How We Follow The 80/20 Rule For Eating

We follow the 80/20 rule for eating. It’s part of the 80/20 lifestyle we’ve adopted. It’s not a diet, it’s a simple, sensible and practical guide on how to balance eating healthily for the majority of the time (80%) whilst still allowing a little of what we fancy (20%) in the way of treats.

We follow the 80/20 rule. It’s the lifestyle we’ve adopted. It’s not a diet, it’s a simple, sensible and practical guide on how to balance eating healthily for the majority of the time (80%) whilst still allowing a little of what we fancy (20%) in the way of treats.

This is a follow on from “how do you follow the 80/20 rule for eating” article I wrote previously.

You sent me so many requests to break the 80/20 rule for eating down further and to provide more details on exactly how Lynne and I follow that part of the 80/20 way, so this is what I’m bringing you today.

Let’s start where it begins by properly planning the week ahead. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “fail to plan; plan to fail”?

We follow the 80/20 rule. It’s the lifestyle we’ve adopted. It’s not a diet, it’s a simple, sensible and practical guide on how to balance eating healthily for the majority of the time (80%) whilst still allowing a little of what we fancy (20%) in the way of treats.

So, this is an example of our typical weekly menu plan, which we put together on a Friday for the week ahead, including the exercise we do each day.

Where we had a dish from the recipes section, I’ve linked to that.

I’ve highlighted where our 20% “treats” / indulgence is.

Monday

 I do a 5k run at the gym at 06:30 and Lynne does a Spin class at 18:15 at this gym.

Tuesday

Early Tuesday morning I’ll do some Pilates and free weights then we both walk a 20 minutes’ journey to our local railway station to get a train into work. I’ll usually walk home from work (3 miles) and Lynne does a 5.5k run at the gym, in the evening.

Wednesday

Similar to Monday’s routine I’m at the gym before work for my 5k run and Lynne does a BodyPump class in the evening.

Thursday

Thursday’s exercise is similar to Tuesday’s routine for us both.

Friday

Friday I like to walk into work early, and then home again in the evening so that’s about 6 miles in total. Lynne has a BodyPump class early in the evening.

We follow the 80/20 rule. It’s the lifestyle we’ve adopted. It’s not a diet, it’s a simple, sensible and practical guide on how to balance eating healthily for the majority of the time (80%) whilst still allowing a little of what we fancy (20%) in the way of treats.

Finally, the weekend has arrived and its time for our 20% indulgence but only after a big cardio session at the gym first thing with a 10k run for me and 10k training run for Lynne.

Saturday

Sunday

Sunday is a day when I’m pretty much in the kitchen all day, cooking for neilshealthymeals and also prepping for the week ahead. So no exercise other than maybe popping out to the shops if there’s anything I’ve missed getting for my recipes.

So, that’s it.

I’m hoping from the above that you’ll see the common themes, which is that we try to DO SOMETHING EVERY DAY. We try for the MINIMUM OF 30 MINUTES EXERCISE EACH DAY and, EVERY MEAL IS PLANNED.

We follow the 80/20 rule. It’s the lifestyle we’ve adopted. It’s not a diet, it’s a simple, sensible and practical guide on how to balance eating healthily for the majority of the time (80%) whilst still allowing a little of what we fancy (20%) in the way of treats.

Now (and this is my disclaimer) I’m not saying that every single day we manage to do our exercise routine. We are by no means faultless! For example, Sometimes frequently it’s raining so hard in Glasgow, that we’ll have to take the car into work, so that might happen on the days we’ve scheduled to walk to the railway station. 🙁

And, not every weekend involves dinner out and wine! Other weekends might involve spending time with family or friends or hillwalking.

Changing your lifestyle involves effort. It did initially for Lynne and I, when we began to embrace and follow the 80/20 rule for eating 5 years ago. We’re used to it now and embrace it wholeheartedly.

