The 80/20 rule exists because we’re not perfect human beings, and sometimes we just want chocolate or ice cream.
What is the 80/20 Rule?
Basically, 80% of what you eat on a regular basis should be healthy and 20% can be less than healthy, and you’ll still see results.
Problems arise when you start trying to justify all the junk food you eat with this rule, and don’t actually know the true percentage of junk food you end up eating.
4 Tips for the 80/20 Rule
1. Know what 20% is. If you eat 5 small meals per day, then approximately each meal is 20%. However, if three meals are larger, than those two snacks are going to be a smaller percentage. For example, my percentage breakdown is more like breakfast (35%) morning snack (5%) lunch (30%) afternoon snack (5%) and dinner (25%). So with the 80/20 rule, you can’t really eat unhealthy for major meals, but you can eat less healthy for snacks.
2. Strive for a healthier 20. I’ve completely banished soda and junk food from my 20%. The more addictive foods you can get rid of, the easier upholding the 80/20 rule will be.
3. Don’t jeopardize your 80. In order to still see results with slight cheating on the 20, make sure your 80% holds up. Sneaky things like white flour and sugary coffee drinks or salad dressing can jeopardize your healthy eating.
4. Don’t think “cheat meals.” Some people plan their cheat meals, but I think you need your 20% for the unpredictable moments in your life. Birthdays, eating out with friends, an occasional Starbucks drink, or other special occasions are when you can really savor your 20% instead of just making it a routine part of your diet.
Today for my 20% I made clean chocolate chip cookies with whole wheat flour, oats, and almonds. Totally clean eating and vegan — except for the chocolate chips. They were delicious!