The 80/20 Rule

Switching to an ancestral diet can seem overwhelming at times. You can get obsessed with making the right choices and making them all the time. However, one of the guidelines of ancestral health is the 80/20 rule. In other words, if you are conforming to the diet 80% of the time, the other 20% doesn’t matter. This rule is necessary so you don’t get burnout and quit the diet all together. So if you have the occasional ice cream or cookies and cakes, it’s OK as long as you are only eating them 20% of the time or less. This isn’t a license to eat bad foods but rather a way of staying on the diet in the long term.

It can be difficult trying to change your eating habits, especially if the are very different from primal. What you can do is start small and work your way into a more primal-aligned set of eating patterns. Start by eating 1 primal meal every day. That’s 33/66 compliance (1 meal) and see if you can maintain it for a week or 2. If you do, you can bump it up to 66/33 (2 meals). Try that for a week or 2. If you continue to do well, bump it up to 80/20 (approximately 2 1/2 meals).

If at any point you fall off the wagon, do not worry. Just get back on the wagon when you feel like it and keep going. The goal of Elemental Nutrition & Wellness is not to judge you but to help you feel better and accomplish your wellness goals.

Author: T Ross

I spent the first part of my life playing piano and composing music. I graduated from UCLA with a degree in music composition and cognitive science. Then I became a User Interface Engineer for four years. I moved home to Raleigh, NC to be closer to my family and began to freelance. On the side, I created a company called Elemental Nutrition & Wellness that uses interactive resource calculators to give people the tools they need to lose weight and boost nutrition. Now I have my own practice as a holistic nutritionist. I help people meet their weight loss goals by fostering self-motivation. You can reach me at

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