While it’s true that some people need to follow a highly restrictive diet to manage a chronic condition (e.g., someone on an autoimmune protocol to address an autoimmune condition), it’s also true that for many people, excessively restrictive diets can be counterproductive.
This is why I generally advocated the “80/20 rule” when it comes to diet, especially in the summertime!
I’ll keep it short and sweet - Eighty percent of the time, stick with a clean, nutrient-dense diet, and 20 percent of the time, you can relax around these guidelines.
The exact ratio is not important—for many, it might be more like 90/10 or even 95/5, but the point is that most of us will benefit from some flexibility built into how we approach food.
Some people get so hung up on what they are and are not “allowed” to eat that the actual act of eating becomes a huge source of stress. Sometimes eating ‘bad’ food with a good attitude is healthier than eating ‘good’ food and being miserable about it. For most people, moderation is the key.
And for those of you that know you may pay a price for indulging there are supplements you can take to minimize the fall out from enjoying that delicious ice cream or extra scoop of potato salad. I believe that as long as you consume it mindfully and understand that this is not your everyday diet, you can enjoy it.
For me I find that it’s 90/10 , but again, the exact ratio doesn’t matter. It’s the flexibility and ease that counts. Give this a try at your next BBQ and see if you notice an improvement in both your digestion and your attitude around what and how you eat. I hope you do.