What’s up World Changer??
Here we are… I can’t believe it’s my tenth blog already!
Just curious, has this brought you value? Please comment below and let me know how I can improve.
This week I want to talk about something you’ll find in all aspects of life.
It’s called Pareto’s Principle, and as Wikipedia states:
In business, the 80/20 rule says that 20 percent of activity produces 80 percent of the results. For example, 20 percent of your clients produce 80 percent of revenue, or conversely, 20 percent of clients produce 80 percent of headaches and complaints.
While Pareto first discovered this in business, he also found it in his garden, where 20 percent of the plants produced 80 percent of the yield. You will find this evident in various aspects of life, so it’s no surprise that it applies to health too.
In the nutrition world, I believe we have taught this principle wrong, and I’m raising my hand first.
I used to teach that what you eat 80 percent of the time matters and 20 percent is open to indulgence. For example, eat healthy 80 percent of the week and leave 20 percent open for celebration foods (approximately three meals per week).
The problem is that this format isn’t the true 80/20 rule because this focuses on the majority, not the small steps.
Remember, small steps repeated consistently compound over time and produce results (positive or negative).
That’s why we focus on making daily “first downs”.
I believe the 80/20 rule boils down to these five things in terms of health and these are the actions we should focus on:
- Don’t eat white colored foods.
- Eat high quality proteins, good fats, fiber and greens.
- Do High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) training four to six times per week.
- Sleep eight hours a night.
- Drink plenty of water.
If you do these things consistently, your body (and ultimately your life) will change.
So why are these important?
1. Don’t eat white colored foods. Most white foods are processed sugars and/or carbohydrates. The lack of color is because most (or all) of the nutrients have been processed out. A good nutrition guideline is to eat as many colors as possible, preferably organic, or eat the rainbow (sorry not Skittles). It’s best to just avoid these foods in general, ESPECIALLY if you just started on your health journey and are creating new healthy habits.
- Protein is the building block of all your cells, not just your muscles. Also that extreme hunger feeling (aka being "hangry") can come from not eating enough protein. The amount of protein you should eat varies depending on lifestyle and activity levels. I recommend to all my clients (who are exercising regularly) that they eat about 0.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight, but this will also vary by person and goals.
- Fat doesn’t make you fat. It’s also a key building block of all your cells and helps transport protein to repair your muscles. Also helps keep you satiated, or feeling full. In addition, this is the main building block of your brain, so the feeling of “brain fog” can be related to not eating enough good fats.
- Fiber is contained in all organic fruits and vegetables. It helps keep you full and is a key component of your gut health, which is where 90 percent of diseases start. We must eat soluble and insoluble forms of fiber too. You can supplement fiber (and I suggest this) if you aren’t getting enough in your diet. It isn’t just something elderly people need.
- Greens or organic fruits and vegetables are also loaded with antioxidants. Antioxidants are the free radical scavengers in our bodies, or what promotes the anti-aging process. The challenge is that we need nine to 10 servings a day to get the optimal levels in our bodies. So if we aren’t eating enough greens we must find a way to supplement this.
3. Do High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). In my opinion this is the best, most effective way to train in order to build muscle and burn fat. Your body only stays anabolic, or building muscle, for 45 minutes. Therefore a two hour workout can be doing more harm than good to your muscles. Do quick circuits that keep your heart rate elevated that build muscle and burn fat at the same time. This will get you more “bang for your buck” and keeps the time of your workout down. “Cardio” isn’t the exercise you do, but where your heart rate is elevated to and how long it’s there. For example: getting your heart rate above 150 beats per minute for 10 minutes total. Take a five minute break in between each set and repeat three times. Try this method for four weeks and I guarantee you will see noticeable results. Think about sprinting vs. jogging and how much more the former does for your body.
4. Sleep at least eight hours a night. Sleep is so important and there is new research coming out that reinforces this all the time. If you get less than 7.5 hours of sleep, you essentially negate your good nutrition. I know this can be hard, especially if you have children and a busy life, but the good news is that you can get your 8 hours throughout the day and not just in one chunk. We are the only culture in the world that doesn’t take naps! So next time you don’t get enough sleep, take a nap (but no longer than 45 minutes) instead of getting another Starbucks latte.
5. Drink plenty of water. The easiest way to lose body fat is to get enough sleep and drink enough water. Water is vital for your body like motor oil is for a car. Your body is comprised of 70 percent water so not getting enough can lead to a myriad of challenges. Most of the time when people feel hungry they actually are dehydrated. So staying hydrated will prevent overeating. Also, DO NOT go straight for the coffee in the morning. Drink two glasses of water right after waking up to rehydrate your body after a night’s sleep. The Institute of Medicine estimates that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly about 13 cups (three liters) of total (healthy) beverages a day. The AI for women is about nine cups (2.2 liters) of total beverages a day. Basically a gallon a day for active people, but I recommend keeping a water bottle full and handy near you throughout the day.
Remember, these are general guidelines and your specific needs may vary depending on other factors. Making lifestyle changes can be daunting and in order to make it a habit we must start with small steps, repeat them consistently, and positive results will follow.
Once you establish the above habits we can move on to bigger and more challenging goals. Start here. Master this. Then move on.
The 80/20 rule is always working, it’s just a matter if we use it to our advantage or not.
I hope this helps and encourages you! But remember that information without action results in stagnation.
Our lives change through the pursuit of what we want and it won’t happen sitting on the couch hoping for things to change.
So it is my hope and prayer that you take these steps and implement them IMMEDIATELY. Otherwise the urge to change will fade. Get in the habit of doing things immediately and that will create new habits.
As always, I believe in you and I’m here for you!
Let’s change the world!