Every year Americans spend 20 BILLION dollars in the weight loss industry. Most of these people will not be successful in their attempts, so it is often the same people spending money on weight loss year after year. Every year sees another fad diet come and go. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard someone say they plan on dropping X number of pounds by following some crazy temporary diet scheme and then they plan on maintaining that weight (somehow, I never get a detailed plan of the maintenance). The thing is since the body is a living organism with trillions of cellular reactions going on at all times, it’s always changing. Your current body is a reflection of how you live and eat. Therefore the only long term successful diet is the one you can follow your entire life. I have been following only one diet for the last 20 years, and it has always worked for me. Here it is. I call it the 80/20 diet. 80/20 just means that I make 80 percent of everything I eat healthily and geared toward my physical fitness. The other 20 percent is anything I want. If I want bacon, ice cream, pizza or chili cheese fries, I have them. I don’t think twice about it or worry about the nutritional content because the overwhelming majority of my diet is healthy.If I overindulge I clean it up to 90 % healthy/ clean and 10% for taste or mood. Then I’ll increase my activity slightly and burn whatever I need to to go back to 80/ 20. I don’t count calories or grams. I don’t worry about getting exactly 80%. That is an estimate.
OK great. So how do you implement the 80/20? Easy! You can make 4 out of 5 meals healthy or if eating a meal with many dishes, make 4 out of 5 healthy. Since fat has more than twice the number of calories as carbohydrates and protein do, you may want to limit the serving size of fatty foods to half of your healthy ones. Also, try to limit sugar in general but when splurging, moderate the amount. The point is to taste and enjoy it, not get full on it.
Personally, I think the key to weight control is training your body to be as strong and physically able as possible but diet is a component of fitness, and this is an easy rule to follow that assures you eat a healthy diet while still enjoying the tastier but less healthy treats on a regular basis. This will keep you from getting angry or resentful about your diet. That’s not a recipe for success. The 80/ 20 diet is.