So I've heard about 80/20 paleo to increase sustainability of healthy eating, but how many meals per week would be too much
asked byHawkeyes52 (220)
Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!
on August 13, 2013
at 07:02 PM
Whenever it's too much for you to be meating your health goals, that's too much. It's an individual thing.
If you were, for some unknown reason, trying to strictly shooting for the 80%/20% guideline, which is a very vague and general recommendation, 7 days * 3 meals = 21 meals per week * .2 = 4.2 cheat meals per week (including breakfast) or 7 * 2 meals = 14 meals * .2 = 2.8 cheat meals per week (skipping breakfasts). But yeah... I don't think anyone is really suggesting using the math on it, it's more of a feeling of what works for you.
Keep in mind that most of the 80/20 proponents will also recommend not totally splurging on the 20 and eating a stack of bread, instead going for paleo safe-ish cheats, like having some sushi, some dark chocolate, etc., etc.
Mark's Daily Apple has a relevant post on this you might want to read - http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-80-20-principle-when-20-inches-toward-40/
on August 13, 2013
at 07:13 PM
That's kind of a hard question to answer. A lot of it depends on your goals and what you consider cheats, how they affect you, and whether or not the cheat food is the entire meal, or just one ingredient or component. I don't think you really need to break it down into percentages, but just be lenient with yourself in a way that keeps you sane but focused.
For example, this morning I ate a slice of cake I made myself. It was almond flour, clementines, eggs, baking powder and sucanat. The only cheat in that was the sugar/sucanat. I don't consider it a heavy cheat or something to make up for. It's a basically healthy, tasty food with one ingredient that wasn't optimal. It doesn't upset my tummy, make me feel bad, or put me off my goals. Or, if you were to eat a traditional big breakfast of eggs, bacon, pancakes with maple syrup, coffee and OJ - I wouldn't consider that a cheat meal because it's basically a great breakfast with one non-healthy component - the pancakes and syrup.
I guess if I were eating entire meals of heavy cheats, like pizza and soda and McDonald's, I'd probably keep that down to once or twice a week (based on my goals and body). But eating something like chicken and kale soup with some beans in it or some cake like above, I will do more like five times a week. You've got to find what works for you and helps you reach you feel good and doesn't put you off your goals.