4 Minute Fridays: The 80/20 rule of dieting, An underrated signal for longevity, and why I stopped taking pre-workout supplements

Published about 2 months ago • 6 min read

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Welcome to 4 Minute Fridays, my weekly newsletter where I reveal cutting-edge tips to help you get lean, boost energy, and live longer.

What's in store for today:

  • The 80/20 rule of dieting
  • An underrated biomarker of longevity
  • How to trick your body into giving up food cravings

Today's issue is brought to you by Brain.fm.

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Hello friend.

I'm writing to you here from Austin, Texas.

I came here to do a couple of podcast interviews and see some friends.

Something I realized about Austin is that's buzzing. There's a lot going on here and part of the reason is the quality of people it attracts.

Just last night I was at a dinner event with an incredible group of entrepreneurs and it was amazing to see the different types of people this city is starting to attract.

There is something about putting yourself in a place where everyone is moving in a certain direction. While I'm not starting to look at real estate in Austin I will pin it as a place to watch for entrepreneurs and creatives.

That being said...

Here is your 4 Minute Friday:

1. The 80/20 rule of dieting

When I first started to get in shape I had an "all or nothing" mentality.

I was either on or off the diet. No in-between. Anytime I'd stray from it I would give up for the day and just eat whatever I wanted only to feel shame the next day and start over.

This is not a good way to live.

My life changed when I realized I didn't have to be all-in on my diet but to look at it as a ratio:

Hence the 80/20 diet.

The 80/20 diet is simple:

80% of your food intake comes from nutrient-dense single-ingredient sources. Be flexible for the other 20.

If you're tracking your food it could look like eating 80% of your weekly calories from whole foods (meat, veggies, fruits) while the other 20% comes from fun sources (pizza, ramen, pasta, etc.)

If we look at it from a meal perspective it could look like this:

Let's say you eat 3 meals a day.

That makes 21 meals throughout the week. 20% of your meals are around 4'ish meals where you can have a bit of fun while keeping the rest healthy and responsible.

80/20 is a big pillar of our nutrition plan in the Lean Body 90 because aiming for perfection in your nutrition is damn near unsustainable.

This allows to to live your life while being in great shape.

Try it out and let me know what you think.

2. An underrated biomarker for longevity

I was talking with a client the other day who had dropped almost 50 lbs in 16 weeks.

While the weight loss was great he noticed something else:

His resting heart rate went from averaging around 65 to 45.

I mentioned to him that this was not only a reflection of his fitness but also of his longevity.

Why does Resting Heart Rate (RHR) matter for longevity?

As mentioned in the previous issue of the 4MF the heart is one of, if not the, most important organs for longevity.

Studies show that people with faster heart rates are more likely to develop high blood pressure. They were also linked with atherosclerosis, sudden death, and an increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.

The reason is each pulse puts mild stress on the artery walls. More beats per minute equals more stress.

A faster RHR also gives the coronary arteries less time to fill with blood.

A lower RHR puts less work on the heart overall. Pretty much the opposite of what was mentioned above.

How my client lowered his Resting Heart Rate:

  1. He dropped a lot of weight, especially from his belly area.
  2. He was doing 3 days of zone 2 cardio.
  3. He was lifting weights
  4. He was eating a diet comprised of single ingredient nutrient dense foods
  5. He eliminated his alcohol intake

When it comes to improving health markers it's never down to one thing. It's a multitude of factors.

Try out any combination of those and you might be able to improve your RHR too.

3. Why I stopped taking pre-workout supplements

Back in my 20's and 30's, I had a habit of taking pre-workout supplements before I lifted weights. Pre-workouts are powders you put into water that are meant to give you energy for when you exercise.

They would make my face feel tingly and I felt it gave me a mental boost when it came to exercise.

But as I turned 40 I decided to give them up because I was using them as a crutch to workout and, due to the caffeine intake, they were messing with my sleep.

Well, turns out they are quite worthless when it comes to workouts as well.

A new study compared 3 pre-workout supplements to a placebo drink for a group of strength-trained women.

Researchers found there were no significant differences between those who took the pre-workout and those who took the placebo in regards to strength or muscular endurance

They concluded,

"The results of the current study contradict the advertised and marketed ergogenic benefits of pre-workout supplement products"

In other words, the benefits they promoted were a big bunch of hogwash.

If you do feel like you need a boost before a workout then caffeine works just as good and it's much cheaper.

Client of the week - Brandon Wagoner, Entrepreneur

Brandon is an entrepreneur who struggled with hitting the gym and eating healthy. He wanted to get in shape so he'd become a better dad for his kids and become a better husband for his wife.

In 12 weeks, we dropped 35 pounds, lost 7 inches from his waistline, and his energy levels are through the roof. He's dropped a total of 80 lbs and is more confident than ever before!

Here's how we did it:

  • We focused on falling in love with the gym by using it as a place to get stronger.
  • We walked every single day. 10k steps. Did this as a habit and it turned out to be one of his favorite parts of the day.
  • We had him go from eating his emotions to using food as fuel. High protein and nutrient-dense foods served as the gas to crush his goals and improve his energy levels.

The best part is he's not dragging his feet anymore and has so much energy that he's running circles around his kids.

Are you an entrepreneur who wants to drop the fat, gain muscle, and boost energy like Brandon? Reply back to this email with "RESULTS" to get started.

One Quote to Finish Your Week Strong

“I learned that no matter how bad my environment seemed, I could control my attitude about it by controlling my thought picture.
My problems were many but my conscious mind could only think about one thing at a time and I could control that one thought.
You see, as long as I controlled the next thing that I thought about my environment did not matter. Do you see that?”
- Lanny Basham from the book Freedom Flight

Your mind can only focus on one thing at a time. Are you focusing on things that serve you or things that take peace away from you?

Have a great weekend!

- Dan

When you're ready, here is 1 way I can help:

1. Promote yourself to 218,926+ subscribers​ by sponsoring this newsletter.

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  1. Conlin LA, Aguilar DT, Rogers GE, Campbell BI. Flexible vs. rigid dieting in resistance-trained individuals seeking to optimize their physiques: A randomized controlled trial. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2021 Jun 29;18(1):52. doi: 10.1186/s12970-021-00452-2. PMID: 34187492; PMCID: PMC8243453.
  2. Boudoulas KD, Borer JS, Boudoulas H. Heart Rate, Life Expectancy and the Cardiovascular System: Therapeutic Considerations. Cardiology. 2015;132(4):199-212. doi: 10.1159/000435947. Epub 2015 Aug 15. PMID: 26305771.
  3. Kruszewski M, Merchelski M, Kruszewski A, Tabęcki R, Aksenov MO, Pągowski Ł. Effects of Multi-Ingredient Pre-Workout Supplement and Caffeine on Bench Press Performance: A Single-Blind Cross-Over Study. Nutrients. 2022 Apr 22;14(9):1750. doi: 10.3390/nu14091750. PMID: 35565718; PMCID: PMC9105861.


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