The 80/20 rule for nutrition practitioners

You’ve likely heard of the ‘80/20 rule’.

It’s also called The Pareto principle. It states that for many events, roughly 80% of the results come from 20% of the efforts made.

The 80/20 rule is most often cited as an economic principle—80% of your income comes from 20% of your clients.

But this principle is much more far-reaching.

It’s been shown to work for everything from the clothes in your closet to the reasons why people fight in intimate relationships.

(Did you ever stop to think that you might wear 20% of your clothes 80% of the time? Or that you’re actually getting 80% of what you want from your partner, and the endless search for that other 20% is what’s causing you pain?)

I’ve uncovered the 80/20 rule for nutrition practitioners, and it’s sure to transform your practice.

80/20 Rule for Your Practice

If you’ve been in the world of nutrition for any length of time, you know that there are a LOT of specialty diets and programs out there.

There are people who swear by their paleo diet, or their vegan lifestyle, telling you that everything changed for them once they started this new regime.

By the same token, there are practitioners who subscribe to ONE diet or ONE protocol, and have tremendous success with a lot of people.

These boxed systems, or set protocols, as I call them, DO help people. Approximately 80% of the population could be helped by these standardized solutions.

80% of people can get on that healthy train, start drinking a packaged smoothie and doing a video workout, and feel better.

But then there’s that other 20%.

A full 20% of the millions of people who are chronically ill right now, CAN’T use the boxed systems or set protocols.

They just don’t work.

You may be a part of this 20%, which is why you can’t, in integrity, promote the one-size-fits-all programs.

Or maybe you’ve watched someone suffer because they’re in that 20% and are trying and trying with no avail.

Or perhaps you just know that someone needs to help that 20%, and you’re up for the task.

(For me, it’s yes, yes, and yes!)

I’m personally part of the 20%. I have Hashimoto’s that went haywire with traditional care, was exacerbated by what I thought was the “perfect diet” and naturopathic approaches, but that I manage beautifully with individualized resolutions.

I also watched my husband suffer because, he too, was part of the 20%.

These personal experiences, along with the thousands of patients that I’ve supported that are also among that 20% are why I’ve made it my mission to help practitioners across the globe who want to work with this unique and underserved population who need individualized care.

You have a choice

Do you want to help people get on the healthy train with boxed, done-for-you programs that are likely to help 80% of the population? (This is a good option, no doubt, if you like protocols and don’t want to create personalized solutions.)

Or do you want to work with people who haven’t found relief in the trendy, formulaic solutions, and need a caring, dedicated, hard-working practitioner to dig deep and go the distance with them?

Either choice is a good one. Both have the opportunity to help people improve their health. But only one of them means that you’re right for the Functional Nutrition Lab programs.

All of my programs are designed to train practitioners who recognize and are willing to work with the 20%. Sure, we’ll all have the other patients come through our practice, but it’s good to know how to and have the confidence to take on the challenging cases without worry that you don’t “know it all.”

I’ve spent years creating systems and frameworks that allow you to uncover the root causes for clients who’ve been everywhere and tried everything.

I can teach you how to become a Master Practitioner who can work with anyone, bringing relief to those who desperately need it.

But my programs aren’t for everyone.

If you know you’re searching for a magic bullet of a protocol, then you’ll want to look elsewhere.

If, however, you want to become part of the army of practitioners, working with a new paradigm, creating bio-individualized solutions for people who aren’t helped by the one-size-fits-all programs, then you’ve found your tribe.

Your first step to join the Resolution is easy. Download my ebook—Roadmap to Resolution: Your Blueprint for Thriving in Practice by Addressing the Root Causes of Chronic Illness—and see just how important you are in this new healthcare paradigm.



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Functional nutritionist and educator Andrea Nakayama (FNLP, MSN, CNC, CNE, CHHC) is leading patients and practitioners around the world in a revolution to reclaim ownership over our own health. Her passion for food as personalized medicine was born from the loss of her young husband to a brain tumor in 2002. She’s now regularly consulted as the nutrition expert for the toughest clinical cases in the practices of many world-renowned doctors, and trains a thousand practitioners online each year in her methodologies at Functional Nutrition Lab. Learn more about Andrea here.

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This totally speaks to me. I’m on 20% and for years people thought I was crazy and difficult, but I kept searching and refining what I need to do to be healthy and now I committed to helping others. So glad I found you. Great name too🙏🏼❤️


This sounds like me too. I lost my husband to Pancreatic Cancer in 2006.
This traumatic life changing event led me into a new career in health coaching. I help folks “prevent disease” by tweeting diet and lifestyle bio individually. I personally fell into the 20% due to a stress induced “leaky gut” because of all the stress as a caregiver. I totally get it!
Thank you.