As I briefly described in yesterdays post I want to start following the 80:20 rule which my friend recently introduced to me and said that it worked for her. Basically all you do is eat super strict healthy 80% of the time, but allow yourself to be a little naughty 20% of the time. Why? Because eating super strict healthy all the time is boring and impractical and secondly eating pretty healthy all the time is ineffective and always sets yourself to feel guilty when you do treat yourself. If you go into it with a set rule to allow yourself to have indulgent food occasionally then you remove the guilt factor and still get to enjoy life while looking and feeling better!
As I also said yesterday, I’m taking this a step further by adopting a paleo-style diet for the 80% of the time. The reason I say paleo-style and not just paleo is because I am not doing the diet because I necessarily believe the whole paleo-diet reasoning. From what I’ve read so far, strict paleo dieters do it because they believe reverting to the food that ancient humans ate is better for us because that’s what we would’ve eaten in our “natural habitat”, however there are now lots of people saying that actually our bodies have changed and adapted since then to suit our current eating habits and that it is still healthy for us to foods that weren’t originally found in our cavemen days. I’m not quite sure where I stand on this debate however I have noticed that I feel better when I eat less processed food, therefore when I say paleo-style food, what I really mean is cutting out processed foods and focusing on natural products that are fresh and essentially unaltered. This, to me, means fruit, veggies, nuts, seeds, eggs and meat (fish, red meat poultry etc). You could argue that to some extent all these items are “processed” too, but where I can I will try to buy the most natural form of the product. So fresh fruit, not canned or dried, natural nuts that haven’t been salted or roasted etc. I will try buy organic produce where I can afford it and opt for products that have been less genetically altered and manipulated, good thing I like purple carrots eh?
I will allow myself to do some “processing” at home (e.g. cooking) but at least then when I make a pasta sauce and eat it on my boiled zucchini strips I will know exactly everything that is in the food on my plate rather than reading the ingredients on the jar label and wondering what the hell MSG and ascorbic acid is and whether or not it’s good for me.
However during the 20% I will probably go nuts, and no I don’t mean eat natural unsalted and unroasted nuts, I mean I will eat heavily processed foods like cake and hot chips and gingerbread spread on chocolate covered cookies! But at least I will enjoy it, I will not feel guilty and at the end of my rampage I will go back to my paleo-style diet again and my liver will cry with relief…. until next time.