Why the 80/20 Diet Rule Doesn’t Work
Consistent healthy eating can be tough, so it makes sense that we seek out guidance on how to do it. But when the guidance doesn’t actually serve us – like in the case of the 80/20 diet rule – we set ourselves even farther back from reaching our goals.
Today, I wanna talk about why the 80/20 diet rule is making it really hard for us perfectionists to get consistent, stop thinking about food all the time, and start seeing some results from our hard work.
The 80/20 rule is a pretty common concept in the health and fitness space, so you might be familiar with the general concept as:
If you eat healthy 80% of the time, the other 20% doesn’t really matter.
And honestly, it’s not the worst advice. If we all ate healthy, whole foods 80% of the time, we’d be pretty set.
However, there are two reasons the 80/20 diet rule – as defined above – is keeping us from being more consistent with our eating.
Why the 80/20 diet rule fails perfectionists 100% of the time
1. The 80/20 diet rule makes a blanket statement about nutrition.
Thinking that you have to eat healthy 80% of the time in order to see results/be consistent/get healthier is not necessarily true. And I have no idea if it’s true for YOU, lovey.
The reason you’re still having a hard time with this whole nutrition thing is because you’re trying to follow super general advice – not advice customized to you, your preferences, your situation, and your goals. That’s why I coach one-on-one or in small groups 🙂
2. It doesn’t address your perfectionist tendencies.
C’mon lovey! Are you ever gonna trust- in your heart of hearts – that if you eat 80% healthy, 20% whatever you want, you’ll see your results?
Because, for me, my mind immediately goes to:
Okay. What’s 20%? Let me do the math.
Let me add up how many meals, how many snacks per week can I eat off plan?
And is it 80% per day? Over the course of a week? Month?
And these questions provoke some serious anxiety. And, because we love precision, we stress out about what happens if we can’t hit that 80/20 split perfectly.
I know for me, as soon as I read about the 80/20 diet rule, I started wondering….what happens if we go 70/30? What about 79/19? And this, is a recipe for stress, anxiety, and binge eating (here’s how to quit binge eating).
Lovey, this 80/20 diet rule was created for people who just need a little bit of structure – not women like us who get our diet plans and attach so much value in getting it done perfectly.
At the end of the day, the 80/20 diet rule shares an ideal outcome – not a strategy to get there.
We’d all like to get to a place where we eat *mostly* healthy, eat intuitively without gaining weight, indulge in our favorite foods (& get back on track immediately), and see results of our hard work.
But in order to get there, we need a strategy & a plan, which the 80/20 diet rule simply doesn’t provide. It shows us the end destination on the map – not the route to get there.
If you’re ready to get way more consistent – but aren’t sure where to start – try my quiz below. We will unpack your #1 consistency roadblock, and I’ll send you personalized recommendations on how to fix it.