The 80/20 rule is one of the best ways to achieve your health goals and maintain a healthy relationship with food. Follow this principle, and you will, without doubt, be successful in your attempts to improve your health!
Here it is, plain and simple:
- 80% of the time, eat impeccably.
- 20% of the time, live your life.
I will, of course, give you some guidelines, but when in doubt, repeat the above points to yourself.
80% Eat Impeccably:
This means drink water, eat produce (organic when possible), clean meat, nuts, and seeds. You may also choose to have juices, tea, coffee, clean dairy, one alcoholic drink, and very little processed food made with natural ingredients.
Very few people are able to eat this way 100% of the time. Many people try, but eventually “fall off the wagon” as it were. The best plan is to eat the above foods 80% of the time, and allow yourself the freedom to indulge in those wonderfully scrumptious not-so-great-for-you foods 20% of the time.
20% Live Your Life:
Enjoy! Indulge! Eat the foods you know are not the best, but you love oh-so-much! Let me quickly say, this does not mean overeat. This means choose those foods you feel depraved without, and really enjoy them in moderation. You do not have to stuff your face or over-indulge, because as long as it’s only 20% of the time, you can always keep these foods in your diet. As you eat your decadent foods, do not let the guilt creep in. You are allowed these foods. Delve in and enjoy. You are so much more likely to succeed if you do not punish yourself for your 20%.
What does 80/20 look like?
- Meals: 3 meals per week = 21 meals.
- 80% = <17 meals
- 20% = 4 meals + a dessert at one other meal
- 80% = 5.5 days
- 20% = 1.5 days (or the weekend, starting Friday night)
- 80% = 4 small handfuls/ingredients
- 20% = 1 small handful/ingredient