80/20 Diet: Will It Help You Lose Weight? Here’s What You Should Know

The 80/20 diet is a popular diet that has been gaining traction in recent years. What’s the basic premise? Can you lose weight on an 80/20 diet? We will tell you everything you need to know. Read on to learn more!
Elliot
80/20 diet

80/20 Diet: What Is It?

The 80/20 diet is a weight loss plan that requires you to eat 80 percent of your calories from healthy, whole foods and 20 percent from less nutritious sources. This approach to eating is based on the theory that most people are more likely to stick to a diet if they don’t feel restricted. The goal of the 80/20 diet is to help you eat more nutritious foods and lose weight in a way that is sustainable for the long term.

The 80/20 diet is not a new concept; it is an economic rule known as the Pareto principle. This principle states that for many events, 80 percent of the effects come from 20 percent of the causes. In other words, a small percentage of input (20 percent) results in a large output (80 percent). The Pareto principle can be applied to many areas of life, including food and nutrition.

What’s the Purpose of an 80/20 Diet?

The idea behind the 80/20 diet is that you should focus on eating healthy, whole foods 80 percent of the time and allow yourself some leeway with less nutritious foods 20 percent of the time. This approach is meant to be flexible and sustainable in the long term.

There are no hard and fast rules about what foods you can and cannot eat on the 80/20 diet. However, it is generally recommended that you fill up on healthy, whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains most of the time. When you indulge in less nutritious foods, try to make healthier choices, such as baked goods made with whole wheat flour, or ice cream made with skim milk.

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Can You Lose Weight on an 80/20 Diet?

Many people are wondering if this type of diet is actually good for weight loss. The answer is not that simple and depends on the individual.

If you are eating 80 percent healthy, whole foods and 20 percent less nutritious foods, then you are likely consuming fewer calories overall. This can lead to weight loss, especially if you are also exercising regularly. However, it is important to remember that the 80/20 diet is not a weight loss diet; it is a way of eating that is meant to be sustainable in the long term.

If you are someone who tends to overeat or indulge in unhealthy foods often, then the 80/20 diet may be right for you. You may actually lose some weight, since you’ll practice healthy eating, while also indulging iwith the remaining 20 percent. On the other hand, if you are already eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly, the 80/20 diet may not help you lose weight. In fact, if you allow yourself too much freedom with less nutritious foods, you may actually end up gaining weight or remain the same.

The bottom line is that the 80/20 diet can be helpful for weight loss if you are someone who tends to overeat or eat unhealthy foods often. However, this approach does not guarantee weight loss. Whether you will lose weight or not depends on the deficit of your caloric intake and how physically active you are.

What Are the Pros of an 80/20 Diet?

There are several pros to the 80/20 diet:

  1. You can still enjoy your favorite foods. This type of diet is not restrictive, which means you can still eat the foods you love in moderation.
  2. It is a sustainable way of eating. The 80/20 diet is meant to be flexible and sustainable in the long term. You don’t have to worry about falling off the wagon or feeling deprived.
  3. It may lead to weight loss. If you are someone who tends to overeat or eat unhealthy foods often, this type of diet may help you lose weight.
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What Are the Cons of an 80/20 Diet?

There are also some cons to the 80/20 diet:

  1. You may not lose weight. If you are already eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly, this type of diet may not help you lose weight. In fact, if you allow yourself too much freedom with less nutritious foods, you may actually end up gaining weight or remaining the same.
  2. You could gain weight. If you are not careful, you could end up eating too many calories by indulging in unhealthy foods too often. This could lead to weight gain.
  3. It may be difficult to stick to. Some people may find it hard to stick to this type of diet because it is not very restrictive.

80/20 Diet Plan

Here is a basic eating plan to get you started:

Breakfast:

  1. 1 piece of whole wheat toast with almond butter.
  2. A bowl of oatmeal with berries and a spoonful of honey.
  3. A smoothie made with yogurt, fruit, and spinach.

Lunch:

  1. A salad made with greens, chicken, and avocado.
  2. A bowl of soup with whole grain crackers.
  3. A veggie wrap made with a whole wheat tortilla.

Dinner:

  1. Grilled salmon with roasted vegetables.
  2. Chicken stir-fry over brown rice.
  3. Vegetarian chili with a side of cornbread.

Apart from the main meals, you can snack on nuts with chocolate, chocolate chips cookies, a piece of pizza or pasta. The main idea is that these less healthy and nutritious options are not more than 20% part of your diet.

How an 80/20 Diet Can Help You Improve Your Relationship With Food?

The 80/20 diet can help you improve your relationship with food in several ways:

  • You won’t feel deprived. This type of diet is not restrictive, which means you can still eat the foods you love in moderation. This can help you avoid feelings of deprivation if you happen to eat less nutritious foods.
  • You’ll learn portion control. This type of diet can also help you learn portion control. When you are indulging in less healthy foods, it is important to eat them in moderation. This can help you avoid overeating or eating too many calories.
  • Many restrictive diets fail because they are not sustainable in the long term. The 80/20 diet is meant to be flexible and sustainable, which can help you stick with it for the long haul.
  • It can help you become more mindful of your eating habits. This type of diet may help you become more aware of your eating habits and make better choices overall.
  • Restrictive diets often forbid certain foods, which can lead to cravings and overeating. The 80/20 diet allows you to enjoy your favorite foods in moderation, which can help you avoid cravings and unhealthy eating habits.
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The Bottom Line

As you can see, 80/20 diet, or rather “mindset” is a more sustainable and doable way of eating that can help you lose weight, get in shape, and improve your relationship with food if done correctly. This type of diet is not about perfection, but rather moderation. It is also important to remember that this type of diet should be individualized according to your own needs and preferences.

Before you start any type of diet, it is always a good idea to speak with a doctor or registered dietitian to make sure it is right for you. Some health conditions may not be compatible with this type of diet. 

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