Summer is fast approaching, meaning many people will be looking for ways to get fit and healthy.
But losing weight can sometimes be difficult, especially with so many diets to choose from.
The 80/20 rule is a diet which is less restrictive and easier to maintain than other strict alternatives such as Keto or Atkins. The idea is that you are free to eat whatever you want 20% of the time, as long as you are careful for the other 80%.
It’s possible to lose weight by following the diet as long as you stick to certain guidance. We’ve put together a guide on what the diet is, how to follow it, and how it could help you lose weight.
What is the 80/20 diet?
The basic principle of the 80/20 diet is “everything in moderation”.
For 80% of the time, you track what you are eating and stick to nutritious foods like plants and whole foods. For 20% of the time, you are free to indulge in whatever you fancy.
The diet plan has been around for years, with celebs like Blake Lively crediting the approach to their physiques. You can apply it to every area of your diet which needs a bit of moderation: alcohol consumption, eating fruit and vegetables, and working out.
How to follow the diet
To apply the 80/20 rule to your diet, you should plan to stick to a plan or calorie goal for 80% of the time. This calorie goal should be based on your lifestyle and what you want to achieve.
You can work out your calorie goal with help from the NHS or a nutritionist. Read more about calorie counting here. You don’t always have to track them, but many people on the diet find that it can help them nail the 80/20 ratio.
This could represent a “restrictive” diet. You may choose to stick to certain types of food, like plant-based foods, whole foods, or low-calorie foods. The idea is that restriction counts for 80% of the diet, and the other 20% will be more relaxed.
On your less restrictive days, you can eat whatever you fancy.
These are the days where you can have a takeaway or go out for an indulgent meal. Having these set days for indulgence can help you feel less restricted on the diet, but they are not an invitation to binge. You should still aim to stop eating when you are full, and not snack all-day long.
How can it help you lose weight?
The 80/20 diet is flexible, so losing weight is not always guaranteed. However, if you are careful with your planning, you have the potential to lose.
One key thing to remember is not to go crazy on your days off. Yes, you can eat whatever you like for 20% of the time, but if you eat thousands of calories, you could undo much of the good work you have put in over 80% of the time. So, eat those favorite foods, but be careful of overconsumption.
It can also promote long-term maintenance by regulating your relationship with food. Getting rid of overconsumption while still eating your favorite foods can help you find a healthy balance which leads to long-term success.
As with any diet plan, remember to check in with yourself and your relationship with food. If you find yourself becoming overly restrictive, or suffering with feelings of guilt or shame around food, speak to a healthcare professional.
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