The 80/20 Rule: Balancing Your Love for Dark Chocolate and Dance Cardio

by Sharon Wolbarsht

The 80/20 nutrition rule might ring a bell. If not, here’s the long and short of it. Moderation in life is key. Many dietitians, health coaches and fitness trainers alike subscribe to the philosophy that the key to a balanced & sustainable lifestyle is eating clean, wholesome foods 80% of the time and allowing yourself to indulge 20% of the time. Well hello, chocolate gelato! Don’t mind if I do.

Whether you’re a well-versed wellness guru or are just embarking upon your health journey, we’re here to tell you that:

  1. Supporting a healthy, balanced life through diet and exercise is crucial to making sustainable changes. Oh, and kudos to you because just by reading this, you’re already starting to put in the necessary work to level-up!.
  2. With a million and one different nutrition plans on the market, it can be easy to get lost in the sauce…literally. How do you pick a diet that will work for you to achieve high energy and a high vibe? Wellness can be overwhelming. 
  3. Never fear! We did a review of a few buzzy healthy eating options to give you a one-stop shop to understanding the similarities & differences of Keto, Whole 30, Paleo and Plant-Based eating to uncover which (if any!) work best for you. 


Plant Based diets, which aren’t to be confused with veganism, abide by nourishing yourself with wholesome foods…like well, plants. While Vegans also focus on eating the plant-based rainbow, what differentiates the two is that plant-based nutrition shy’s away from some of the processed foods that are vegan-approved like oil, white flour and refined sugar. Plant-based foodies fill their tank with a variety of fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds and plenty of whole grains. Plus, “for plant-based eaters, animal proteins can happily fit into the lifestyle, yet they serve as more of a supporting role to your veggies and whole grains,” as opposed to vegans who avoid animal products in all capacities (Mind Body Green). Sounds like some who follow a plant-based lifestyle also subscribe to the 80/20 rule! So, what are the benefits? From supporting weight loss to improving digestion and decreasing your risk of diabetes-related conditions, the mineral-rich eating habits of a plant-based lifestyle have obvious health benefits. Take a look at more enticing details about the earthy lifestyle and how to kick-start a 14-day plant-based challenge here.


The Ketogenic (or Keto) fat sizzling diet promotes filling your plate primarily with healthy fats (avocado & nuts to name a few!), coupled with an energy-sustaining amount of protein and a small amount carbohydrates. Despite the somewhat controversial nutrition plan, “in healthy individuals, it is proving to be one of the most efficient ways to burn fat. In the past, the ketogenic diet has been used in the medical profession to treat specific conditions, like seizures in children, but it’s making its way into the mainstream now thanks to its fat-burning, muscle-building potential,” (Byrdie). Take a look at the scientific breakdown of how the diet works here. It’s easy to digest, we promise.    


Whole30 fights inflammation in the body through a 30 day challenge, eliminating foods that leave you feeling, well…not your best! You’ve probably seen the program shared across your Instagram feed this past January, since it’s become trendy to kick off the New Year with this month-long clean eating plan. By fueling yourself on three square meals a day of “Whole30 Approved” foods like poultry, seafood, eggs and vegetables, you’re set up to clean out your system, decrease bloat, increase energy, sleep better and some even report *flawless* skin as a result of their newly established eating habits. Take a look at the experience one Woman’s Day contributor had on her Whole30 journey and see if it feels right for you. 


The Paleo diet takes you back to the era of cavemen. Yes, that’s right. When you’re getting in touch with your ancestral roots you’ll be noshing on bites similar to those offered in the Whole30 plan: plants and animals. You’ll be saying yes to chicken, fish, red meat, pork, eggs, veggies, fruits, nuts, natural oils, healthy fats and even healthy sweeteners. So, why minimize intake of your favorite gouda cheese? Paleo plan followers report better satiety, weight loss, decreased sugar cravings, increased energy, improved digestion, reduced inflammation, more physical muscularity, and an improved relationship with food (Greatist). A better relationship with food? Sign us up! Remember, even if you’re Paleo, you can always abide by the 80/20 rule and still have those occasional cheese cubes. Take a look at the Beginner’s Paleo Guide from our friends at Greatist.    

Regardless of whether or not you prescribe to a specific eating plan like those above, personally adhere to the 80/20 rule for a balanced belly and body, or just try to fuel yourself with what makes you feel your best, it’s never too late to try something new. Looking for more energy to crush a workout? Try incorporating more protein. Have a sensitive stomach? Try eating more plants. Looking to blast fat? Maybe a bit more research on the Keto principles or adding in heart-healthy avocado is in order!

The moral here is: remember it’s about becoming your best you. Here at obé we believe balance and variety on your health journey is important. The same diet, workout or daily routine most definitely won’t work for everyone…or might now necessarily work for you every single day for the rest of your life. That’s why we support nutrition education (know what everyone is talking about in the health world & try something new!) and offer different 28 minute workouts so that you can also continue to change up your sweat, flow and defining movements with us. In the name of balance, we’re raising a glass to you and a killer 2019, obé fam!   

Looking for support from a high-vibe community on your fitness and health journey in 2019? Join our obé fam Facebook group!     

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