If you’re changing to follow this lifestyle, give it time. It’ll take at least 6 weeks for you to begin to see any changes in your body. Keep yourself occupied and focused. Drink plenty of water. It’ll take time for your stomach to learn to become accustomed to the right portion sizes.

Additional Points On How We Follow The 80/20 Rule For Eating

  • We buy only for the meals we’ve planned. Generally, one shop on Saturday for the week ahead, only picking up fresh fruit and vegetables during the week
  • All weekday lunches mentioned above are packed lunches taken to work. It’s more convenient for us to take soup, which we can then heat up there
  • Between breakfast and lunch, and lunch and dinner we’ll usually have a piece of fruit such as an apple or a pear or maybe something from the snacks recipe section
  • Portion sizes are an individual serving from each recipe I mention
  • We don’t have a lot of crisps/ sweets/ chocolates in our kitchen cupboard. We do have lots of nuts and a large fruit bowl. These are healthier things for us to snack on at home
  • Any puddings or cakes I make are freezable. That way they’re not hanging about, leading to possible temptation! Plus, I have to wait for them to unfreeze if I want a treat!
  • We buy only for the meals you’ve planned. Do not buy treats and do not have any temptations in the house, if you know you’ve no willpower

So folks, I’m really hoping that the above has given you the motivation to make permanent changes to your diet and lifestyle for good, if you haven’t already done that.

If you’re sitting reading this. And you’re thinking you’ve read all this kind of stuff before and you’re nodding your head. Ask yourself, are you actually doing it? Do you have a weekly menu planned? Do you have a weekly exercise routine?

Inaction means NO change. Action always beats inaction.

Take action now, no matter how small you start.  Once you start and keep to your plan you’ll find it easier. You’ll learn in your head what is right and your body will honestly tell you when it’s hungry. Not your mind!

We follow the 80/20 rule. It’s the lifestyle we’ve adopted. It’s not a diet, it’s a simple, sensible and practical guide on how to balance eating healthily for the majority of the time (80%) whilst still allowing a little of what we fancy (20%) in the way of treats.

Oh, and as a final. Please do consult your physician / doctor before you take up any new exercise routine you’ve not done before.

If the 80/20 rule for eating interests you, then please be sure to subscribe.

There will be future articles in this 80/20 lifestyle series, showing you how to live a happier more fulfilling life the 80/20 way, the way Lady Lynne and I do. So stay tuned!

In order not to miss future updates like this, or new recipes, make sure you’re following neilshealthymeals by adding your email* to the subscription list at the very top of this post and clicking “Subscribe” or by “following” me via your favourite social media channel below.

*I do not use your email for anything else other than adding you to my blog subscription list which you can opt out of at any time.

And thanks Amanda for our usual Thursday thinking out loud blog post sharing opportunity! 🙂

Comments

  1. Awesome post! I love the idea of future articles about the “rules”!:)

    • neil@neilshealthymeals.com says:

      I’m really happy you enjoyed it Tiffany, thanks!

      Looking forward to bringing you those future posts! 🙂

  2. Meal planing really is key, isn’t it. I like to plan my indulgence meals too, so I know what I have to look forward to at the end of the week 🙂

    • neil@neilshealthymeals.com says:

      Absolutely planning is essential. That’s it Dannii.

      And it doesn’t have to be that hard either does it. As some people might claim?

      I find I make life a lot easier when I make double the amount of food when I’m making a recipe then you’ve always got stuff in the freezer you can plan into nights you know you might be busy.

      End of week. Yep. Wine heading this way tomorrow night 😉

  3. AND THIS IS HOW YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL

  4. I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants lately as far as meal planning goes, and it is NOT working. I do feel so much better when I’m more conscious of my meals and actually putting effort into cooking, so today is my first day back on the wagon. Fingers crossed that I can stay on it for a reasonable amount of time 😉
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…hitting a million, dehydration, and questioning the species hierarchy (ToL#171)My Profile

    • neil@neilshealthymeals.com says:

      Brilliant, fingers crossed and everything else too Amanda 🙂

      I’m afraid I cannot survive without my lists. I panic if things aren’t planned. For example my brain doesn’t really work well in the evening, after work. So I need to have something on a list telling me what I’m eating and instructions on how I’m making it!

