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Find More Balance With The 80/20 Approach

Jul 23, 2021

Do you describe yourself as an 'all or nothing' person? Do you find yourself trying to resist all treats and then end up bingeing on them? 

This is a very common pattern that we see in many of our clients who have had WLS. They believe that in order to get great results, they must give up all of life's pleasures. Willpower only lasts so long however and when they break, they break big time. They then feel awful afterwards and this often leads to guilt, shame and a whole heap of negative emotions. They then turn to their trigger foods again to escape these feelings and become trapped in a downward cycle.

There is, however, a much more enjoyable and balanced approach to getting the results that you want. An approach that allows you to have some indulgences and manage your weight for the long-term. What is this approach? It's the 80/20 approach. 

The 80/20 approach is not about restraint, it's about learning a new style of eating and food choice. Instead of taking an 'all or nothing' approach, it's about moderation. If 80% (or 90%) of the time you eat well and focus on high-quality, nutritious foods, then your body will be able to handle the occasional treat or less healthy meal 20% (or 10%) of the time.

The 80/20 approach does not give you permission to binge. Instead it's about allowing yourself the occasional small treat and truly savouring the whole experience. Life is meant to be enjoyed! The difference however is that you're consciously choosing and enjoying the behaviour rather than turning to food simply to help you deal with uncomfortable emotions.

So, when you have a treat, make sure that it's a small quantity and go for quality. 

Eat it mindfully, chew slowly and appreciate the texture and flavours.

Look at your week as a whole and make sure that you're not overdoing it.

Now obviously, if you've just had your surgery then you need to follow your food plan 100% of the time. Further down the track however, an 80/20 approach is a great way to sustain a healthy lifestyle and losing the shame of having a treat once in a while can actually help deflect an entire binge. It's about learning to eat foods you enjoy in a way that makes you feel good mentally and physically, so you can sustain it for a long, healthy life. 

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