Finding Balance: the 80/100 Rule

Be 80% Good, 100% of the Time. Successful weight loss is achieved by finding balance in your health regimen, your mindset, and in your daily living habits. Life is not black and white; there is a grey area we must respect in order to truly fulfill all aspects of our life. Many people struggle with weight loss because they take an “all or nothing” approach to being healthy. If you exercise, eat well, quit smoking, and quit drinking all at once, you are significantly more prone to feeling discouraged and falling off the wagon. Most weight loss programs are difficult to follow because of the sense of deprivation and restriction most people feel in making their daily food choices. If you are consumed with one aspect of your life and maintain just one focus, you neglect other aspects of your life.

Remember, weight loss is a gradual progression. You must give each aspect of your life a complete effort at each given moment to reap the full benefits of life. If you spend all your time with losing weight, you may be neglecting your career or personal hobbies. If you spend most of your time with your job, you may be neglecting your children at home. Too much of anything is not good for you. You have to find balance in each aspect of your life, but ensure you are giving 110% of your effort to the specific focus you may have at any given time. Approach your weight loss the same way. If you maintain a positive attitude, adapt a lifestyle change, follow habitual routine, and most importantly sustain consistency in everything you do, you WILL be successful! The idea is to be 80% good, and maintain consistency 100% of the time.

Here are a few tips to help find the balance in your life:

  1. Make a Schedule for Yourself. Variety is the spice of life, but it is difficult to allocate your attention to every aspect of your life without scheduling time for yourself. Success in weight loss is not accomplished by juggling things that need to be done. Rather, you must have a game plan, and constantly execute that game plan to secure results. Make a scheduled time for your career. Schedule appointments to exercise, eat right, play with your children, and taking vacations. By scheduling your professional and personal lives, you will truly get the most out of life and find a proper balance of work and play that keeps you grounded.
  2. Do not confuse Extreme with Effort. Life is about finding balance, not about living in extremes. Most people start a weight loss program, give it 100% by eating right and exercising every day, and eventually fall of the wagon because of the difficulty in sustaining that routine. When you allow yourself to indulge once in a while, take a day off from exercising, and avoid the feeling of starvation and deprivation most diets call for, you are not sacrificing your effort. Effort is about finding consistency in practicing those healthy habits, not about going 100 mph then suddenly come to a screeching halt. A successful weight loss journey requires a lifestyle change. It requires much more effort to keep your weight off for the rest of your life, than the instant gratification you may get by losing a few pounds by being extreme.
  3. Majority outlasts Minority. Success and sustainability come from what you are able to accomplish through hard work “most of the time”. If you put 100% effort into eating right and exercising during most of the week, a day off, cheat day, or lazy day will not deter your weight loss efforts in the long run. Now of course if your actions during those days off go a bit overboard, you are prone to sabotaging your hard work. But if you are sticking with your weight loss program consistently for the majority of the time (at least 80%), and establish repetition in your actions, you will be successful!
  4. Adapt a lifestyle change. Finding the balance in your life is about accepting the necessary changes and healthy habits you will need in your life to be successful. Nobody said losing weight was easy. You cannot just lose weight spontaneously over night. What you will find however is that if you incorporate healthy eating habits and exercise into your daily routines, you will naturally start adhering to a philosophy of a lifestyle change. If you used to eat 8 slices of pizza per serving and now cut back to 1 or 2 slice occasionally, and if you prevent yourself from falling back into bad habits of overeating, you are establishing a habitual change in your life. Always remember that sustaining a lifestyle change will not just drastically increase your ability to lose weight, but more importantly keep the weight off.
  5. Be a creature of habit. It’s all about repition and practice. As the old saying goes “practice makes perfect”. Finding balance in your life also requires the ability to schedule personal time for yourself. We often forget that the best thing you can do to help other people is often to take care of ourselves first. By constantly sticking with a program and the common practices needed to actively live a healthy lifestyle, you will soon become a creature of the habits you need to sustain success.  The best game plan is to find what types of diets and exercise routines facilitate the best weight loss results for you and repeat them over and over again. If your body becomes accustom to that routine and your results slow down, change things up and become a creature of the new habits you adapt in your life.
  6. Reward your accomplishments. Finding balance in your life stems from rewarding your accomplishments. Work hard, play hard! Do not be afraid to treat yourself to your favorite cheat meal every once in a while if you have done a great job reaching your weight loss milestones. Maybe you buy a smaller pair of jeans when they fit you, or take a weekend off to enjoy a spa getaway or vacation. Rewarding yourself for your hard work will bring a sense of extra satisfaction to your hard work that allows you to stay grounded and appreciate your accomplishments so much more. The more you acknowledge your successes, the more you will find you strive for excellence in everything you do.
  7. The 80/100 Rule Does NOT Mean 80% Effort / 20% laziness. The common mistake most people make is they view their lives as one big pie and try to distribute their time and efforts into one piece or slice of the pie at a time. Following the 80/100 rule does not mean give 80% of an effort to each aspect of you life and mentally check out for the remaining 20%. Nothing will be accomplished that way! Do not spread yourself thin when adapting a healthy lifestyle. Instead, with each slice or aspect of your life, give 110% of your effort, focus, and execution to that aspect at any given moment. If you are at work, focus on the job at hand and give it everything. When you are with your family, dedicate your time in enjoying your loved ones to the fullest. When you are exercising, give your workout everything you have. Finding balance and being good 80% of the time, means for that 80% of the week when you focus on healthy living, give 110% of you effort to be successful.
  8. Establish Accountability. Is it really possible to keep moving forward and strive for excellence without any level of accountability? The key to sticking with your weight loss program is to hold yourself accountable for those days you fall of track or deviate from your diet. If you know you are attending a wedding next weekend and want to indulge on a piece of cake, make sure the week leading up to the wedding has accounted for controlling your calories by eating better or exercising an extra 1 hour to account for the inevitable. If you take a cheat day, make sure it stays a cheat day and not a cheat week or cheat month. Ensure Monday morning you are back in the gym and following your diet. The best type of accountability is self-accountability that you hold for yourself. If you need a friend to help weigh you, or keep you in check with weekly follow-ups, then set up a system that ensures you have to report to somebody. If you get a habit of holding yourself accountable for the 20% of the time you are not following your strict diet, you will ensure longevity in your weight loss results.

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