I compare this 80/20 eating plan to a license to kill. I know, I am harsh, but let's look at the reality of this bold eating statement:
Essentially what this 80/20 statement is saying is:
- eat good food - real food - whole food 80% of the time AND
- 20% of the time just let it all hang out and eat anything you want (food products, fast food, and junk food that are not even real food, yikes!).
This equation, in most people's hand, seems like it could be dangerous. Let me explain.
- Do you want to heal and thrive or just survive 80% of the time?
- Do you want health professional who hold you accountable to good cellular health or health professionals who say, "Hey, go ahead, poison your body cells 20% of the time?" (I warned you I am harsh. Achieving health is not something to sugar coat. This reminds me of My Holistic Momma's Dilemma post.)
If you were diagnosed with lung cancer would you want to be told?:
"Hey, 80% of the time... give up those cigarettes but 20% of the time, well just go for it. Smoke whatever you want."
"80% of the time avoid alcohol but 20% of the time enjoy all of the drinks you want."
Car Care: Would you put gasoline in your car's gas tank 80% of the time and corn syrup the other 20% of the time? (This is just for perspective on this 80/20% thought line.)
Hang on good people, stick with me on this one... here comes the positive, loving, there may be some interim usefulness to this 80/20 thing.
Now do not get me wrong, if a person was on "the reverse 80/20 eating plan" and consumed 80% processed, packaged, and junk food... swapping out the eating habits to an 80% whole food and 20% not so whole food eating plan would be a huge improvement. This person would notice major shifts in their energy, sleep, colon health, mental alertness, digestive ease, moods and happiness... their 80/20 eating plan's healthy side effects would on and on.
For example: I have clients who give up eating any & all sugar for just 3 days. This means reading each label carefully for every conceivable form of sugar that food manufacturers use to hide the real sugar content of food. Truthfully, most clients will just go on a 100% "no packaged food" for 3 days to rid sugar from their lives.
100% of the time I get emails or phone calls with this general message:
"I cannot believe how much better I feel just from this one change in my eating habits. (Now remember, in getting sugar out of the diet they have also removed all packaged foods. Bonus healing effects happen with this double shift in eating.) I have better energy, fall asleep with ease, wake up feeling more refreshed, have no sugar cravings; the mid afternoon slump and moodiness has eneded, I just feel so much better."
Natural foods start the cellular healing process immediately! This is a 100% win win.
Shifting to 80% Whole Food & 20% not so whole foods might be the shift that pushes one over the edge to get even healthier. Feeling good begets wanting to feel great!
Quite frankly, I know I am not saying anything that most people do not already innately know: Your body needs real food to thrive. This is nature's plan. Being reminded of these cold, hard facts is a story that not everyone wants to hear. Learning, relearning what we innately know, means something has to change. A shift in lifestyle has to be made. This creates discomfort.
Try this fun field trip to take on a cold, cloudy, North Country day:
- slowly wander through your local grocery store and take 1 item per food category off the shelves in each section of the store,
- read all ingredients carefully, and
- decide if any or all ingredients seem like anything nature intended to be in your body contributing to (or detracting from) your body's cellular health.
What are your thoughts on the 80/20 Eating Plan?