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Home > Blog > 80/20 Rule – Guilt Free Eating!

80/20 Rule – Guilt Free Eating!

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As a Nutritional Therapist, it is so important to give realistic, compliable food plans to my patients – not send them home with overwhelming lists of foods to avoid, new foods to include, time consuming recipes and meals that none of their loved ones would share with them.


Healthy eating is here to stay, but it must be enjoyable, tasty and balanced.


As a mother, wife and busy person I appreciate how unrealistic it is to eat “perfectly” all the time. A lot of us have tried it and most people lose interest, fall off the wagon or just feel too stressed and unhappy.


I am a fan of being a “flexitarian” and following the 80/20 rule – yeah I hear you shout!!


Never a fan of fad diets, life is for living – but wisely. Long-term sustainable lifestyle choices are evolving, healthy food is widely available, affordable and yes delicious!


Relax the rules around food. Eating healthy, whole foods 80% of the time, and then allow yourself a treat 20% of the time without feeling guilty about it.

The 80%

  • Fresh vegetables and fruit – try to eat seasonally, a rainbow of colours with every meal – get to the local market to feel inspired and buy free of plastic wrappings!
  • Healthy carbs –carbohydrates such as oats, quinoa, brown or red rice, sweet potatoes and squash
  • Lean protein – organic or free- range eggs, chicken, oily fish, meat, beans and pulses
  • Good fats – oily fish, nuts, coconut, avocadoes and seeds
  • Water – drink around 2 litres a day of filtered water or herbal tea, I love to ring the changes with a squeeze of lemon or some mint, ginger and cucumber for a bit more flavour
  • Eat foods in their raw, or most natural state, avoid burning, frying or over-cooking food
  • Limit alcohol and coffee

The 20%

People worry that if they allow themselves to eat treat foods, then they will eat too many.

As a guide, out of 21 meals in a week, 4-5 of them can contain treat foods, for example, an ice cream or pudding, a takeaway or dinner out, or a couple of glasses of wine

  • Don’t make every Monday the catch up, feeling guilty day!
  • Eat slowly, listen to your body’s hunger or fullness signals
  • When you have a treat, try to celebrate it, without feeling guilty.
  • Try amazing vegan/raw desserts available in cafes, restaurants or to make at home


Studies have shown that having a balanced, guilt-free relationship with food can reduce the likelihood of emotional eating, and improve the likelihood of weight maintenance.

Maybe we can “have our cake and eat it too”, happily, guilt free and still feel fab!!!


Chocolate cake. Guilt or celebration? Associations with healthy eating attitudes, perceived behavioural control, intentions and weight-loss. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24275670)


Up-coming workshop 21September – “End of Summer Cleansing Brunch”

For further information contact Suzanne Garaty info@vitalnutition.eu

Or check out my facebook page for guilt-free recipes.