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Weight Loss

Understanding the 80/20 Rule for Weight Management

The 80/20 rule for weight management is a great way to address one of the biggest hurdles to losing weight: changing your diet.

We humans generally like things the way they are. Changes to our lives, like moving house, getting a new job, or finding a new partner, are stressful. And losing weight can mean more changes than most activities.  You’re told to get more active, don’t eat that, eat this, stop eating so fast, drink more water, count calories, don’t count calories, and so on and so on.

Even your body rebels against change. If you’re overweight and have been so for a while, your body gets used to it. So, if all of a sudden you start changing the supply of food energy that it expects, it pushes back. If you suddenly cut the number of calories you eat, your body does everything possible to keep things the way they are. So it will slow down your metabolism to keep the energy it has stored in your fat cells. And now you’re in a vicious circle of ever more drastic calorie cutting, and more drastic reactions from your body. Reactions that might harm your health.

So, how are you supposed to lose and manage your weight if you, and your body, don’t like the changes needed to do so?

The 80/20 Rule for Weight Management

The Pareto Principle, or 80/20 rule, can be applied in many parts of your life. It is based on the economic principle that 80% of consequences come from 20% of causes. For example, applying the 80/20 rule in sales and marketing would show you that 80% of your sales are coming from 20% of your customers. So you should focus on those 20% first.

For weight loss, the 80/20 rule is a little simpler. It suggests that you eat healthy, nutritious foods 80% of the time and foods you prefer 20% of the time. In this way, the 80/20 rule isn’t a diet plan. Instead, it’s a way for you to get into the mindset of eating more healthily, being more mindful of your eating and, perhaps best of all, minimizing the changes you must deal with when trying to lose and manage your weight.

The goal of the 80/20 rule is to make weight loss easier and more attainable by helping you to healthily lose weight without the stress of completely depriving yourself of the foods you like

How the 80/20 Rule Works

In a way, the 80/20 rule means you can eat anything you like. All you need to do is eat nutrient-dense, whole, minimally-processed foods 80% of the time and, well, anything you like 20% of the time.

You can do the 80/20 split in different ways. Many people eat nutrient-rich foods during the week and then do not worry about what they’re eating on the weekends. You could also eat a healthy breakfast and lunch, and make sure you have at least one fit item, like vegetables, on your dinner plate. Or, if you snack between meals, eat only healthy foods at meal times and snack on your favourites.

How the 80/20 Rule Can Help You Lose Weight

It might be difficult to imagine that you could lose weight while still eating the cheesies that the diet books tell you to avoid. But, the 80/20 rule makes it easier in more ways than one to accomplish the changes needed for weight loss.

In addition to letting you enjoy your favourite foods, it fills you with healthier foods. And that can benefit you in many ways.

  • Reduces your craving for unhealthy foods
  • Reduces how much you eat
  • Improves your mood and outlook
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Gives you more energy
  • Improves your digestive system

All of these benefits can support your weight loss and weight management.

So, ultimately, not only does the 80/20 rule make it easier to change your diet for weight loss, those changes help you to stay on track and increase your chances of success.

To learn more ways to healthily lose weight, visit your local Herbal One and talk to one of our nutrition counsellors.

If you enjoyed this post, check out our recent article The Relationship Between Self-Love And Weight Loss


If you have any questions or concerns, stop by, call, or email your Herbal One centre and our qualified counsellors will be happy to give you tips and some great ideas that will help reach your weight loss goals.

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