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.
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”?
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.
- Breakfast – Porridge
- Lunch – Chicken soup with wholemeal roll
- Dinner – Chorizo and lentil stew with wholegrain rice
- Breakfast – Home-made granola
- Lunch – Ham and veg soup with wholemeal roll
- Dinner – Baked parmesan turkey escalopes
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.
- Breakfast – Porridge
- Lunch - Sweet potato, garlic and chilli soup with wholemeal roll
- Dinner – Tuna macaroni bake
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.
- Breakfast – Home-made muesli
- Lunch - Cauliflower and white bean soup with wholemeal roll
- Dinner - Green lentil dahl with wholegrain rice
Thursday’s exercise is similar to Tuesday’s routine for us both.
- Breakfast – Overnight breakfast rice pudding (used up rice from previous night)
- Lunch – Carrot and lentil soup with wholemeal roll
- Dinner – Moules marinieres, side salad and a large glass of white wine
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.
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.
- Breakfast – Kale and pepper frittata
- Lunch – Sweet potato, goats cheese and couscous salad
- Afternoon - Shared a bottle of Prosecco at The Hengler’s Circus in Glasgow
- Dinner – Nanakusa – Japanese restaurant, shared a starter, had a main each and 2 Sapporo bottled beers
- Evening - Shared the reminder of the wine from Friday and some pretzels, chilling out together watching TV
- Breakfast – Semolina breakfast porridge
- Lunch – Turkey Salad
- Dinner – Lentil and kidney bean dal with naan breads
- Pudding – Sugar free cinnamon apple crumble
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. How we follow the 80/20 rule for eating.
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.
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!
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!
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