I often mention that you should eat healthier (good proteins, lots of veggies, fats that heal, avoiding too many processed carbs) and I like you to do this 80% of the time.
But what exactly does the 80/20 rule mean?
It means that you don’t have to cook every meal at home. Cooking at home means you know exactly what goes in your food, how much steak or chicken, oil, butter, carbs, etc. and you'll achieve 100% compliance.
But you know what? Dashie and I like eating out and so does everyone I know. We are lucky enough to live in Vancouver, a mecca of awesome restaurants and new places to dine out. We get joy out of finding new places to eat and exploring the city.
And of couse, we also like having other people cook for us.
And while we try and cook our own meals the majority of the time (Dashie takes the 80/20 there), I typically eat out anywhere around four to five times a week. Some of the meals out are similar to what I’d make at home like salads, veggie-heavy meals, burrito’s w double meat, no beans or rice but veggies and guacamole without the cheese. And some times we're a little more indulgent – we bring in Firewood’s New York pizza or the new found Tuna Poke Bowls from around town.
And as long as you don’t eat out too often, don’t feel guilty about these meals.
We workout often and hard in our workouts, so why not to enjoy ourselves in life?
It means that on birthdays/holidays/special occasions you can have a little cake, gravy or some deep fried goods. I know it’s easy to feel like you’re completely ruining your diet if you have one bite but your not.
If you’re living by the 80/20 principle, this becomes completely unnecessary. Because as long as you’re not out indulging in cake and other yummy treats in the morning afternoon and night you’ll be just fine.
Don’t cheat with back to back shitty meals.
Eat healthy for 3,4,5 meals in a row then have that cheat meal, you’ll be totally fine.
Your diet will not go to shit and you won't immediately gain 20 pounds. It’s impossible!! Give yourself a little more flexibility in those situations - knowing that once the party/vacation/holiday was over, you’ll naturally go back to eating healthy. I'm much happier and less bitter. You may have read Emily’s post back a bit – 100% paleo = NO FUN.
So you’re building a lifestyle, not just following a diet.
Diets aren’t sustainable.
Out of 22,116 Whole Life Challenge participants only 13 people have recorded 100% compliant on their diet. .058% or 1/16 of 1%.
While 13 out of 45 MadLaber's are 80% or higher. That's only 29%. Trying to stay on track for a measly 56 days.
They’re based on restriction and denying yourself some of your favorite foods. They’re boring, and too often than not, based on sketchy science or decided by the health and fitness industry. And many contradict each other all over the place. Biggest, craziest and latest one was from the power lifting community. Check out the craziness here. It's how Justin Harris got Dave Tate shredded by limiting protein and fat advising a huge amount of carbs.
What you should build is a healthy lifestyle. Listen to your body and realize that it actually craves protein, greens and maybe a few sweet potatoes, not a 1,500 calorie burger. Start relishing the taste of fresh berries and experiment with new flavors and tastes, chopped kale with a quick fry in coconut oil instead of McCain SuperFries.
So focus on building a healthy lifestyle with the 80/20 principal & you’ll get there sooner than you think. Always pay attention to the portion sizes you’re eating while counting calories every once and a while (do a check in for a week every couple years), and then eventually you'll trust yourself to know about how many calories is in each portion size.
Because as crazy as it might sound to you now, once your body starts getting used to eating adequate protein, good fats, fresh veggies, and less grains… once it gets used to cutting out processed foods, not drinking soda, minimizing sugar and gluten… once you get used to feeling energized and pumped for your workouts… you really won’t want to cheat with back to back meals.
And then, when you have a cookie here and there, or a few too many chips, it won’t be a big deal. You’ll enjoy every bite - but then you’ll get back to a few healthy meals in a row.
It’s all about allowing yourself little indulgences here and there, so you don’t feel like you’re depriving yourself of every food you’ve ever loved.
It means you don’t have to be perfect 100% of the time. Nobody is.
So while it’s a good idea to aim to eat healthy 100% of the time by not buying unhealthy foods, cooking at home when you can, and choosing wisely when you’re eating out, you should expect to go off course at times.
In fact, allowing yourself a little give in your diet is actually a good thing. Because eating perfect 100% of the time will most likely lead to a binge eating fest when your willpower gets down.
Who wouldn’t go nuts if you were eating carrots, swiss chard and boiled chicken for days on end.
Find the Balance. This will get you the body you want, boost your performance and allow you to live a long, healthy, active life with a little wiggle room every sane person needs to still enjoy themselves. FREEDOM rather than drinking water at a party, having a few chips and guac or eat a croissant for breakfast instead of your usual kale, spinach apple protein shake.
So don't obsess, be adventurous, have a little freedom and enjoy a healthy lifestyle.
Don’t aim to be perfect.
Aim to be pretty good, the majority of the time.