Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
15 Sep

Remember the 80/20 Principle

We’ve officially rounded the corner into the second full week of the 30-day Primal Blueprint Challenge. Updates, anecdotes, anyone? How is everyone doing – and feeling? As the Challenge progresses, it’s inevitable that the surge of initial gusto moderates while something else – something ultimately more important, more influential – takes its place. With a week under your belt, you’re undoubtedly shaping the Blueprint to your life, using the principles but adapting the particulars to your own circumstances and tastes. That’s how it’s designed. In fact, it’s exactly how it works best! I thought now would be an apt time to add another layer of perspective to our efforts. It’s a bit of advice that nicely reflects this personal progression as well as the overall versatility of the Blueprint. I’m talking that bastion of PB pragmatism: the 80/20 Principle.

The central point of the 80/20 Principle is this: if you’re eating fully Primal 80% of the time, the other 20% offers room for well-intentioned but practical choices when we can’t be Primal or choose not to be for a variety of personal reasons. Maybe it’s the limited options for an impromptu business lunch. Maybe it’s a family get-together. Whatever the context, our Primal lenses learn to seek out the most Primal option. Nonetheless, we hardly live in a hunter-gatherer world anymore. Sometimes we do the best we can. Once in a while, we deliberately make concessions for a special occasion. Compromise, a serviceable centerpiece of life, also plays a purposeful role in the Primal Blueprint.

Truth be told, I have my “sensible vices,” foods that I love and make reasonable Primal compromises on like dark chocolate, wine, good cheese and, as I mentioned in today’s contest post, the occasional dark beer. As part of today’s mini-challenge, I hope you have fun exploring your own sensible, Primally-inspired vices and their place in your PB picture.

Going Primal is not a perfection or bust proposition. Nonetheless, the 80/20 Principle doesn’t serve as an excuse to go on a junk food bender. Nor should it be cause to lose your footing.

Consider the 80/20 Principle a guide that accentuates the truly plausible and healthy intersection of the PB with everyday real life. Internalize it in your own way to bring perspective to your overall Primal lifestyle – to not lose the forest through the trees. (Let’s just say it comes in handy when your grandmother says she’d be heartbroken if you didn’t try her freshly made apple butter.) After all, the PB isn’t a form of asceticism. Nor is it some dictatorial dogma that imbues guilt and shame for the smallest dietary transgression. The Primal Blueprint is all about enjoying eating while taking ownership of our choices. The 80/20 Principle helps give shape to that accountability, but you provide the substance.

How are you making the PB your own as the Challenge progresses? How would you say the 80/20 Principle figures into your Primal picture? Let me know how things are going at this stage of the Challenge. Best to everybody, and I’ll look forward to reading your comments!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. I must say this isn’t as hard as I imagined. My 20% is wine to relax after a day with over 500 kids, and a night with two very active ones.

    I was losing like a demon the first week…and not so much now. My first real 20% will be on my daughter’s birthday. I’m so having a cupcake. Then, I’ll have steak!

    Melissa wrote on September 16th, 2010
    • Eat the steak before the birthday party. Then the cupcake won’t be as likely to give you a headache or stomachache. For me, some protein and fat before a sweet is the only way I can tolerate the sweet.

      Nancy wrote on September 16th, 2010
  2. I’ve totally got to try the miracle fruit thing. The website says… “Bologna sandwich tastes like cake!” That’s just really random.

    Harder Better Faster Stronger wrote on September 16th, 2010
  3. I’ve been Primal for almost 6 months now and I do not miss the old way of eating at all.

    Ditching Grains, Sugar, Legumes, Nuts and anything else that is high in Phytates like Chocolate was the best decision I’ve ever made in my life.

    My list of health benefits is very long. I’ve cured constipation, IBS, hard stools, frequent non-feverish ‘colds’ which I thought were allergies, brittle nails gone, lower back pain gone, teary eyes gone, headaches gone, joint pain in fingers gone, lost 30 lbs of pure body fat, gained 10 lbs of muscle, teeth are whiter, beige fluoride deposits gone and replaced with clear enamel, also healed up 4 soft spots and 1 molar cavity including Butter Oil and Cod Liver Oil into my diet, no more Menstruation Acne, no more PMS…in fact I usually forget all about it and just find the drops when going to the bathroom, my body feels denser, hands and feet are hard and tough, I also feel like I’ve gained bone density but have no way of providing evidence,…

    The list goes on.
    I know I’m not on the subject but I just wanted to share!

    Suvetar wrote on September 16th, 2010
  4. I thought I provided too much information!

    debbie_downer wrote on September 16th, 2010
  5. I enjoyed a glass of red wine last night. However, I did this while enjoying beef, chicken, scallops and assorted veggies roasted on a stick. That does make up for it right?

    xfitter wrote on September 16th, 2010
  6. Your use of 80/20 principle is a bit odd – it usually means that out of a 100, only 20% has some effect(sales, profit, happiness), rest of the 80% is pretty much useless. So you need to figure out the 20% and focus on it, not on the wasteful 80%. Now this could apply very well to food, only 20% is primal(and useful), rest of the 80% is junk(and harmful). So the focus should be to maximize the 20% of primal intake and cut down the wasteful 80%.

    Jayadeep Purushothaman wrote on September 16th, 2010
  7. My achilles heel is basmatti rice and raw organic honey. I limit both to only one serving per week and so far, so good…

    thelafemmenoire wrote on September 16th, 2010
  8. Cheese and Rice. I used them for bulking mostly. After being away from them and reintroducing them they don’t negatively effect my health to a noticeable degree.

    I always aim to eat as much fruits and vegetables as possible, but due to money issues I can’t always eat meat, but do so as often as possible.

    David W wrote on December 24th, 2011
  9. I am on week 5. I can honestly say that my body loves PALEO. WHEN I CRAVE CARBS I have full fat yummy cheese or i pour some yummy raw cream over raspberries. The other day i ventured out and had some tortilla chips and beans YES i said beans. My stomach has beeN MESSED UP for three days. Also body aches and depression too. SO NOT WORTH IT when there are so many wonderful things to eat.
    lesson learned.

    dla wrote on February 8th, 2012
  10. Howdy! І’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone!
    Just wanted to saƴ I loνe reɑding yοur blog and
    loօk forward to all your posts! Carry on the great work!

    Secondary Annuities wrote on March 10th, 2014
  11. I was up all nite trying to decide what to eat at the baby naming affair today. I knew i couldnt eat bagels and cream cheese! It turned out i ate white fish, roast beef slices, and fruit. I felt really good and proud of myself, until they brought out this absolutely gorgeous cake! It was magnificent. So i asked for a thin slice and enjoyed it immensely! And now i am reading the 80/20 rule! Thank u for understanding !!!!!

    Jan wrote on January 10th, 2016

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