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Eating healthier is always a goal to strive for, but it can be a difficult goal to achieve. Cravings, special occasions, and going on vacation among other things can send a strict diet into a spiral. This is one of the reasons you will hear a lot of health professionals say, “diets don’t work!” Strict diets lead to feelings of deprivation, which can quickly derail any diet. The 80/20 method of eating helps eliminate those feelings of deprivation and cravings by bringing balance to your food. 

What is the 80/20 Method?

Those using this method will transform their diets into healthy most of the time. The goal is that 80% of your eating style should be a healthy diet, full of whole foods, good fats, proteins, and low in sugar, but leaves room for cravings and special occasions. The remaining 20% of your diet can include anything that you’d like, such as occasional fast food, holiday celebration foods, or dessert while dining out. 

Why is the 80/20 Method More Sustainable?

Shifting your diet to a primarily healthy diet can often feel restricting and isolating, especially when everyone around you is not eating the same foods. Creating a lifestyle out of eating healthy 80% of the time will get you in the habit of eating nutritious foods for the majority of your time. Carving out space to be able to eat whatever you want on occasion will allow you to join in special events, vacation, and eat treats without ruining any healthy habits you’ve created for yourself. 

Eating in an 80/20 pattern will also help with your state of mind. Feelings of deprivation can lead to depression or even cycles of binge eating and restriction. After “cheating” on a strict diet, you can feel intense guilt and remorse. This constant struggle of eating “good” versus “bad” food will weigh on your mind and can even lead to disordered eating habits. Instead of strict restricting of foods that can impact your mental state, opt for a more balanced option, allowing yourself to eat favorite foods while still focusing on an overall healthy diet. 

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