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80/20 diet: Pros and cons for your health

80/20 diet: Pros and cons for your health The 80/20 diet: Pros and cons for your health (freepik.com)

The 80/20 diet is about eating mostly healthy foods like fruits, veggies, and lean proteins 80% of the time, and enjoying less healthy choices 20% of the time. It's a flexible approach that lets you have treats without feeling guilty, according to Eating Well.

Pros of the diet

  • Builds a foundation for a healthy diet: It helps you understand the basics of a healthy diet by emphasizing a variety of nutrient-dense foods.
  • Not highly restrictive: You can enjoy your favorite foods without feeling deprived, which is different from many strict diet plans.
  • No counting calories or macros: Unlike some diets, you don't need to track every calorie or macronutrient. It's more about overall eating patterns.

80/20 diet: Pros and cons for your healthThe 80/20 diet: Pros and cons for your health (freepik.com)

Cons of the diet

  • Lacks structure: If you prefer a structured eating plan, the flexibility of the 80/20 diet might not be the best fit.
  • May not teach emotional regulation without food: It might not help everyone learn to manage emotions without turning to food for comfort.
  • Risk of getting stuck to numbers: Some people might struggle with understanding what 80% of their diet really means and get fixated on the details.
  • Potential for labeling foods as "good" or "bad": Categorizing foods as '80' or '20' may encourage black-and-white thinking about food, which isn't an ideal decision.

Conclusion

The 80/20 diet offers flexibility and moderation in food choices, making it a healthy option for those seeking balance. However, it might be challenging for many, potentially reinforcing the idea of "bad" foods. It's important to consider individual preferences and health conditions. Yet, it's crucial to consult with a registered dietitian to ensure personal health goals are met without strictly following a specific diet plan.

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