What Is This “80/20” Balance

Tips on how to live an 80/20 balanced lifestyle when it comes to eating healthy, losing weight and maintaining!

Living an 80/20 balanced lifestyle is something I consider to be one of the main reasons I still see results, hit my goals and feel AWESOME while doing so!

Does it take me longer to hit goals? Kinda, yes! But, I am totally okay with that! Now, if I wanted a six-pack abs {ahem, the washboard abs} I’d certainly have to WORK harder for it. For now, I am happy with my 80/20 balanced lifestyle!



Don’t overthink it and keep food fun; don’t eliminate your favourite foods.

It took me a while to figure it all out, the 80/20 balance, especially because my relationship with food was BAD. I mean, I counted every darn calorie I ate and made darn well sure I burned most off many years ago when I would tell myself daily “I wasn’t thin enough”… SO WRONG. DO NOT DO THIS!

I felt like I was in complete torture and I had myself put into a “hole”, and I didn’t know how to escape. Then I learned portion control. And I also learned that having a balanced diet helps me stay on track.

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It’s about changing your mindset with food.

The entire reason I started on my health and wellness journey was that I needed a change in my lifestyle. I was headed down a scary path and was desperately searching for a change.

I am forever thankful that almost 4 years ago, I discovered an online program that CHANGED my mindset, how I looked at food and how I could still make room for wine {as I sit, sip and write this post}, have my pizza and dark chocolate, while still reaching my health and wellness goals.

Time, dedication and motivation are the three things that helped me get started on my 80/20 weight loss journey. It takes time to meal prep, show up to your workout. With time comes your dedication, and with dedication comes your motivation to continue to show up. 

When you want something bad enough you will work for it. Below I explain in deeper detail on just how I managed to lose weight following the 80/20 balanced lifestyle. 

  1. MOVE: get moving. All it takes is 30-60 minutes of movement a day, SO do it. Whether you like to run, walk, hike or go to the gym. DO something. For me, my preferences are home workouts or running. A good playlist will have you burning extra calories as you dance your way through your workout.
  2. EAT: eat to fuel and love your body. Feed your body the food it needs and wants. Focus on fruits, vegetables, proteins, healthy fats and complex carbs. Keep this in mind {it was a major bad habit of mine} … Just because you are going out to dinner with friends, doesn’t mean that you don’t eat all day so you CAN indulge in that one meal, nor does it mean you work out for 2 hours so you ensure that the calories you will be consuming at dinner are already burned off… there is no fun in that game.  Still eat as you normally would and just be mindful at dinner that you DO NOT need to eat all that comes on your plate. Try this great balanced dish using leftover rotisserie chicken!
  3. PORTION: focus on portion NOT calories {another terrible habit I had}. Size is what matters when it comes to looking at your plate. When planning a meal, I keep in mind my plate. The main focus being a protein, vegetables, and then carbohydrates.
  4. HYDRATE: H2O is your best friend, I aim for 3-4 litres a day. If you don’t like water, you might want to consider some of these tricks like using a straw, add some fresh fruit or even herbs/spices. Have you ever considered filling your ice-cube trays with water, some fruit or fresh mint before freezing them? Give that a try, it is so refreshing.
  5. TREAT: treat yourself. YES, I said it, TREAT yourself. Like I’ve mentioned, I live a healthy “balanced” lifestyle, where my days look like 80/20. 80-90% of my day is focused on nutrition and 20-10% of my day is there if I need it, and if I want a treat… I have it.  I don’t believe in having a “cheat meal”. Why? Because I went down that road before and when it was “cheat day”, I ate every dang thing I craved earlier in the week because I felt so deprived. I don’t like the word cheat {makes me cringe}. I do, however, believe in treats. This simply means that I treat myself to whatever it is I want, hold myself accountable and focus on moderation and portion. So, YES, I eat ice cream… a few small scoops and I am satisfied.

My point is that you can live a healthy lifestyle and still eat the CAKE. But, YOU need to keep in mind portion, moderation, and self-control! Stick to the 80/20 balance, don’t give up and hit those goals like a boss! 

DON’T let yourself dive right in and EAT it all, think about it before you eat it.

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This information is not to be taken as medical, nutritional, or professional advice. This information provided here is what works for Heather Barrett. Please see FAQ for a full disclaimer.

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