The 80:10:10 Rule

“Hey Balance Factor, what do you think of (type in the latest) diet?”

The Balance Factor: This is our favourite question! We have adapted the ‘80:20 rule’ into the ‘80:10:10 rule’ to answer this one properly.

Inevitably, the likelihood of something being effective is dependent on the 80:10:10 rule where; 80% of the population will be ambivalent or tolerant to it, 10% of the population will excel with it, and 10% of the population will find it completely intolerable.

When looking at the effectiveness of diets we can use the 80:10:10 rule to decide if the diet is ideal or not. For example, 80% of the population will try the latest fad diet and will hesitate knowing the challenge of committing to it for the rest of their lives. Consequently, 10% will try it, enjoy it, witness beneficial health outcomes and decide that this is the perfect diet for them. The subsequent 10% will find it completely intolerable, see negative effects on their health reports and dismiss it promptly.

When considering a new diet, ask yourself three major questions:

  • 1) Does this diet energize me?
  • 2) Is it easy to sustain?
  • 3) Does it improve my relationship with food?

If the answer is yes to all three, great! You’ve found your perfect diet. You are in the 10% that will excel with it. Keeping in mind the ‘80:10:10 rule’, don’t try to convince the other 90% that your diet is awesome. It will be a complete waste of time. Everyone needs to figure out their own ideal diet.

Likewise, if the answer is yes to all but one, adapt the diet to your liking using the Balance Factor. Regardless of the type of diet, the Balance Factor keeps you consistent with your ratio of macronutrients and helps you stay within the acceptable range for nutritional requirements (see Canada’s Food Guide). This allows you to individualize the diet and modify it to your needs.

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