Want to know what the 80/20 diet is? If you’ve ever wanted to lose some weight or even just improve your diet, you’ve probably tried a lot of fad diets. Of course, most fad diets turn out to be too restrictive or prescriptive, and the vast majority of people give up on them within a month or two. But there is one diet that is not so intense. Unlike many other popular diets, this diet focuses on finding balance.
Well, this diet revolves around eating 80% “healthy” food and 20% “fraud” food. Unlike other diets, this diet does not require you to cut out all unhealthy foods or whole food groups. Instead, it’s about being frugal with yourself and finding a diet plan that you can stick to. You can even use it with best protein powders for weight loss for additional benefits.
Ready to try it yourself? Read on to find out what the 80/20 diet is and how you can implement it in a safe and healthy way.
Our medical experts
Edibel Quintero received her medical degree in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her specialty ever since. As a physician, her focus is on obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage, and postoperative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people lead healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental well-being and other lifestyle options that can improve their quality of life.
Dr. Shyamala Vishnumohan is a private dietitian/nutritionist and mum passionate about science-based nutrition for pregnant women. She holds a PhD in Food and Nutrition from the University of New South Wales Sydney and has been in nutrition research for over 15 years, researching plant foods and isolated nutrients (folic acid) and their bioavailability (how much the body can absorb). ).
How does the 80/20 rule work?
“The 80/20 rule says you should get 80% of your daily calories from a healthy, nutritious diet and save the remaining 20% for your favorite cheat meal or dessert,” he explains. Edibel Quintero (will open in a new tab), registered dietitian and health writer. “This is a very rational and easy-to-use nutritional system that allows you to enjoy food that can be considered unhealthy without guilt. too much and let yourself eat whatever you want.”
So, how exactly does this look like in the real world? “Let’s count,” he says Dr. Shyamala Vishnumohan (will open in a new tab), PhD, qualified nutritionist and founder of One to One Thousand Nutrition Clinic. “Breakfast, lunch and dinner during the week equals 21 meals, so 80 percent is about 17 healthy meals. So you have 4 meals left.”
What’s great about the 80/20 rule is that it prioritizes filling your diet with healthy foods before adding less healthy foods to your diet. That way, you’ll always get the nutrients you need first, and then those delicious treats we all crave from time to time.
Is it possible to lose weight according to the 80/20 rule?
If your goal is to lose weight, the 80/20 rule can help you lose weight safely and at a healthy pace.
“If you follow the 80/20 rule, you can definitely lose weight or keep it off as long as you don’t exceed your daily calorie intake,” says Quintero. “Otherwise, even if you were to eat 100% healthy food, but in gigantic portions all the time, you would not avoid gaining weight.”
Vishnumohan also adds that this is a good diet if you want to lose weight in a gentle way that doesn’t make you feel guilty about what you’re eating. “I love the fact that this diet is less restrictive and can help you get rid of the ‘guilt’ when you indulge in a piece of pie,” says Vishnumohan. “That’s good, as guilt can motivate you to stick with the diet in the long run.”
She adds: “Also, when you prioritize nutritious foods, there is automatically less room for less healthy foods.” One 2014 study (will open in a new tab)notes Vishnumohan, even shows how eliminating guilt about certain foods can promote long-term weight loss.
What should be your diet at 80?
So, in practical terms, what should you eat if you’re on an 80/20 diet, and what are the “healthy” foods that make up the 80 percent portion? Well, there are no hard and fast rules.
“There are no set rules about what you eat for an 80th part,” says Vishnumohan. “Start with whole foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy fats, legumes.”
If you make sure that 80% of your meals are fresh, unprocessed foods that don’t contain too much salt, fat or sugar, chances are you’ll be on the right track.
How else can you create a healthier diet?
While the 80/20 diet offers balance, it’s not always as easy as it sounds. “Theoretically, the 80/20 diet sounds simplistic, but you have to be organized and take the time to cook,” warns Vishnumohan. “The 80/20 rule may not be suitable for those who need to follow a heart-healthy diet or control their blood sugar, as you may need to be more tightly controlled with respect to saturated fats and processed sugars. Talk to a qualified dietitian to see if this diet is right for you. “
If this diet doesn’t work for you or takes too long, there are other healthy ways to improve your diet without going through any fad diets. “Instead of classifying food as healthy and unhealthy or good and bad, tune in to your hunger and satiety cues and make small sustainable changes,” she suggests.
Other ways to build a healthier diet without going on a strict diet include:
- Filling your cupboards and refrigerators with healthy food. This way, you’re less likely to reach for unhealthy foods when you feel like snacking.
- Add less salt to your food
- Stay hydrated throughout the day
- Start your day with a healthy breakfast so you don’t overeat later.
Like most diets, the 80/20 diet has both pros and cons. While it offers balance and longevity, and isn’t as restrictive as some fad diets, it can be time- and energy-consuming.
We recommend talking to your doctor or dietitian before trying any new diets to make sure your new plan is safe and healthy.
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