When it comes to this whole healthy eating, nutrition, whole foods, real food thing, forget about striving for 100%. In fact, trying to do anything 100% usually makes someone pretty miserable. You are human and if you don't have flexibility, you'll likely start to feel deprived and go in the opposite direction (overindulgence) down the road.
This is why I embrace the 80/20 rule and recommend it to my clients as well. 80% of the time, I recommend eating whole, real, natural, old, traditional, healthy foods. This should be your mainstay.
You can break this down however you like:
- 80% of your day.
- 80% of your week.
- 80% of the month.
However you work it out, know that you have that flexibility.
This means you can have that cake for dessert, bread at dinner or whatever the thing is that makes you feel like you "transgressed." Feeling guilty after eating something is pointless. You've already had it and beating yourself up about it just makes you stressed out and releases those stress hormones that keep weight on the body.
What if you took from the bread basket and instead of feeling guilty about it, making excuses, and punishing yourself afterwards, you counted it as part of your 20% and moved on? How amazing would that be?
If you are giving your body nourishing, wholesome, real, and balanced food 80% of the time, you are giving yourself an incredible gift. And that 20% is a gift as well... a gift of balance and forgiveness.
You are not perfect.
Life is a lot easier when you embrace that and move on.
Finally, if you think you're at 60/40 or 70/30 now, that's fantastic! Strive for 80/20 over time.
What do you think of this strategy? Does it put you at ease? Please share your thoughts and your strategies for balance in the comments.