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80/20 Diet Plan – How We Lost the Weight & Kept it Off for 10 Years

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After following the 80/20 Diet for over a decade, we’re sharing why it works, our favorite resources, and how to get started with a free meal plan!

kim and kalee sitting on the floor eating candy with the words "how we lost weight eating our favorite foods" at the bottom

If you’re tired of feeling bad about enjoying your favorite candy, wine, or Mexican dish — The 80/20 Diet Plan could be the perfect compromise!

The 80/20 rule allows you to work towards your fitness goals through a less restrictive diet plan!

It’s helped us stop going on and off a diet, and we’ve been able to maintain a healthy weight for over a decade — while enjoying our favorite cupcakes and pizza!

What is the 80/20 Diet?

The 80/20 Diet focuses on eating nutrient dense foods 80% of the time. The other 20% allows for your favorite treats.

Typically the diet is also paired with portion control or tracking calories.

Why We Like It

  • Simple to follow
  • Increased energy
  • Lost Weight
  • No food group is off limits
  • You can enjoy your favorite foods without guilt
  • It’s a lifestyle versus a rigid diet.

2B Mindset lunch recipes

How to Follow an 80/20 Meal Plan

We suggest eating whole foods 80% of the time. Examples of whole foods include:

  • Whole grains
  • Fresh fruits & veggies
  • Lean meats like chicken breast or fish
  • Healthy fats like nuts & avocado
  • Dairy products like Greek yogurt & kefir

Then 20% of the time, you can enjoy your favorite foods that don’t typically fit into restrictive diets. We love to have a glass of red wine with dinner or something sweet at the end of the day. You could also choose to do a cheat meal per week if you wanted.

20% Cheat Meal Option

  1. If you eat 3 meals per day, that’s 21 meals per week.
  2. So 20% of 21 meals is a little over 4 meals.
  3. This would mean you could indulge 4 times per week.

20% Calories for a Treat per Day Option

  1. You could also save 20% of your calories per day to enjoy a treat.
  2. For example, if you eat 1600 calories, 20% would be 320 calories.
  3. This would mean you could have 320 calories per day to enjoy your favorite foods.

This is all outlined in our free meal plan and Joy’s meal plan in her book. 

Here is a 5 Day 80/20 Diet Meal Plan Sample. This is just what we eat each day. You will need to adjust it to suit your calories and needs. This is just an example and not meant as medical advice.

80 20 Diet Meal Plan Sample

Do you have to exercise on the 80/20 Diet?

You don’t have to exercise with any diet. It just helps you see results, feel better, and improves your overall health. We’re all about feeling and looking our best, so we do workout 5 days a week. Ironically, our workout days break down to about 80% of our week as well.

Working out doesn’t have to be miserable or extreme though. We love the 21 Day Fix, 3 Week Yoga Retreat and Beachbody on Demand to mix things up!

Kim and kalee doing tricep dips

Balanced Eating Books

Our favorite diet book that we recommend on a weekly – if not daily – basis is Joy Bauer’s 90/10 Diet.90/10 weight-loss plan by joy bauer

It’s SERIOUSLY a game-changer! It includes 2 weeks of meal plans, recipes, and WHY the plan works. She really knows her stuff!

Get the 90/10 Diet Book

She also has several cookbooks that aren’t cardboard-food either.

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  1. I love portion control diets and I am so happy to learn about this diet. Your post gave me food for thought, Kim and Kalee!