This week, let’s chat about healthy eating lifestyles! Ever heard of that classic 80/20 eating method? I’m sure you have, because guess what…it totally works! There are so many different ways to keep you healthy & satisfied on your wellness journey.  I know it can be overwhelming to decide which lifestyle is best for you, given the fact there are so many different options: paleo, gluten free, keto, vegan, omnivore, 80/20 eating method, etc. One particular method I’m excited to highlight today is the 80/20 eating method. One of the core reasons I love this lifestyle choice is that it works really well for most people and is sustainable in the long term.  Ideally, if you’re looking to lose weight and keep it off, you can have to be open to trying a diet that is manageable & something you can stick to. As you know, there are no shortcuts for weight loss. So I’m going to breakdown this effective and popular strategy called the 80/20 healthy eating guideline.

What is the 80/20 eating method, you ask? Essentially, it’s about aiming your weekly food goals for 80% whole, clean foods (with some healthier processed foods in the mix) and 20% “fun” foods. If you’re not looking to eliminate a specific food group or ingredient, this is the eating lifestyle for you. Another benefit of eating this way eliminates a lot of the guilt you may have if you are sticking to a more rigorous diet and decide to “cheat.”  This eating habit encourages you to indulge in some of your favorite things in a more balanced way. This is a reasonable goal to aim for if you’re just starting out and looking to lose weight OR if you’re a veteran and looking to maintain your weight! Now of course, this can change if you’re on vacation or have a special occasion to attend – opting in for a temporary split like 60% / 40%.  Ultimately, 80% / 20% is a great place to be at on an ongoing basis as it’s easy to manage & will give you the flexibility you need. For me personally, I’m more of a 90% healthy foods, 10% fun foods kind of person, but I encourage you to find where balance proves best for you. 

80/20 eating method

Additionally, if you’re unsure of your portion sizes starting out to get to an 80/20 eating method, start by tracking calories and macros.  Doing so can be a helpful tactic to to help you reach your goals. Now remember, this is not something you’re going to want to do all the time (the idea of this diet is to eliminate the calorie counting longterm) but rather a tool to use to gauge overall portion size and how to fit fun foods in your routine, without blowing your entire calorie budget.  Essentially, think of it as a stepping stone – a tool you can lean on to learn what that balance will look like for you. 

When it comes to specifics, some of the foods you’re encouraged to enjoy while you’re in your 80% are whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and minimal dairy.  When you’re moving into that 20% diet, feel guilt-free enjoying any of your “fun foods.”

The goal of the 80/20 eating method is to help you enjoy nutritious, delicious foods that will fuel your body on a regular basis, all while treating yourself to your favorites and enjoying life. Balance is absolutely key! 

Whatever your goals are, I’m here to support you.