      It works though eh? You see what you’re making from your meal planning list and you get on with making that. And hopefully that stops the temptation to go off the rails……

  5. I love the 80/20 rule, because it allows for a good amount of flexibility.
    Emily recently posted…Recovery Series VI: Despair to HOPEMy Profile

    • neil@neilshealthymeals.com says:

      Absolutely Emily. So true. 🙂

      Nothing eating wise is disallowed, it’s just moved into the 20% allowance if it’s not deemed “healthy”.

  6. I think that is where my problem lies. I work out a ton but don’t plan in advance for my meals because I just feel like there is no time!

    • neil@neilshealthymeals.com says:

      Hi Heather, thanks so much for commenting!

      I agree, it really is difficult trying to find that time to actually plan the meals. The only time I can do it is early Friday morning 4.am – 5.am when the house is all quiet and Lynne is still asleep! 😆

  7. I definitely think meal planning is key. This is a really interesting post and I agree with you a lot. I think having that 20% extra room allows you to live and enjoy yourself.
    Hollie recently posted…From a 20:20 5k to an 18:13My Profile

    • neil@neilshealthymeals.com says:

      Thanks Hollie, your comment there really made me smile. 😀

      It took me a long time to write this post. I mean enjoyed writing it, because it’s how Lynne and I live, but I changed it at least 100 times!

      I’m really glad you agreed with it. Life just wouldn’t be fun without that 20% would it?

  8. Great post. You are the epitome of balance. All in moderation is a good life – with some indulgence included! Without meal planning, it would be much more difficult to stay at that 20% indulgence. A little planning goes a long way!
    Sarah @ BucketListTummy recently posted…Cheesy, One-Skillet Veggie Gnocci with PancettaMy Profile

    • neil@neilshealthymeals.com says:

      Thank you so much for your kind comments Sarah. 🙂

      I’m glad that I seem to get the point across that it’s all about the balance.

      You’ve got to have some indulgence to enjoy yourself haven’t you? I think, when you’ve eaten healthily, followed your plan and looked after yourself during the week, then you look forward so much more to the weekend and those “treats”. 😀

  9. I think you’ve got your balance figured out! Moving every day (a must!) and eating what fueling you, but also tastes good and is good for the soul is perfect!
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine recently posted…Quinoa Chocolate Chip CookiesMy Profile

    • neil@neilshealthymeals.com says:

      Thanks Rebecca. I love what you’ve said there, that eating has to taste good and is good for the soul too. So true! 🙂

      A healthy, but boring diet that tasted bland would also be absolutely no fun.

      The reason why it’s fantastic to live by the 80/20 rule is that there are so many delicious foods, your blog showing a great deal many of them! 😀

  10. The post is fantastic! I love it so much:)
    Have a nice weekend!

    http://www.theprintedsea.blogspot.com

    • neil@neilshealthymeals.com says:

      You’re very welcome, and thank you for the nice comment, Irene.

      Have a wonderful weekend yourself. 🙂

  11. You and Lynne are such an inspiration, Neil! I really need to take notes – I try my darndest not to have chocolate lying around – but the grocery store is a quick 5-minute walk from me – no good at all! 🙂
    Shashi at RunninSrilankan recently posted…Salted, Chocolate-Drenched, Spicy, Sweet Potato FriesMy Profile

    • neil@neilshealthymeals.com says:

      Ha ha, thanks Shashi 🙂

      Yeah, we have a huge supermarket near us, and I walk past it on my way to and from work. The only way to make sure I’m not tempted to go in everyday is by trying to do just the one big shop per week. Saying that I do need to pop in for for fresh fruit and veg. It doesn’t help when they put the chocolate right at the checkouts either does it?

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