“If you change 20 percent of the foods you eat, you’ll see absolutely massive results, particularly when you starting to improve your diet for the first time.
I’ve talked about this in multiple places, but cutting out grains and dairy will get you 80% of the way there. Everything after that is simply tweaking.”
-Joel Runyon UPG founder, Impossible.com
Changing your diet can be confusing and committing to a Paleo diet can be intimidating. The thought of giving up grains, dairy, legumes, sugar and alcohol for life sounds pretty terrifying, even to most devoted Paleo doers.
What if I told you that you could do 20 percent of this and gain 80 percent of the results?This is the 80/20 lifestyle. This common business principle can also be used when it comes to attacking your diet and lifestyle. Think of this as your part-time Paleo guide.
Commit to Cutting Out Grains and Dairy
If you cut out grains and dairy first–do just this for one month–you will change your diet, body and health. UPG and Impossible.com founder Joel Runyon stands by this cut too.
Grains have lectins and phytates, which are considered anti-nutrients. They can bind to minerals in your food and stop you from absorbing them. Not to mention that many grains contain gluten, which you just don’t need.
Conventional dairy is known to have high levels of hormones and exogenous antibiotics that contribute to inflammation, leaky gut and acne, among other things. Both grains and legumes cause inflammation in the gut and vast majority of people see quite quick changes to their body, digestion and energy when they remove these two food groups.
Ditch Alcohol 6 Days a Week
Let’s be honest, alcohol is one of those things that people have a hard time giving up. Telling folks to cut out alcohol is often much more difficult than giving up an entire food group.Many times health coaches or bloggers skirt this issue because it’s easy to skip right over talking about alcohol and assume everyone will be able to cut it out, since it doesn’t exactly confer any health benefits. However, alcohol is one of the biggest limiting factors when people are trying to get healthy and lose weight. If you are one of the people who are willing to completely cut out alcohol, 100 percent no problemo, way to go!However, if you can’t envision committing to a way of life without the option to factor in a happy hour, or a cocktail over your special date night, why not just cut it down to one day per week? Or four days per month? That is a little less than 20 percent of the month that youallow yourself to have a drink.
It’s Not a Cheat It’s a Choice
If you stick to an 80/20 diet, then that 20 percent is NOT a ‘cheat’. Cheating implies that your choice is a bad one or is something to feel guilty about. But if you view that 20 percent of your diet as a choice you’re giving yourself the power to choose the parts of your diet that may not be part of your Paleo plan. And the power to lose the guilt that comes with choosing something that may not be Paleo.
This Is A Lifestyle Choice, Not A ‘Diet’
Following a Paleo plan as a ‘diet’implies that your changes are temporary and at some point you will stop. The fastest way to go off the rails is to think that you have to keepPaleo 100 percent of time–for life.
If you view your part-time Paleo guide as a lifestyle choice that is attainable and can be maintained, then you’ll feel more fluid and flexible with your eating. And when the temptation gets tough: nothing is forever. All you have to ask yourself is this:”Am I willing to make this part of my 20 percent? Is this worth it? Or would I rather ‘spend’ my 20 percent elsewhere?”
You choose your health and you have the power to choose what foods you include in your healthy lifestyle. With a part-time Paleo diet you can still have a piece of cake on your birthday or a glass of wine with friends on Friday night. You’re more likely to stick with your changes if you see results from the 80 percent of the time and enjoythe flexibility of your other 20 percent.
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