Today I wanted to write my second post in the series on the Primal life. Yesterday I briefly (and I mean briefly… have you seen all the information out there??) summarized the Primal Blueprint; today, I want to talk about the 80/20 rule.
I had coffee with a friend today who has decided to explore the Primal/Paleo lifestyle. To me that’s pretty cool, because I have been trying to convince my friends and family to participate since I started, with only moderate success; it seems most people are pretty skeptical that such a lifestyle is as good as people say it is, and you know what? That is totally understandable; conventional wisdom has been preaching the opposite for so long it is natural that people WOULD be skeptical. My goal is not to convince people that it is a good idea without allowing them to use critical thinking; in fact, I always say I am not an expert and that people should do their own research on the topic to see if they agree.
Back to the 80/20 rule. There are many many diets out in the world today, including the standard conventional wisdom; eat less calories than you burn, and you will lose fat. For me this either meant starving myself or exercising so much I had no time for living life to compensate for the calories I took in. I don’t know about anyone else, but I was never good at sticking to such a strict regimen for any length of time; usually after 6 weeks I was either bored, starving, binging, injured, or something else that brought my plan screaming to a halt.
Enter the Primal lifestyle; whether it be eating, exercising, playing, or just plain living…. the 80/20 rule allows us to be human beings without getting discouraged and feeling shame that we failed. Everyone has their own interpretation of the rule; for me it means I get to have bread once in awhile, indulge in 80% dark chocolate, have my french press made coffee in the morning, or even have dessert on a special occasion. The 80/20 rule in activity means I can skip a workout and not feel horrible guilt, but instead feel like I am taking care of my body and resting.
I truly believe in being Primal, and I know that 80% of the time I AM. The 20% gives me the opportunity to live and not feel deprived or like I am missing anything. As a result of being 80/20 and not feeling guilt about the 20, I have managed to stay Primal for the last 7 months, and loved every minute of it.
For Mark Sisson’s (PB author). take on the 80/20 principle, check out the following link: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/8020-principle/