The 80/20 Principle; are you familiar with it?
If not, I recommend looking into it beyond just reading the rest of this post. But, a quick explanation; this is a phenomenon seen across many fields of study, from economics to fitness. It states that typically 80% of the result comes from 20% of the work. This principle was most popularly brought to light by the work of Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist who observed that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. As I stated before, this is seen almost everywhere in our lives, whether we realize it or not!
Some fun examples (taken from Brian Johnson via Optimize.me):
- 80% of sales come from 20% of your clients.
- We typically wear 20% of our wardrobe 80% of the time.
- 20% of beer drinkers drink 80% of the beer.
- 80% of healthcare in the United States is used by 20% of the patients.
- 20% of your carpet receives 80% of the wear.
This list could expand on almost infinitely, but for the sake of brevity, I’ll keep it down to five examples.
The particular application of Pareto’s Principle I want to bring to light today is the 80/20 of nutrition! 80% of our health benefits from dietary changes come from only 20% of the total changes we can make. So what is this 20% we should be focusing on? According to the research of Brian Johnson; the most important factors in our diet that make up this efficacious 20% are:
- Consuming enough water! To know how much you should get take your body weight and divide by two. That is how many ounces per day you should drink (on average).
- Eat less refined sugars and processed foods. A large amount of our modern nutritional problems can be chalked up to these foods. Cut down on them as much as possible to see some great results.
- Eat lots of fresh, organic fruits and veggies.
Focus on these things initially and I’d be surprised if you didn’t notice an immediate difference in energy levels and your health in general. Even better, you’re 80% of the way there. Once you’ve got this big portion taken care of, it becomes much easier to find what else needs work within your dietary needs and address each problem as they arise!
My hope is that this saves you some time, money, and frustration in simplifying your path to a healthier diet and healthier you!