‘’Your 80% most significant results come from 20% of your actions.’’
The 80/20 Rule! If you hate following strict food guidelines, you don’t want to count calories or carbohydrates, and you can’t find the time to balance complicated macronutrients, then the rules of the 80/20 diet might be right for you.
The 80/20 diet approaches healthy eating with a message of moderation
- 80 percent healthy choices
- 20 percent flexibility for less healthy options.
The 80/20 Principle is rather simple:
‘’ The Pareto principle (also known as the 80–20 rule, the law of the vital few, and the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.’’
How it Works
To follow the 80/20 rule, you eat a “clean” diet 80 percent of the time and then allow yourself to enjoy a few indulgences 20 percent of the time. The 80/20 is an approach to healthy eating teaching you balance, moderation and indulging without a guilty feeling.
80% of the time I am cooking from scratch with quality ingredients – which I love doing because of how it makes me feel both inside and out. You are what you eat after all! My energy levels are more stable, I recover quicker after training and I enjoy the mindful process of cooking and knowing what you are putting into your body.
20% of the time I am drinking cocktails, having ice cream, pizza and the finest deserts I can find!
‘’You’re allowed to live life!’’
First, 80% of the time is a very large proportion of the time. For every ten meals that you have, aim for eight of them to be as nourishing as possible. This means consuming meals made from whole (real!) foods. Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, lean meats, and eggs fit into this category. This is what some people refer to as the 80/20 diet.
For the remaining 20% you can allow yourself to eat in a way that doesn’t exactly follow guidelines. When you are a healthy person who largely follows such guidelines, the 20% won’t be a full slip-up.
Balance is key
Life is all about finding balance. Because as much as you know that proper nutrition will get you the body you want, boost your performance and allow you to live a long, healthy, active life, you also want to be able to just live and enjoy your life.
Enjoy it all, not just the 20%
Keep in mind, every meal is an opportunity to nourish your body. For many of us, every bite should count to reward us with fiber, protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.
How to use the 80/20 rule
- Will it be weekly or daily? On the week-long approach, 80 percent of your weekly meals are healthy. The daily approach, on the other hand, means 80 percent of your daily meals are healthy.
- Educate yourself. Healthy meals should consist of whole grains, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables and nutrient dense carbs. Your less healthy meals should be an opportunity for you to eat what you enjoy, but not an excuse to binge eat junk food.
- Invest time in meal prep. Meal prepping is an important way to ensure you always have healthy options available, and will prevent you from making unhealthy excuses when hungry.
- Focus on the small stuff. When you focus on changing your eating habits and lifestyle, your body and energy levels will change too.
“Your results come from what you do most often, not what you do occasionally.”
Whether you apply this solely to nutrition and exercise or more broadly to other areas of your life, the 80/20 rule is incredibly powerful. #BeMore
Huss OMONDI: Athlete & Fitness Influencer. Owner & Creator of Be More Fitness