Healthy Living Blog

Recent Posts | All Posts

Are You Abusing The 80/20 Rule?

Published on 04/15/11

Pigging Out?

I’ve had some big revelations lately about the principle of the 80/20 rule. When I travel around and speak, I often share with people that my husband, Brian, and I live by the 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of the time we are committed, focused and diligent in living The Five Healthy Edge goals and choosing the best options for our health. Twenty percent of the time we choose to “indulge” which may include a glass of wine, chips and salsa or a dessert. This is based on the assumption that most people fail at ALL or NOTHING situations, like diets or any extreme regiment of food or exercise. No one wants to be told they can NEVER have something that they truly enjoy. Because The Healthy Edge is a lifestyle, we have to allow for us to be HUMAN and choose to indulge AND BE OKAY WITH IT! But many people may be wondering, what exactly does this 80/20 look like and how do I apply it to my life without ruining my results?

Let’s begin with what the 80/20 rule DOES NOT mean:

• Eating 80% of every meal and snack healthy and 20% of it not-so-healthy.

• Eating well 80% of the day and pigging out the other 20% of the day.

• Eating well for 8 hours and indulging for 2 hours a day.

• Living The Healthy Edge way 8 days and then living 2 days like a college student (fast food, beer, pizza).

• Having 80% of your home “healthy and safe” and 20% of your home “unhealthy and tempting”.

These are some misunderstandings and misinterpretations that I see people making. Many people find themselves justifying their behavior by twisting and manipulating the principles that are designed to keep them vibrant, healthy and thin. Are you one of these?

We are changing our standards at The Healthy Edge and challenging people to live 90/10. Ninety percent of the time you are following The Healthy Edge lifestyle and 10% of the time you choose to indulge. But more important than the percentage we set is what does your 90/10 look like?

Here’s some examples of what 90/10 should NOT look like:

Fast Food. Did you watch seminar #2? Did you hear what’s in the food? Do you really want it? No fast food is a standard that Brian and I stand behind 100%. Not because it doesn’t smell and taste good (I was a TACO BELL FREAK back in the day), but more because of the unknown chemicals, high amounts of sodium, sugar and fat and preservatives linked to health issues we are trying to prevent. Not to mention, we will NOT BE supporting an industry that is contributing to the obesity and diabetic epidemic. The only way they go out of business is if consumers stop consuming.

Fried Food. Duh? I cannot believe how many people are still consuming French fries and breaded food that have been deep fried in oil, lard and who knows what else. Do you know what happens inside your body when you consume these high saturated fat problems? Do you ever feel AMAZING after consuming them? Brian and I are completely committed to not eating fried food because there are so many AMAZING flavors and varieties of food that blow the socks off of fried foods.

Sodas. I don’t care if it’s “diet” or “regular”, the stuff is nasty. Not only the phosphoric acid in it disintegrate a nail, but the chemicals in the diet sodas are linked to cancer, headaches, weight gain, mood swings and skin issues. I went from 3-5 Diet Cokes a day to NONE for over three years…and I NOW know I am not missing a thing!

Not living The Five Healthy Edge goals EVERYDAY! This is the cornerstone of the lifestyle and by keeping these commitments sacred, you will find that your need to over indulge will not be as strong or as extreme! If you find yourself saying, “I’m just going to blow it today and eat and drink whatever and whenever I want”, you are GIVING in to the self-sabotaging voices that will ultimate hold you back! STOP THE INSANITY before it begins! Your “indulgences” will look COMPLETELY different if you are living the five goals every day! So what DO YOU indulge in?

Adult Beverages. Enjoy a glass of wine a couple of nights a week or enjoy a couple glasses one night a week. You can substitute your favorite beer as well!

Make your own pizza at home. Make it a family event with all the fixings that everyone enjoys! If you order out, choose a quality pizza place that will give you quality without all the sopping grease on the top.

Enjoy stone ground tortilla chips and homemade salsa and guacamole. If you don’t want to prepare, check labels and find brands that don’t contain unwanted additive and preservatives! Enjoy a margarita made from freshly squeezed limes, instead of the store bought margarita mix.

Homemade Desserts. Make some delicious homemade cookies from The Healthy Edge Cookbook or another dessert from the website. These are AMAZING and will satisfy any sweet tooth.

Desserts. Choose to have a dessert after dinner. Instead of eating the whole chocolate volcano super fudge brownie dessert, split it with your table. Savor every bit and don’t be afraid to leave some on the plate if you are truly satisfied.

Popcorn! One of Brian and I’s FAVORITE treats is popcorn! We use 1 TBSP of coconut oil and ½ cup of organic popcorn and cook on the stovetop. For a sweeter version, add ½ TBSP of organic sugar to the mix and enjoy!

Enjoy a latte or cappuccino 1 or 2 times during the week. Instead of the 6-10 pumps of sugary flavorings, choose to have almond or rice milk and choose the smaller 12 oz. instead of the 20 oz. Once you are living a healthy lifestyle, this type of indulgence will satisfy your sweet tooth!

o My favorite hot “treat” is a cup of Teechino (Mediterranean coffee with no caffeine) with coconut milk and a sprinkle of nutmeg.

Big Brunch. Make a big breakfast of Saturday’s or Sunday’s with buckwheat pancakes or waffles (check out the cookbook), scrambled eggs, turkey bacon (no sulfites) and a bowl of fruit and yogurt! Include the whole family and make it a tradition! Brian and I LOVE weekend brunches!

These are all examples of what a Healthy Edge 10% or 20% looks like. This is what it looks like to be committed, not only to your health, but to supporting those things that are in line with what you believe about food and health. Evaluate what your indulgences have looked like and ask yourself honestly, “Are these holding me back from my abundant life?” Only you know that answer!


Comments 1–5 of 5
On 4/19/11 Katie said:

Thank you for the excellent guidelines. They are very helpful.

On 5/9/11 Neen said:

Thanks so much for this - it spoke directly to my issue of making my 8 week journey become my life long lifestyle. This is the big lesson for me - this is what has held me back in my life - I will work on my 10% and my big WHY will be realized! Thank you so much!

On 5/9/11 Sherri Erickson said:

This is a fantastic idea! I know my husband and I have been stretching the 80/20 rule a bit so shifting to 90/10 will help as long as we stay committed! Thanks for the inspiration!

On 5/9/11 Elyse said:

Amber you hit the nail on the head! I see this a lot and I already started telling people to just stick to the basics at least at the very beginning or when they are in phase 1. I actually tell people to just stick to the superfood list (excluding whole grains). Whole grains are SO confusing to people and most people don't understand what real whole grains are (and labels are so deceptive before we get to sem. 4).

Thanks for standing out and making this clear.

On 5/11/11 Brittney Weideman said:

Thank you for this detailed reminder. This is a very valuable principle to live by and encourage others to follow.

Love the brunch idea. We just made the "Brunch Quiche" and the "Buckwheat Waffles" with a side of fresh fruit for Mother's Day Brunch and it was a huge hit!

We love The Healthy Edge!

I still tell people the top five tips you gave us on the cruise to stay on track and how as soon as you said the first one, I knew where you were headed. Go 5 Healthy Edge Goals!

Leave your comment:

Live Chat