How the 80/20 Rule Can Make Weight Loss Easier


Have a hard time eating clean? Are you constantly craving cookies and fries? No problem! As long as you follow the 80/20 rule, you can stay lean and still have your cake. Also known as Pareto's Principle, this concept can be applied to any area, from diet and exercise to business. Basically, you have to stick to your diet and workout plan 80 percent of the time to reach your fitness goals. The 80/20 rule can make your life easier and keep you fit.

How Does the 80/20 Rule Work?
Pareto’s Principle was developed by an Italian economist. Today, it is widely in marketing, management, health care, and everyday life. When it comes to weight loss or overall fitness, the idea is to eat clean and stick to your workouts 80 percent of the time. Leave the other 20 percent for enjoying your favorite treats.
Let's say you're on a low carb diet. Cut back on sugars six days a week and have a cookie or a slice of cake on weekends. This way, you'll stay on track with your diet and still enjoy an occasional treat. Do the same when it comes to exercise. Sounds simple, isn't it? Just make sure you don’t go overboard on those snacks. For example, if your diet provides 1,500 calories a day, you can eat 1,200 calories (80 percent) worth of healthy foods and 300 calories (20 percent) worth of treats.

Can You Trust the 80/20 Rule?
Most people fail to lose weight because they limit their food choices and push themselves too hard to achieve faster results. Strict diets fail because they're not sustainable in the long run. If you follow the 80/20 rule, you'll be happier, healthier, and leaner at the same time. It's all about finding the right balance.

The 80/20 rule helps build a healthy relationship to food. Even the most avid dieters have slip-ups, but it's no need to guilty about it. An occasional treat won’t make you fat just like one healthy meal won’t make you slim. There are several ways to implement this rule into your life. You can either have small treats every day, or plan a cheat meal once a week. It all comes down to your preferences. Moderation is key.

How to Make the 80/20 Rule Work for You
Thanks to the 80/20 rule, you can clean up your diet, eat healthy, and still have a piece of cake once in a while. You don’t have to be perfect 100 percent of the time. Nobody is. Just think about the world's most famous athletes and fitness models. If you check outtheir blogs and fan pages, you’ll see they overindulge too, especially after a race or competition. They have weekly cheat meals to keep them sane and boost their motivation.

To make the 80/20 rule work, you have to maintain balance. Fill your plate with fresh, whole foods 80 percent of the time. For the remaining 20 percent, choose your favorite foods and don’t waste calories on treats that bring you no satisfaction.

Keep track of your calorie intake to make sure you don’t go overboard. Believe or not, it's easy to consume 3,000 calories in one sitting. All it takes is a jar of peanut butter, a bottle of soda, some cake or butter, and other guilty treats. Ideally, choose one or two foods that you really enjoy, and eat mindfully. Get back on track as soon as your cheat meal is over.


  • Your diet doesn’t have to be perfect to work.
  • Eating clean 80 percent of the time and indulging for the other 20% makes it easier to lose weight and build healthy habits. 
  • The key to making this rule work is to find the right balance.
  • An occasional treat can boost your motivation, keep you sane, and bring you closer to your goals.