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About that 80/20 thing (semi rant)

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  • About that 80/20 thing (semi rant)

    I have seen so many people say "Oh, I had [fill in utterly non-Primal food here], but that's okay, it's just part of my 20%." I think that those who say that may be missing the point of the whole 80/20 thing. Here's how I understand it and how it seems Mark means it:

    We live in a society where we cannot really avoid the processed garbage (vegetable oils, frankenfat, grain-fed meat) completely, no matter how hard we try. The best we can do is the best we can do. That's not an excuse to go have something completely un-Primal like bread, or birthday cake, or pizza, or Chinese takeout, and say "Oh, it's just part of my 20%." It's really not.

    For one thing, doing this frames stuff that isn't food as if it is food. It makes it "an okay cheat." The idea is to stop eating that stuff that isn't food, not to find ways to excuse eating it. It's when you don't have a choice - the vegetable-oil-based salad dressing in the restaurant, for example, or when there is no good Primal option, so you do the best you can by peeling the breading off the chicken tenders and eating them without it. It's not about having a cheat day or a day (or even a meal) when you can go back to SAD eating.

    For another, it begins to frame stuff that IS food as if it's a drudgery and a chore to eat it. Nothing could be further from the truth. Primal food is fun. It is filling. It is flavorful. It is satisfying. It's what human beings are supposed to eat.

    So please - if you're going to say "It's part of my 20%," make sure that you're not using that 20% as an excuse to eat processed crap as a "treat" or a "cheat." Make sure that the 20% is for stuff you just can't avoid, instead. You'll have a lot more success and you'll feel a hell of a lot better, too. I can almost guarantee it.
    Primal eating in a nutshell: If you are hungry, eat Primal food until you are satisfied (not stuffed). Then stop. Wait until you're hungry again. Repeat.

    Looking for my Cholesterol Primer? Here it is: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...mer-(Attempt-2)


    Ditch the scale!: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread33283.html

    My Success Story: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread30615.html

  • #2
    Hear hear
    Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

    Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine

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    • #3
      Agree totally.

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      • #4
        I dunno I have to semi dis-agree. I do think that some people over-use their 20% but for having that slice of pizza with a meal out with my friends every so often helps keep me sane and stay on the diet! You still need to live life sometimes!

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        • #5
          Thank you for this!

          My interpretation of the 80/20 from reading PB and Marks blog etc was as yours...the 20% is for the unavoidable not completely primal compromises we occasionally have to make.

          I also read it as a way of forgiving myself and moving on if at any point I do make a less than optimal choice. We should aim for 100% but if for some reason we make a non primal food choice (as we are all fallible human beings surrounded by modern life rubbish choices) , it doesn't mean we have to go on a pizza, pasta and brownie binge and decide we have "failed". It means that the next time we are hungry we can make a good, healthy, primal food choice and chalk the poor choice up to the 20% while going back to aiming for the 100%.

          I was confused reading the forums that people seem to plan for the 20%. If we plan to only reach 80% then those fallible moments and unavoidable slips are surely more likely to leave us eating more like 60% primal?
          If you see having a slice of pizza as the thing that keeps you feeling sane and living life then it sounds like you aren't enjoying the primal foods you are eating the rest of the time? While I do need to lose fat (rather a lot of it!) I am not viewing primal eating as a "diet" as I know that it is far more than that. It is a lifestyle change that will improve my health and fitness as well as the added bonus of reducing my waist line! Primal foods are delicious and I am having fun experimenting with different spices and sauces to mix it up. My husband is still eating his usual pizza, pasta, biscuits etc but I often catch him looking enviously at my plate and think I am winning him over. Real food has so much more depth of flavour than chemical laden rubbish! yum!
          Bee
          Newly primal mama. Taking my family along on the walk to a healthy, strong and happy primal life.
          Losing fat, building strength, having fun.
          My journal is here (please ignore my excessive use of exclamation points and smilies, I just can't help myself! )

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          • #6
            Totally agree, Griff.

