Food / 15.02.2015

#FeelgoodFebruary: The 80/20 diet rule

By Rosalind Ryan
Deprivation? Boring! Here's how to lose the weight and keep it off without feeling miserable


Do you know what the diet secret of consistently slender people is? Not Atkins, not the 5:2, not any macrobiotic moonlight-led plan – it’s consistency.

A recent study in the Journal Of The American Medical Association found the best diet is the one you can stick to. Successful dieters are those who find a slow, steady way to keep weight off.

Want to join their club? Use the 80/20 rule: eat well most of the time with occasional treats and you’ll get closer to a healthy weight. Nutritionist Amanda Ursell says every meal should include a filling protein-rich food, a slow- release carbohydrate food, plus fruit and veg.

Below is her formula for striking the perfect nutritional balance, morning, noon and night.

Best-ever breakfasts

Protein: 2 eggs, 2 tsp peanut butter, some skimmed milk, or 150g fat-free Greek yoghurt.

Carbs: 1 slice wholemeal bread, 45g oats or sugar-free muesli, or 40g wholegrain cereal.

Fruit and veg: 1 x 80g serving, eg grilled tomato, half a grapefruit, a banana or apple.

Read more: 5 reasons to breakfast like a king


Lean lunches

Protein: 150g canned mixed beans, 2 eggs, 150g tofu, or 100g lean roast turkey.

Carbs: 1 wholegrain tortilla wrap, 2 slices granary bread, or small wholemeal roll.

Fruit and veg: at least 2 x 80g servings of any fruit or vegetables.

Plus: 1 tbsp very low-fat mayo or salad dressing, balsamic vinegar, spices or herbs.

Read more: How to build a better lunch box

Delicious dinners

Protein: 2-3 slices chicken or turkey breast, 100g lean steak or pork, 100g grilled or baked salmon steak, or 150g tofu.

Carbs: 40g sweet potato, 80g pasta*, 65g basmati rice, or 70g quinoa.

Fruit and veg: at least 2 x 80g servings: eg steamed broccoli or spinach, roast peppers, grilled pineapple slices, a poached pear.

In addition to meals…Have half a pint of skimmed milk for drinks, unlimited water and herbal teas.


Fit tip: Do hit the weights

Lifting weights could help you lose weight – bonus. A study by Penn State University found dieters who did weight training lost 40 per cent more body fat than those who didn’t pump iron. And the weight trainers’ loss was almost all fat, while the others lost fat and muscle.

Muscle burns more calories than fat, even at rest, so pick up the dumbbells to super-boost your diet.

The 80/20 diet rule – simple right? What are your rules for staying at a healthy weight? Tweet and tell us @healthymag or join in the conversation on our Facebook page.

#FeelgoodFebruary: The 80/20 diet rule
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#FeelgoodFebruary: The 80/20 diet rule
Atkins? 5:2? Low carb? A recent study in the Journal Of The American Medical Association found the solution to losing weight is the 80/20 diet rule
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