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The idea is simple: Eat healthy meals 80% of the time, and have more freedom with the other 20%. But how it’s done and how it will affect your weight can differ for everyone.

Going "on" a diet usually means going "off" the diet when a craving hits for a sweet treat. That’s because most people can’t follow a strict diet 100 percent of the time—and then they feel guilty when they indulge in dessert, chips or a cocktail. 

But following the 80/20 rule is a healthy, less-restrictive eating option that doesn't feel like a diet. Eating 80/20 is more "real-life" and easier to follow than other diet plans because it allows you to enjoy your favorite foods in moderation while eating healthy at the same time.  

What is the 80/20 rule for eating?

The basic principle is to make half your plate fruits and vegetables, and change them up often. The rest of your plate should be whole grains and lean protein with a serving of low-fat dairy, like milk or yogurt, on the side. Try to limit saturated fat and added sugars. Also focusing on drinking a lot of water!

For your treats, or the “20 percent” part, eat your favorite foods in moderation. For example, you might have a small piece of cake today and a drink a glass of red wine tomorrow—just not both at the same time. Enjoy yourself - within reason. But keep in mind that overdoing it can send all your hard work out the window.

The best thing about the 80/20 rule is that you're never saying, "I can't eat that." Instead, you're saying, "I can eat this today and have that tomorrow."  

Portion Control and Balanced Mindset can help with weight loss in the 80/20 diet.

Portion control and moderation are the keys to success when eating 80/20. Therefore, it’s still possible to exceed your body's energy needs and gain weight even though you’re eating healthy foods. Calories always count, even if they're healthy ones.  

Following the 80/20 rule can help you keep a balanced mindset about eating. It removes the guilt, emotion and stress associated with dieting and allows you to enjoy your favorite foods in moderation.

Wondering how to get started?

If you need help getting started with the 80/20 rule, make an appointment! Contact Lacey Reeg at 308-995-2881. Lacey will review your normal diet with you and help you identify areas where you can make more nutritious food choices so you can achieve your fitness and nutrition goals. She will help you develop simple, healthy eating habits through small changes you can make over time.