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What's the deal with the 80/20 rule?! Should I be following it?




The 80/20 rule is a helpful TOOL to use when it comes to fitness and nutrition. If you want to lose weight - then you need to remember exercise alone will not get you there. NUTRITION is a huge factor in the journey towards your goal.


The 80/20 rule breaks down to eating 80% healthy and giving yourself 20% indulgences! I also like to think of this 80/20 rule as 80% active days vs 20% rest days.


Through the years of coaching I have found this tool is helpful for some and not others. Here is my 2 cents on this rule:


Nutrition 80/20: "healthy" vs "unhealthy" food choices

This part of the rule allows you to eat your favorite unhealthy foods in moderation while eating whole / nutritious foods MOST of the time! Like any nutrition "rules" some people might overthink and obsess about this rule and need their diet to be perfect on "clean/good" days, therefore they overindulge on the relaxed days because they lacked balance. If you find the 80/20 rule creates a bad relationship with food and emotions (obsessive thinking of what is good vs bad)- then just remember to eat nutritious foods MOST of the time, while enjoying your favorite least nutritious foods in moderation.


Exercise 80/20: "active days" vs "rest days"

This part of the rule allows you to MOVE and REST. Think 80% of your week you should be actively moving = doing purposeful exercise. 20% of your week you should be resting = rolling/stretching/yoga/walking AKA more restorative movements. It is super important to have a balanced movement plan where you purposefully move and rest to reset your body. This part of the rule also allows you to SLOW down and not feel like you have to have that "perfect" exercise week.


80/20 nutrition and exercise can be extremely helpful when working towards your fitness goals. If you find it creates unhealthy/obsessive thinking - then this rule isn't for you!

Meg DeSalvo Fit


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