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The 80-20 Rule for Weight Loss


When we think about dieting our minds often go towards Keto, Paleo, or simply just cutting out all the foods we enjoy to lose weight. These are often what is referred to as a “crash diet’ or “fad diet” as they are generally unsustainable; when cravings hit it’s easy to go the opposite way and binge on all the food we deprived ourselves of. Instead of taking out all the foods we enjoy, try using the 80/20 rule.


The 80/20 rule is a less-restrictive way of eating that isn’t so much a diet as it is a lifestyle change. This method allows you to eat your favourite foods in moderation while overall keeping a healthy diet.


What does this entail?

80% of your diet should be whole foods including:

- Fruits and Vegetables

- Lean protein such as meat, fish, and plant-based options such as beans and soy

- Whole grains such as oats and brown rice

- Healthy fats such as avocado and nuts, limit your fat intake

20% of your diet should be foods you really enjoy that aren’t as nutritious, eat in moderation such as:

- A small bowl of chips

- A few pieces of chocolate

- A small piece of pizza


What is the best way to use the 80/20 rule?

When it comes to lifestyle changes there is no one size fits all, so play around! Guidelines are there to help you stay on track, that doesn’t mean you have to follow them to a tee. Try using the 80/20 rule daily to avoid binging however if you find that doesn’t work well for you, base the rule off meals. For example, eat healthy meals most of the week and have 1 or 2 meals that are tastier. One of the biggest tips we can give when using the 80/20 rule is to not think of the 20% as a cheat meal, after all food is food there is no such thing as good or bad, simply more or less nutritious.


Can I lose weight using the 80.20 rule?

Losing weight with the 80/20 rule all comes down to how many calories you’re consuming, including drinks and condiments. While we can stay relatively healthy just by following this rule, it doesn’t automatically mean we’ll lose weight. Regardless of what diet or lifestyle you choose to go with be mindful that fat loss comes down to one thing – calories in vs. calories out. Even healthy foods such as vegetables count towards your calories.

If you would like help with your nutrition plan, contact us today to get started!


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