Clean eating and the 80/20 rule is not a diet–it’s a lifestyle. Even celebrities, trainers, and nutritionists are on board with this realistic approach to overall health. So cut yourself some slack, and lower the bar to 80%. The one-two punch of clean eating and the 80/20 plan may be just what you need to reboot your habits into a healthy, sustainable life.
There will be extremely strict and less strict definitions of the ‘clean’ in clean eating if you search the web–this article will use a loose definition of clean. The reason the definition can be loose is because it is being used in conjunction with the 80/20 rule which we’ll talk more about in a bit.
A clean food is real, actual food. Think fruits and vegetables. Clean food is unprocessed and free of artificial ingredients and additives. Many people may already be eating clean and not even be aware of it, because as you might derive from the definition, clean eating is not a fad diet, it’s just simply the practice of eating actual food–something our world has unfortunately strayed away from.
The 80/20 Rule
The 80/20 rule is intriguing if you haven’t heard of it before. Some fad diets incorporate a cheat day or two into their plans. The 80/20 rule actually gives you flexibility 20% of the time, while 80% of the time you are eating clean. Unlike actual diets, you don’t have to wait a predetermined amount of time to get to your cheat day as your 80/20 is a fluid proportion that moves with you daily.
Say you eat 5 times a day–breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner. Each of those would equal 20%, so if you ate clean and healthy all day, but had to stop for fast food at dinner time, the 80/20 rule forgives you! And I only broke down the percentages to give you an example of what 80/20 looks like daily, there’s no need for any calculations with this way of life! Eating clean most of the time just becomes part of you, and giving yourself freedom and forgiveness to indulge every once in a while is accepted, thus encouraging a positive relationship with food.