Nutrition: What is the 80/20 rule?

Nutrition: What is the 80/20 rule? - Personal Training Academy

After bumping into a friend this morning, it was nice to hear that they had noticed my increased use of Social Media to boost awareness of what my Academy is all about. We deliver courses but we also want to educate in training methods, health, lifestyle and nutrition. On a marketing note here, it was nice to know that the message we are trying to get across is being seen, despite how many ‘Likes’ you may or may not be getting. But this blog is not about marketing, this post is about something that was mentioned in our conversation. The 80/20 rule.

My friend Amy happened to mention that she had noticed a lot of the nutrition posts that I had uploaded, pictures of meals, recipes, even what my kids had for breakfast. The general topic was that, “do you eat that way all the time?” The answer is No. Me and my family do eat well, we generally cook good food by using Meat, Fish, Vegetables, Beans, Pulses and Fruit. On a weekly basis pretty much all our meals are made up by using good, natural ingredients. But do we eat some high sugared foods, starchy foods, and drink alcohol (not the kids I might add)? Yes we do.

Sometimes I do like some starchy white bread or a bowl of pasta (when not eaten all day everyday this is not that bad for you), I do enjoy a beer or two, a glass of red wine or a gin, and yes I do enjoy a good takeaway now and again. The point of all of this is not so much about what I do and don’t eat, thats not exactly exciting news. What I do feel is important is to convey a little understanding about the 80/20 rule which I have often lived by. Eat well as much as you can on a daily basis, but do not feel too disheartened if you decide to have a takeaway on a friday night, a few too many wines on a weekend, a pasty for lunch or a sandwich made with white bread and a bag of crisps. So long as you eat wholesome, natural food around any ‘naughty’ foods or dare I say ‘cheat meals’ then that is what matters.

Obviously, if you are following the correct nutrition for your goal, and you can adhere to this on a daily basis and be 100% strict, then you will get your target goal in the best possible way and in the quickest timescale. Food that is good for you is never a boring thing any way, Vegetables, Meat, Fish, Pulses etc can be used to make a variety of amazingly tasty meals. But if you can not eat 100% perfectly on a consistent basis, then simply do the best that you can do and get it right most of the time, at least 80 % of the time in fact.

In regards to posting food on social media, it can be good to see, educational and motivational even. But it can also have a negative for some. Individuals trying their hardest to maintain a good nutritional intake to reach their goal may feel disheartened when they slip up as all they see is friends, peers and fitness professionals maintaining this perfectly good, squeaky clean nutritional intake. Take heed that a lot of individuals do eat as we should eat, will also have a few weaknesses in life too.

So do not feel bad if your weakness is a good loaf of white bread, and every now and then you reach for it in the cupboard to have a slice or two with a bit of strawberry jam on top. Train hard, be active, don’t stress, and eat as best as you can for most of the time. 80/20!!

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