Episode #2: The 80/20 Rule with Mark Sisson


Description: In this podcast, Mark Sisson discusses the popular Primal Blueprint concept of the 80/20 rule, which is often misinterpreted and manipulated to compromise dietary quality. Sisson explains that the spirit of the 80/20 rule is to strive for 100% compliance with Primal guidelines and maximum nutritional value of your diet, but to accept the imperfections and limitations of your food choices. The common excuse of having difficulty finding quality meals away from home is countered by Sisson’s strategy of practicing Intermittent Fasting when healthy options are not available. Sisson also mentions the flip side of being too obsessed with Primal perfection, and experiencing increased stress from an overly rigid approach. He also talks about society’s distorted perception of ideal body composition, urging you to focus on your own personal peak performance potential and enjoyment of life, instead of struggling to adhere to the sensationalized standards of models and elite fitness specimens.

Topic timestamps:
80/20 rule: 00:23
Orthoexia: 01:55
Bad guys: 02:51
Appropriate amounts: 04:00
Human tendencies: 04:45
Making choices: 06:55
Permission to indulge: 09:27
Ideal body composition: 10:49

Get the Primal Blueprint Podcast

  • Download Episode #2 here (right click to “Save As”)
  • Download a transcript of this episode here
  • View and subscribe to The Primal Blueprint Podcast on iTunes here and on Stitcher here
  • Subscribe to the RSS feed here

3 thoughts on “Episode #2: The 80/20 Rule with Mark Sisson

  1. Amy

    I enjoyed the message Mark – over the weekend I felt the need to stray from my paleo plan and just eat, I felt like I needed to really refuel with more than what I had been eating. Thank you for the reminder that I am my own experiment 🙂

  2. Dominique

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for clarifying, my husband and I are fairly new to the Primal/Paleo lifestyle and we had a bit of a wobble over the Christmas period but we have been back on track since 8th Jan 2014.

    I am finding that this time round I am much more hungry inbetween meals than I was previously. Prior to Christmas we did Paleo straight for 16weeks but now I am having more cravings and seem to be more hungry.

    I train six times a week, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday is strength trainging (squats, lunges, pushups, pull ups etc with skipping) Tuesday and Fridays I run 10km and Saturday I do a spin class.

    I seem to be eating alot of protein with fat to full my belly.

    Am I doing something wrong and can you confirm if it is okay to eat as much as you want of the Paleo foodlist until you are full.

    We live in South Africa and unfortunately the exchange rate makes it very expensive to order your products, we end up paying 10 x the actual dollar price.

    Your input/comments would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you

  3. Joe

    This podcast is a prime example of why I like the Primal Blueprint so much!! It’s realistic, reasonable, and doesn’t buy into the prevailing popular culture of “fitness”. Health, enjoyment of one’s life, homeostasis…. what’s not to like about that?

    One of the things that I have found curious is that I really have not had that much trouble with temptations. I did have a piece of birthday cake and ice cream last weekend, but I refused to feel guilty about it because of the 80/20 template. Think about it: one dessert out of 21 meals…. that’s not bad at all.

    And if you think back to the days of our recent ancestors — a 1850s homesteader carving out an existence for example — do you think they had ice cream and cake available with each meal, OR even once a week? Hardly. Those items were very very occasional treats (think Christmas, weddings, etc.)



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *