No matter where you are in your weight loss journey, I’m willing to bet that you’d prefer to lose weight without “dieting,” right?
After all, we both know that dieting – as in, counting calories, depriving yourself, counting grams, etc. – doesn’t work in the long-term.
Hell, just trying to track your calories for a couple of days is super frustrating!
I mean tracking calories and depriving yourself of food is not sustainable for the next 40 or 50 years of your life!
There has to be an easier way to lose weight and maintain it.
And it all boils down to one basic principle: the 80/20 rule.
The 80/20 principle is flexible and doesn’t require depriving yourself or cutting out “bad” food forever!
So, if you’re curious to learn more about this approach and how it can save your sanity, then keep reading my friend!
WHAT IS THE 80/20 PRINCIPLE?
The 80/20 principle (based on the Pareto Principle) is simply this: eat healthy 80% of the time and eat less healthy 20% of the time.
That’s it 🙂
What’s really fun about this approach is that it recognizes the fact we humans are imperfect.
The fact is, there is no way that any of us can eat perfectly healthy all the time.
So, rather than beat ourselves up for being human, the 80/20 principle is all about embracing our human-ness (if that’s even a word!).
When you use the 80/20 principle to lose weight without dieting, you find your natural, weight loss sweet spot.
That sweet spot is basically your personal point of balance, where you can allow yourself to indulge in your favorite treats, while still losing weight.
It’s an absolute win-win!
HOW DOES THE 80/20 PRINCIPLE WORK?
There are a few different ways you can use the 80/20 principle to lose weight without dieting.
Let me start by sharing with you, how I’ve used it.
The fun day approach
I started using the 80/20 principle in my 20s and the thing that worked best for me was to give myself a fun day.
That day was Saturday.
On Saturdays I allowed myself to eat less healthy.
For me, that meant a bag of Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies, a bag of Pepperidge farm Chessmen cookies, banana bread or whatever else my heart desired! (Yessss, I love sweet treats!)
I did not put limits on myself. Whatever treats I wanted to eat that day was fair game.
I did that for years and it was fantastic for two main reasons:
- I never felt deprived because I knew every Saturday I could have my favorite treats.
- Even though I ate a lot of desserts on that day, it didn’t undo all of the healthy eating that I did during the rest of the week. And that’s mainly because there is only so much any of us can eat in ONE DAY!
You see, this last point is super important because sometimes we beat ourselves up for having a “fun” day.
But after doing this for years, I can tell you that one day is not going to unravel all of your progress.
And that, to me, is the brilliance of using the 80/20 principle the way I did.
It’s a low pressure, low stress way to lose weight without dieting.
How to make the 80/20 principle work for you
Once again, I want to say that there is no rule about how to use the 80/20 principle.
My “fun day” approach is what worked for me. It worked for my personality.
But there’s another way you can apply this principle in your life if you want to lose weight without dieting.
- Let’s say you eat 3 times a day.
- That’s a total of 21 meals each week.
- That means 4 of your meals (20%) can be less healthy.
However, you go about it, remember that you get to make the rules so that it fits your personality and your lifestyle.
And you don’t have to get too technical about it.
What I mean is, you don’t have to calculate exactly 20%!
It’s basically about eating healthy most of the time, while still allowing room for treats. That’s it.
BENEFITS OF 80/20 EATING FOR WEIGHT LOSS
The 80/20 principle offers a variety of benefits no matter where you are in your weight loss journey. Here are a few.
1. No counting or tracking: Whether it’s portions, calories, macros, points or grams, there is no need to count or measure your food.
2. No deprivation: You get to improve your health while satisfying your taste buds.
3. Less stress: The fact that you don’t have to track calories or cut out entire food groups, makes this an easier and more comfortable way of losing weight.
4. Practical and flexible: You can still go out to eat or attend a party without freaking out about the effects on your weight.
5. Practice healthy lifestyle: This is a practical way to learn and develop healthy eating habits, without wearing yourself out. And it helps you overcome weight loss fears at a comfortable, steady pace.
6. You make the rules: It’s much easier to commit to a lifestyle change when you are in charge of the rules. And with the 80/20 principle you have room to play around and create a system that fits your specific needs and preferences.
So, as you can tell I am a fan of using the 80/20 principle to lose weight without dieting.
This principle can feel a little scary at first because there are no tight restrictions.
It goes against the mainstream weight loss “rules” that say you have to track calories and cut out entire food groups.
But ultimately it works because it’s sustainable. And at the end of the day, your diet has to be sustainable in order to work for months, years and decades to come.
So, give it a try for yourself!