Yes, we know the struggle. Tired of the constant dieting? The “if I can just make it past 3:00 PM I’ll be fine!”. Find yourself frequently cutting out food groups in an attempt to keep off the weight?
We tend to run into these internal battles with ourselves and food when we try to live our lives at 100%. Eating well, 100% of the time. Working out at 100% effort, 100% of the time. Performing at 100% at our jobs, at home and in our communities.
Let me introduce you to the 80/20 principle as it pertains to nutrition. To maintain our wellness goals (and still stay sane in the process, yes that means a glass of wine or your favorite pizza from Za!), we are encouraged to incorporate the 80/20 principle into our lives. So what does it mean?
It means that 80% of the time, we want to eat a nutritionally balanced diet that incorporates all of those food groups we’ve been learning about since elementary school. Whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats. However, we want some wiggle room (to enjoy that delicious ice cream of course)! That’s where the 20% comes into play. By allowing ourselves to enjoy foods that may not be as nutritionally beneficial for us as others, we are better able to create a healthy lifestyle as opposed to adhering to a “diet”. Notice I used the word, ENJOY. Not “obsess over” not “binge” not “freak out after eating and run right to the gym”. Remembering to develop healthy relationships with what we choose to put in our bodies is crucial to incorporating this principle.
No one is expected to live at 100%. Remember, it’s all about BALANCE.
Post written by Stephanie Sudjian, Registered Dietitian at the Cambridge Athletic Club