90/10 Rule: Strong Habits Survive
Healthy habits enable healthy choices and must be strong in order to prevail.
No one’s perfect. You can’t be perfect. We need to allow ourselves to be naughty sometimes.
The internet is flooded with recommendations for using an 80/20 or 75/25 rule as a lifestyle guide for making healthy food and exercise choices.
The big problem with both the 80/20 and 75/25 rule is they create a slippery slope of weak habits. We, your authors, reject both the 80/20 and 75/25 rule.
We recommend you choose at least a 90/10 rule for making healthy food choices and for exercise frequency.
Here’s why: You need a strategy that will establish strong healthy habits because your habits create your lifestyle.
Can you get away with a higher percentage of goof-ups? With good genetics? Maybe- but you won’t know until it’s too late.
A paradigm of “getting away with” something is another slippery slope. A slippery slope leads to a fall and genetics are a crap shoot.
Your authors are veterans of decades of healthy habits- like working out nearly every day and avoiding processed (and otherwise compromised) foods.
The good (and the bad) news is we become a product of our habits- after genetics. Creating good habits and keeping them strong is a fundamental strategy for healthy living.
Simply stated, food needs to be Mother Nature’s original work. Make 9 of 10 food choices whole foods made by Mother Nature. When your body feels hunger, then eat. Choose to meet your nutritional needs first- before you indulge yourself with a “treat” that is more a punishment to your body. Don’t think you’re a “foodie” if really you’re using your adult freedom to be undisciplined.
It’s better when exercise is frequent rather than lengthy. A good exercise pattern is 4 consecutive exercise days, then 1 day off, then 4 consecutive exercise days, then 1 day off. Repeat that pattern. Too many consecutive days off weakens your habit.
The most important thing about any habit is that it’s chosen. Healthy habits contribute to peace of mind and guilt-free living.
Doing your best to be healthy leads to having no regrets. Embrace both your opportunity and responsibility to choose your habits. Then go the extra mile: strategize to make them strong.
What you don’t know before your good habits are in place is how good you’ll feel due to their effect.
You’ll discover that your good habits feel better than your old bad ones and that good habits aren’t difficult to maintain-particularly with the strength created by a 90/10 percentage of making healthy choices vs. the “not so much” type.
Allow yourself an occasional unhealthy food choice or a guilt-free skip day from your exercise routine. But if you don’t need a break from your good habits, don’t take one. If you do take a break, make sure you’ve earned it.
Stick to the 90/10 rule because numbers don’t lie. The 90/10 rule is reasonable without being too risky.