April Schetler, MS, RD, FAND, AVP, Community Health Engagement, Registered Dietitian
When a hankering for Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey strikes, going “on” a diet usually means getting “off” the diet. Because most individuals can’t stick to a rigorous diet all of the time, they feel terrible when they eat dessert, chips, or have a cocktail.
The 80/20 rule, on the other hand, is a healthy, less-restrictive eating alternative that does not seem like a diet. Eating 80/20 is more “real-life” and easier to follow than other diet plans since it allows you to eat healthy while enjoying your favorite foods in moderation.
What is the 80/20 rule when it comes to eating?
The 80/20 rule is a dietary recommendation that states that you should eat nutritious meals 80% of the time and have a dish of your favorite dessert 20% of the time.
Focus on drinking enough water and eating a variety of nutritious foods during the “80 percent” portion of the plan, which includes:
- Grain (whole)
- Vegetables and fruits.
- Plant-based proteins, including beans, soy, and edamame, are high in lean protein.
- Avocados or olive oil provide only a small amount of beneficial fats.
Consume your favorite foods in moderation for your rewards, or the “20 percent” portion. You could, for example, have a tiny piece of chocolate cake today and drink a glass of red wine tomorrow, but not both at once. This eating style is less difficult to stick to than harsher diets like the ketogenic or paleo diets, which restrict carbohydrates and processed foods.
The 80/20 rule’s best feature is that you’ll never say, “I can’t eat that.” “I can eat this today and have that tomorrow,” you remark instead.
What is the most effective way to apply the 80/20 rule?
To succeed with the 80/20 rule, strive to follow these rules for as many days as possible. If you’re striving for fresh, unprocessed whole foods to make up 80 percent of your diet, why not indulge in up to 20% of your favorite treats? If you’re aiming for 1500 calories per day, that means 1200 calories for balanced, nutritious meals and 300 calories for your reward.
Some people try to follow the 80/20 rule during the week and the 20/20 rule on weekends, but this might lead to binge eating because you’ve been depriving yourself of goodies all week.
You have wiggle room to indulge every day if you follow the 80/20 rule every day. As a result, you will never deprive yourself of the pleasure of eating a modest bit of something you enjoy.
Is it possible to lose weight by following the 80/20 rule?
The 80/20 rule may assist you in losing weight. However, how much weight you lose is determined by how good or bad your eating habits were before beginning the 80/20 diet.
When it comes to eating 80/20, portion control and moderation are the keys to success. As a result, even if you eat nutritious meals, you can still surpass your body’s energy needs and gain weight. Calories matter, even if they’re good for you.
In addition to weight loss, the 80/20 rule can help you maintain a healthy eating habit. It alleviates the guilt, anxiety, and stress that come with dieting, allowing you to indulge in your favorite foods in moderation. It can also be changed to help people with diabetes, high blood pressure, and other long-term conditions.
How can I begin using the 80/20 rule?
Make an appointment with a Virtua certified dietitian if you need help getting started with the 80/20 rule. Your dietician will look over your regular diet with you and help you discover areas where you may make healthier food choices in order to meet your fitness and nutrition objectives. Most importantly, he or she will help you slowly change your eating habits to make them healthier.
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