            Here's the thing from my point of view: Keeping CW food products in the line-up actually keeps you chained to the SAD way of life. It's like sugar/carb addicts, who are 80% primal and don't understand why it's not "working" for them, when the 20% is juice, apples, desserts, chocolate, etc. They maintain their body's unhealthy cycles through their 20%, and even 80% primal (probably also lacking sufficient fat) can't overcome that.

            I used to LOVE LOVE LOVE pizza (anything with melted cheese, or what I used to think was cheese, on it). We have events at work where the main draw is free pizza -- really good toppings, the kind of crust I used to adore. I went to three of those things in the last two weeks and Was. Not. Even. Tempted. Not for a second. Holy moses, I wouldn't dream of putting that frankenfood in my mouth.

            Had the most important interview of my life (so far) on Monday. We met at a very upscale place. The interviewer ordered a charcuterie(?) plate and bread for nibbles. Two hours of interviewing, and I had water and a small square of pate. Most of the other meats, salami-type slices, were probably okay, given the venue, but I wasn't actually hungry so I took a pass. The pate drew me in because I've been making it at home and wanted to try the fancy stuff! (I did think about putting a spoon into the butter, but managed to resist.)

            Don't get me wrong, when I get hungry, I'm often ravenous (usually because I've forgotten about food for 10 or 12 hours) -- still, I am not tempted by things that just aren't food to me anymore. I don't think your body and mind can flip that switch until the 20% changes definition for you, as suggested in the OP.

            For folks who can't do cold-turkey, or who have a whole lot of issues going on and have to ease into it, I think the 20% is WONDERFUL... when used to get rid of the "oh I cheated so now I might as well eat a whole carton of [so-called ] ice cream" mentality. And I agree that mostly eating real food and mostly not eating grains, sugar, etc. is better than the average SAD.

            But it's not going to get a body where it can optimally balance itself at a healthy size and strength, with truly minimal effort and attention from the owner/operator! I think a lot of posters inadvertently attest to that.
            Last edited by beachrat; 01-26-2011, 05:58 AM.
            "If man made it, don't eat it." ..Jack LaLanne
            "It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are.
            If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." ..Richard Feynman

            beachrat's new primal journal

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            • #7
              There was a time a few months back where I would have agreed with you 100%. There was a time where all those bad foods you mentioned to me were untouchable, unthinkable even.

              Now, things are different. I don't think of them as that terrible, and I don't want to revert back to that hyper-sensitive lifestyle so, if my friends are having pizza and I feel like having a slice, fuck it.

              I don't subscribe to 80/20 or whatever, I'm just 100% me all the time and if I want to eat less than standard food, it's my hot body oh but I will say this, you feel MUCH better health wise when you stick to the PB guidelines, and going off the rail a bit is a reminder of that. I'm not advocating the eating of crappy foods just to feel normal or whatever, forget normal, normal is what has made this nation sick. I'm saying if YOU are okay with your decisions and you UNDERSTAND them, then hey, it's just another day in the life.

              (but somebody with serious issues, etc, etc, whatever, disclaimer, do what's best for your health, don't jump off a roof, adopt a dog, don't spoil the movie by adding your own soundtrack)
              I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by GrockinOut View Post
                ...helps keep me sane and stay on the diet! You still need to live life sometimes!
                I think that's the thing... it's not "on a diet." It's a way of life, an improved lifestyle, not a burden. Eating and living Primal isn't living your life?

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                • #9
                  I think the most difficult part is passing up the free lunches. I had a seminar yesterday and as soon as they roll out lunch I just knew what to expect. Various Wraps with chips, a fruit platter, and a small veggie platter. I just told myself I am not going to compromise today because I don't want to eat that crap. So I walked my butt over to the cafeteria and grabbed the salad I usually get and walked back with it. One of the people at my table asked me where I got the salad. I think free lunches are like those weird little social experiments. They offer them and people think they have to take them and that there aren't any other options. What irritates me the most is that I work for a hospital system and they believe this kind of fare passes for a healthy lunch.
                  Check out my primal blog: http://primalroar.posterous.com/

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                  • #10
                    Nicely said, Griff.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Diana Renata View Post
                      I think that's the thing... it's not "on a diet." It's a way of life, an improved lifestyle, not a burden. Eating and living Primal isn't living your life?
                      It isn't living your life if you feel constrained and held back. Then it's just another crash diet attempted over the long term; i.e., a chore.

                      I totally agree with Griff in that I'm quite certain he's nailed how Mark intended the 80%/20% to work. However, I personally don't give a shit. I don't make any "Oh, this is my 20%" excuses -- I don't make any excuses. I'm not accountable to anyone else. What I'm doing is working, and I'm Primal almost 100%. Every now again, I willfully eat some pizza, or nachos when out with friends or whatnot. It's my birthday next week. Think I'm not going to have cake at my own fucking birthday, when I have friends fighting over who will make it?

                      So I agree with ya, Griff, and I think it's sad when people say "It's part of my 20%! Yay for loopholes!" My opinion: Stop fucking justifying it to yourself and us on these forums. Just fucking eat it if that's what you want, but don't make excuses or try to weasel out of it by saying it falls into the 20% because Griff is absolutely right in that Mark did not intend for anyone to carve out a 20% "crap food" space as some sort of safety line or reassurance. It's there as a concept so that people, when they are put in a position where non-Primal food's unavoidable, don't smash their heads against a wall and wail about their failure and feel that, since they've already failed, they may as well just quit.

                      Live life. Stop justifying bullshit by pulling the 20% card as if this were Monopoly. Eat what you want but expect to pay the consequences. You don't owe us Internet peoples an explanation. Be accountable to yourself and have the spine to recognize that eating junk 20% of the time is not Primal and is a perversion of the spirit in which Mark speaks about the 80/20 idea.

                      If you don't like what I've written, I don't care. In fact, that's kind of the point of 80/20: don't sweat the small stuff. No plan, including a Primal plan, survives first contact. Roll with it and do your best, but don't make silly excuses for why you go out of your way to eat shit. I don't.
                      August 2010: 207 lb, 37" waist, 25+% BF | Currently: 177 lb, 33" waist, ~15% BF

                      I have a new site up and will soon be blogging at The Wayward Mind. (My journal is semi-retired at this point)

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Patrick View Post
                        It isn't living your life if you feel constrained and held back. Then it's just another crash diet attempted over the long term; i.e., a chore.

                        I totally agree with Griff in that I'm quite certain he's nailed how Mark intended the 80%/20% to work. However, I personally don't give a shit. I don't make any "Oh, this is my 20%" excuses -- I don't make any excuses. I'm not accountable to anyone else. What I'm doing is working, and I'm Primal almost 100%. Every now again, I willfully eat some pizza, or nachos when out with friends or whatnot. It's my birthday next week. Think I'm not going to have cake at my own fucking birthday, when I have friends fighting over who will make it?

                        So I agree with ya, Griff, and I think it's sad when people say "It's part of my 20%! Yay for loopholes!" My opinion: Stop fucking justifying it to yourself and us on these forums. Just fucking eat it if that's what you want, but don't make excuses or try to weasel out of it by saying it falls into the 20% because Griff is absolutely right in that Mark did not intend for anyone to carve out a 20% "crap food" space as some sort of safety line or reassurance. It's there as a concept so that people, when they are put in a position where non-Primal food's unavoidable, don't smash their heads against a wall and wail about their failure and feel that, since they've already failed, they may as well just quit.

                        Live life. Stop justifying bullshit by pulling the 20% card as if this were Monopoly. Eat what you want but expect to pay the consequences. You don't owe us Internet peoples an explanation. Be accountable to yourself and have the spine to recognize that eating junk 20% of the time is not Primal and is a perversion of the spirit in which Mark speaks about the 80/20 idea.

                        If you don't like what I've written, I don't care. In fact, that's kind of the point of 80/20: don't sweat the small stuff. No plan, including a Primal plan, survives first contact. Roll with it and do your best, but don't make silly excuses for why you go out of your way to eat shit. I don't.
                        Yep, this. My sentiments exactly.
                        I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Patrick View Post
                          It isn't living your life if you feel constrained and held back. Then it's just another crash diet attempted over the long term; i.e., a chore.

                          I totally agree with Griff in that I'm quite certain he's nailed how Mark intended the 80%/20% to work. However, I personally don't give a shit. I don't make any "Oh, this is my 20%" excuses -- I don't make any excuses. I'm not accountable to anyone else. What I'm doing is working, and I'm Primal almost 100%. Every now again, I willfully eat some pizza, or nachos when out with friends or whatnot. It's my birthday next week. Think I'm not going to have cake at my own fucking birthday, when I have friends fighting over who will make it?

                          So I agree with ya, Griff, and I think it's sad when people say "It's part of my 20%! Yay for loopholes!" My opinion: Stop fucking justifying it to yourself and us on these forums. Just fucking eat it if that's what you want, but don't make excuses or try to weasel out of it by saying it falls into the 20% because Griff is absolutely right in that Mark did not intend for anyone to carve out a 20% "crap food" space as some sort of safety line or reassurance. It's there as a concept so that people, when they are put in a position where non-Primal food's unavoidable, don't smash their heads against a wall and wail about their failure and feel that, since they've already failed, they may as well just quit.

                          Live life. Stop justifying bullshit by pulling the 20% card as if this were Monopoly. Eat what you want but expect to pay the consequences. You don't owe us Internet peoples an explanation. Be accountable to yourself and have the spine to recognize that eating junk 20% of the time is not Primal and is a perversion of the spirit in which Mark speaks about the 80/20 idea.

                          If you don't like what I've written, I don't care. In fact, that's kind of the point of 80/20: don't sweat the small stuff. No plan, including a Primal plan, survives first contact. Roll with it and do your best, but don't make silly excuses for why you go out of your way to eat shit. I don't.
                          Amen, brother!
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                          • #14
                            I agree with Patrick, too, but Griff said it nicely.

                            Gordo

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Patrick View Post
                              It isn't living your life if you feel constrained and held back. Then it's just another crash diet attempted over the long term; i.e., a chore.

                              I totally agree with Griff in that I'm quite certain he's nailed how Mark intended the 80%/20% to work. However, I personally don't give a shit. I don't make any "Oh, this is my 20%" excuses -- I don't make any excuses. I'm not accountable to anyone else. What I'm doing is working, and I'm Primal almost 100%. Every now again, I willfully eat some pizza, or nachos when out with friends or whatnot. It's my birthday next week. Think I'm not going to have cake at my own fucking birthday, when I have friends fighting over who will make it?

                              So I agree with ya, Griff, and I think it's sad when people say "It's part of my 20%! Yay for loopholes!" My opinion: Stop fucking justifying it to yourself and us on these forums. Just fucking eat it if that's what you want, but don't make excuses or try to weasel out of it by saying it falls into the 20% because Griff is absolutely right in that Mark did not intend for anyone to carve out a 20% "crap food" space as some sort of safety line or reassurance. It's there as a concept so that people, when they are put in a position where non-Primal food's unavoidable, don't smash their heads against a wall and wail about their failure and feel that, since they've already failed, they may as well just quit.

                              Live life. Stop justifying bullshit by pulling the 20% card as if this were Monopoly. Eat what you want but expect to pay the consequences. You don't owe us Internet peoples an explanation. Be accountable to yourself and have the spine to recognize that eating junk 20% of the time is not Primal and is a perversion of the spirit in which Mark speaks about the 80/20 idea.

                              If you don't like what I've written, I don't care. In fact, that's kind of the point of 80/20: don't sweat the small stuff. No plan, including a Primal plan, survives first contact. Roll with it and do your best, but don't make silly excuses for why you go out of your way to eat shit. I don't.
                              i completely agree with this.
                              journal

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