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The 80/20 Rule

Our goal here at Ascend Fitness + Lifestyle is to teach you to live and eat in a way that is sustainable long-term.  No yo-yo diets or quick fixes here!  As you know, we run nutrition based challenges throughout the year that really require you to step up your nutritional compliance, but for the most part, we encourage you to follow the 80/20 rule.

80% of the time you’re eating on plan foods – protein, vegetables, fruits, good fats, and some good fibrous carbs.  The other 20% you get to do as you please.  Now, don’t gorge yourself.  A 20% meal doesn’t mean eating an entire pizza.  It does mean enjoying the foods you love but with more consciousness.

Ever eaten a sleeve of Oreos before? I have!  If I’m in my 20%, rather than bringing the bag with me to the couch, I’ll simply take out my portion and put the rest away.  I know I can’t have Oreos every day, but if I want them in my 20% time, you bet I’m going to have them!

I don’t really like the term “cheat meal” though, if that’s what was running through your mind.  To me it implies that you’re doing something wrong and cultivates a negative relationship with food where you get feelings of guilt when you’re off track – trust me, I’ve been there, and it’s not fun.

So, when you’re enjoying you’re 20% you’re not cheating, you’re loving and embracing life through the pleasure that is food.

Think about it…if you’re on track 80% of the time and you eat 3 times a day, out of your 21 meals in a week, 4 can be flexible! Does that make it seem a bit easier to commit to awesome nutrition?

I’d love to know… What has been your greatest struggle with nutrition? I know we can help!

Yours in Health,


P.S. If you’ve had trouble staying on track, if you know the yo-yo diet all too well, or if you’ve started over again on a Monday more times than you can count, come have a chat with us. We’ve helped countless people overcome these common challenges and find freedom in food and fitness. Just leave us a comment so we can be in touch right away or click here and let us know.