Coach G’s Nutrition Corner: 80/20 Rule

Coach G’s Nutrition Corner: Start things off with a simple rule, 80/20!

By: Garrett Rolsma

The New Year is famous for resolutions, aspirations, and dreams of perfection, all of which are extremely difficult in today’s age. Instead of setting yourself up for potential failure with a lofty goal of being perfect, give yourself the leeway you need to maintain long-term success. Follow the 80/20 nutritional rule and sooner then later, you will see some positive results. The 80/20 rule goes as follows, 80% of the time I need to be completely in control of my food, the other 20% of the time, I can let someone else do the thinking for me. To break it down further, 80% of my meals need to be prepared by me, in the fashion that I intend them to be prepared. These meals need to contain adequate lean Protein, healthy Fats, and appropriate Carbohydrates. Now the other 20%, this is where you can go out to your favorite restaurant, head to the neighborhood barbeque, or you can order carry out on your way home from work. Allowing yourself to be human 20% of the time will greatly increase your chances of healthier eating the rest of the time.

Let’s do some math to make it easier. I am going to calculate the 80/20 rule for someone that is consuming three main meals per day, over the seven-day week.

7 days X 3 meals/day = 21 meals/week
21 X .80 = 16.8 (we will round up to 17)
21 X .20 = 4.2 (we will round down to 4)

So, for this person, the 80/20 rule would consist of 17 meals per week that are appropriate, healthy, and PLANNED by the individual. Allowing for 4 meals per week to be SLIGHTLY off-plan, or unplanned by the individual.

If you can follow this rule, you will be making a huge step towards a healthier relationship with your nutrition. You will be in the driver seat for 80% of the nutrients you put into your body, that’s HUGE!! This will also allow you to have an “off-plan” meal and still make positive progress every week. Spend some time thinking about your current nutritional habits. If you are someone that eats out every day for lunch, this rule could be difficult, but not impossible. It will simply take a little more time and planning on your part. Look at your weekly routine and plan at least two of your off-plan meals, most likely a weekend, or night out. Having two of your off-plan meals in the bank will give you the ability to plug them into random occasions throughout your week. Remember, you are human, and you will make mistakes. It is how you move past your mistakes that will truly define you.

-Coach G

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