I am sure you have heard of the 80/20 lifestyle consisting of 80% clean and healthy food + 20% indulgent treat food = 100% perfect balance. This is the ‘lifestyle’ (not diet… I hate that word) that I like to follow and live by. It means that I eat healthy and clean foods majority of the time but then let myself indulge in the most naughty of naughty treats without any guilt or regret. When I focus on treating myself 20% of the time it means that I am naturally eating healthy the other 80% without trying.
Here are a few of my tips on ‘cheating’ and 20% indulging…
1. I like to have one little ‘cheat’ thing per day and then I am less likely to go ridiculously crazy on the weekend. This includes a soy chai latte, a loving earth raw luvju chocolate, some Pana raw organic mint chocolate (image), an extra tablespoon of peanut butter from the jar, a slim secrets protein bar or a frothy classic hot chocolate etc etc – these help me stay sane and certainly fight the binge/bulge
2. Having an indulgent dessert some nights mid-week (and making it a good one too) is always a good way to break up the Fri/Sat/Sun night desserts. Wednesday is a good night for dessert: (and ofcourse mugcake Monday) now I am not saying cold rock or a massive stack of nutella waffles every Wednesday night but even if it’s just a big bowl of yoghurt or icecream with berries/seeds/nuts and some chocolate squares or some peanut butter slice or fried banana with peanut butter and granola, or bliss balls and raw caramel slice etc etc even things like mugcakes (recipe here) are PERFECT or a clean protein apple crumble > recipe here. Your body ‘thinks’ that it is being naughty when it really isn’t. A simple banana sliced with peanut butter and shredded coconut on top is another goodie!! And something ‘different’ to the yoghurt berry morning tea combo otherwise once again – your body doesn’t count it as a treat and then craves some real sugar.
3. Don’t use measurements or portions when you cheat. This is super super important. For example – indian/thai takaway or a pasta night…. Do not portion out or limit your carbs otherwise your body won’t think that it is a refuel or cheat and you will never be satisfied leading to another cheat meal the next night. On the rare occasion that these more than usual indulgent meals come along (ie more carbs and little veggies) – eat as much rice/pasta/bread as you like and feel good about it. And the same with dessert. Don’t portion out the yoghurt/ice cream or use a measuring spoon for the granola, chia seeds or peanut butter. Just scoop and serve and be happy about it!
4. Never ever hold guilt for a cheat meal. Half the time our cheat meal isn’t actually a ‘cheat’ meal… think of it more as cheating your body or ‘tricking’ your body into thinking that it is having a cheat meal! Hence why I am so addicted to the raw luvju or pana chocolates and banana bread with peanut butter and banana combo etc. The natural sweetness is enough for us to think we have slipped into a hot bath with a whole block of regular chocolate and a huge sugary salted caramel mudcake/cheesecake to ourselves! (Ok let’s be honest cheesecake still has a huge place in my heart)
5. When your cheat meal / snack is finished have a large glass of water or peppermint/camomile tea AND MOVE ON!!! If this is hard for you – remember this – what matters is what you do EVERYDAY, not what you do ONCE IN A WHILE!! That’s the whole focus behind the 80 20 diet. Rather than trying so hard to eat clean 80% of the time and feeling restricted flip the scale… eat indulgently 20% of the time and guess what? You are automatically killing it the other 80% without thinking or trying!!
SIDE NOTE: peanut butter IS NOT a cheat unless it’s straight from the jar in copious amounts. If I am having peanut butter and apple as an afternoon snack… it’s a snack. But 30 mins later when I go back to the jar for more… that’s my healthy ‘cheat’ to keep me on track.