Smutty Fitness: The 80/20 Rule
I’m wondering if a balanced approach to achieving my goal weight maybe just isn’t going cut it.
I’ve been using the 80/20 approach for years now, which I like because that one day - or those two meals or whatever - that make up your 20% really feel like you’ve earned them. Plus it’s great because I don’t want to totally deprive myself of pasta and cake for the rest of my life just to be a skinny bitch, I like and want to enjoy more calorie dense foods sometimes because it’s part of life. I’m pretty healthy and like to work out 4-5 times a week, and generally maintain my weight within a kilo either way with this approach. The only problem is that this weight I maintain is actually 2-3kg above where I’d like to be! I always thought that if I eat well and stay active, allowing an indulgence only once a week, I would lose weight until I achieved my goal, but that’s not what has happened. I’m actually a really average weight/size, neither chubby or lean.
My 80% is already made of a pretty lean diet (salad, steamed veggies, lean protein, etc). Am I going to have to deal with the fact that if I want to move those couple of kilos, I can’t do it with a balanced approach and will have to go to greater extremes like an 98/2 rule?! I feel that will make my approach to food a ‘diet’ rather than a lifestyle. Is this like the ass or face debate we have with ourselves? I can either live my life or have my dream body? The frustration is crazy! Help!
This is a great question. The 80/20 rule is how I live, and as long as I stick to that I do not gain weight, but it also means I do not lose weight. And whenever I deviate from that rule and allow myself to over- indulge, a pound or two will creep on. After a few too many over indulging weeks, I am up five or 10 pounds and you are right in the fact that just going back to the 80/20 rule will not help me shed the weight.
If you are trying to lose weight, you need to make sacrifices and your diet is where those sacrifices need to begin. As I posted the other day you cannot out-exercise a bad diet, so when you are trying to lose weight you need to cut back. This means no pasta and no cake, but it is not forever. You have to cut back in your calories and you have to up your exercise if you want to see those pounds burn off.
You need to make sure you are getting enough sleep as when you are sleep deprived it is very difficult to lose weight. You also must make sure you are staying hydrated so cut back on the coffee and drink more water. Increase your fibre intake (more fruits and veggies), up your good fats (avocado, olive oils, eggs, salmon) and increase your omegas (fish oil, hemp or chia seeds). Cut out sugar, processed carbohydrates (bread, pasta, etc) and alcohol. Give yourself three to six weeks to get your weight where you want it and then you can go back to living your 80/20 lifestyle.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight, as long as it is for a healthy reason. We have a right to look the way we want to look and feel the way we want to feel. I know I am not happy with who I am when I am heavier than I would like to be, not because I think I am fat but because the added weight represents the fact that I am not taking care of myself; I am overeating, over-drinking and not sleeping enough. So, cut back for a few weeks, do your body good and fill it with nutrient rich foods, keep it hydrated and well slept. Once you are where you want to be then you can relax a little add back in a treat or two and not kick yourself for missing a workout.
Thanks for your question and keep all questions coming to [email protected].
Attached – Matt Damon working out.Photos: