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    Dradok's Avatar
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    80/20 rule

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    Hello,

    I would like to hear from you primal veterans regarding the 80/20 rule. Does this mean that you have 6 cheat days per month where you indulge in non primal foods? Or is it more of 80% of the food you eat daily is primal and 20% is not? Are there certain things that are off limits even within the 20% allowance? Have you made improvements using your version of the 80/20 rule?

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    eKatherine's Avatar
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    You will find any or all of those things. I personally do not ascribe to the 80% rule. At least 98% of what I eat is primal. I use small amounts of real sugar on occasion.

  3. #3
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    I see it as that I do not have 100% control over what I eat. Sure, in a perfect world I might have total control, but since I like to eat out with friends occasionally or get invited to a party etc, there are times I have to eat food cooked in a questionable oil or suck it up and eat a brownie. That is the 20% (well, far less than 20% but you get the point) that I just have to deal with as being part of modern life/society.

    Of course, there are times I choose to eat whatever. I consider that as a grown man making a decision. I do not break out a calculator to see if it is 20% or 26% or 9% or whatever.

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    People interpret it in different ways, as it should be, I think. If it gives you comfort and helps you stick to an overall healthy lifestyle by allowing an unusual (read: non-Primal) meal once a week or certain off-days per month, do that. Do whatever makes you happy, though I think the idea also includes "within reason". It's probably not advisable to make one meal a week 5000 calories of pure high-fructose corn syrup.

    For me, 20% is not controlling my food environment (questionable quality of oils and whathaveyou in restaurants) all the time, as well as sweet treats that may or may not have gluten/grains. I might have some bloating or indigestion, but it's worth it to me for my sanity.
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    My 20% is used to cover binges.

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    I'm with canio6; what I eat at home is primal, but if I am out at happy hour, dinner with the family, holidays, etc, I generally just eat it and deal with the consequences. I don't break out the calculator afterwards.

    Ones personal policy on such things can be pretty variable, however. Some people can enjoy a cheat day without consequence; but for some it seems to result in fixating on it, then bingeing and completely falling off the wagon. I wont lie; im pretty glad I can count myself in the former category and not the latter

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    Today my 20% will be the CAFO steak I'm having for breakfast and our department is going bowling at lunch so I'll be having a Cobb salad with blue-cheese dressing at the bowling alley. That's the sorts of things I use the 20% for, although I don't go around calculating whether it's 20% or 2%.
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    Quote Originally Posted by canio6 View Post
    I see it as that I do not have 100% control over what I eat. Sure, in a perfect world I might have total control, but since I like to eat out with friends occasionally or get invited to a party etc, there are times I have to eat food cooked in a questionable oil or suck it up and eat a brownie. That is the 20% (well, far less than 20% but you get the point) that I just have to deal with as being part of modern life/society.
    Co-sign.
    I do not use any of the 20% alone because I sincerely prefer unrefined food now. My old indulgences were just lazy convenience and the harmful elements like soybean oil certainly don't add anything to the pleasure. If I want pancakes or ice cream badly enough I'll make it myself.

    My 20% is filled by social occasions that qualify for a "gourmet exemption" like invitation to a quality (non-chain) restaurant or homemade dessert.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dradok View Post
    Hello,

    I would like to hear from you primal veterans regarding the 80/20 rule. Does this mean that you have 6 cheat days per month where you indulge in non primal foods? Or is it more of 80% of the food you eat daily is primal and 20% is not? Are there certain things that are off limits even within the 20% allowance? Have you made improvements using your version of the 80/20 rule?
    It just means you didn't go "off your diet" if you drink a couple beers on your annual camping/rafting trip or if you're on a date and order french fries that you know were cooked in hydrogenated canola or soybean oil on occasion.

    It's about not beating yourself up and acknowledging that life doesn't permit perfect adherence to the principles of Primal. If you try to add up how many days/meals/times you can "cheat," while staying under the 20% standard, you're doing it wrong.

  10. #10
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    Does this mean that you have 6 cheat days per month where you indulge in non primal foods? Or is it more of 80% of the food you eat daily is primal and 20% is not? Are there certain things that are off limits even within the 20% allowance? Have you made improvements using your version of the 80/20 rule?
    1. No, if I cheated 6 days per month I'd be bloated with heartburn 30 days per month.
    2. No
    3. For me, no. I still eat some grains on occasion and I know that veg oil creeps in sometimes when eating out, hence heartburn.
    4. Yes, but I eat primal more like 95% of the time. I don't think an actual 80% of healthy foods and 20% unhealthy would work for me.

    The best thing for me about 80%/20% is the reminder that when I have a cheeseburger or cake that I haven't undone all of my good eating and should still stick with the program.

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