Giving Yourself a Break: the 80/20 Rule

Did you sent an intention or make a resolution to eat better?  Maybe you want to lose a few pounds this year.  You might want to employ the 80/20 rule or the 90/10 rule.  To lose weight eat well 90% of the time and you can eat whatever you want for that other 10%.  To just eat better in general make sure 80% of your food intake is healthy and the 20% can be less healthy.

Staying on a strict diet only works for so long.  When you are told you cannot have something it makes you crave it all the more.  Think about if you’re fasting for a religious reason, all of a sudden the foods that are forbidden become the exact foods you want.  Generally when the fast is over you don’t give those foods another thought.  Or you have a little and then you don’t eat it again for a while.  When you can have something you crave it loses some of its charm.

I don’t like to think of foods in term of bad or forbidden.  There are everyday foods, sometime foods and once in a while foods.  Everyday foods are your healthy staples, such as:  whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, legumes, nuts, and vegetables.  Sometime foods are the less healthy foods that we enjoy, such as:  heavier pasta dishes, cookies, alcohol, and pizza.  Once in a while foods are the foods you know to be a splurge, such as a cream laden dish, a fried and cheesy dish, or a rich dessert.  They can be delicious and you love them but you know they’re really not great for you. 

If the holiday is the only time your mom makes that pecan pie or the fried eggplant parmesean that you love, go ahead and have it.  Denying yourself is going to make you resentful and you’ll end up eating more of what you don’t really want as a result.  Or a few days later you’re going to dive into a carton of ice cream and not come up for air.  When you have what you really want on occasion then you’ll eat better the rest of the time.

I had the fried eggplant parmesan for Christmas dinner and it was delicious.  The meal before that consisted of some turkey breast with a large serving of cauliflower and broccoli.  The meal after it was oatmeal with some nuts and fruit.  It’s all a matter of balance.

I am happy to help support you on your health journey.  For more information contact me at janinemchale@empoweredplate.com.  You can also visit my website at http://empoweredplate.com/.