, but i just eat a lot, for healthy foods are very much tasty too.

anyway, like you, i undulge mysel with the taboo once a while, i have frozen yoghurt right now for myself :) hihi.
The Healthy Mom said...
That is a great point. Maybe next time I add that little extra sugar to my tea I don't have to feel guilty. I love that cook book too. It has tons of great information besides the yummy recipes.
I do this, myself. Except, sometimes it can become a little more 70/30 or 60/40 on some days! ;)
Once again, thank you for your comment about my new Entrecard avatar!!
I really appreciate it!
Thanks! :)
GoteeMan said...
excellent post!

J/ (goteeman.blogspot.com)
Lynne said...
I completely agree, it's all about moderation. Now, we just have to get through the holidays, but moderation is difficult when it comes to all the chocolate and sweets coming into the house between Halloween and New Year's!
ssgreylord said...
anything that works for you, works for me... :)
Excellent post Heidi. the 80/20 rule seems very interesting. I might do some more research on it :)
Tom Parker said...
I've read about the 80/20 rule before. It can be applied to many areas of life. We covered it at University with the reasoning that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts.
Bridget Ayers said...
I just love the picture on this post!! Great rule I seem to be following it without knowing it. Well I am only bad about eating one week out of the month so that is more like the 75/25 rule. :D
Hey Shae! said...
Sounds like a plan. Most people will try to tip the scales to 70/30 though. LOL
Lorelei4JP said...
My family & I live the 80/20 rule. We are human after all!! I do have "insurance" however in my Juice Plus product and feel safe in knowing that my family still gets what they need no matter what the day brings.

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