The 80/20 rule applied to diets

August 19, 2009

There is a rule of thumb that states: 80% of the result comes from 20% of the effort.

The problem with this is that we never know what that highly effective 20% is. So, I’ve given this rule a slight shift when it comes to dieting: Focus on eating right for 80% of the time and the other 20% will take care of itself.

Very few can stick to a rigid diet long term (and all of those that can are elite sports professionals – never someone wanting to lose weight). Every one else ‘slips’ sometime. Maybe it’s a chocolate bar, lunch out, or something else.

Some people, after dieting for a week give up after one slip. This is silly. We all fail – we’re human. One slip on a diet doesn’t mean the diet will fail or that we’ll fail. Just means there was one slip.

Hence my 80/20 diet rule: As long as you can keep your diet 80% of the time, the other 20% will take care of itself.

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