Friday, June 27, 2008

Guide to Healthy Eating: The 80/20 Rule

In my previous posts, I highlighted on what and how to eat. When explaining how to eat, I did mention in my last point about bad foods and that it is alright to indulge once in a while.

As much as I love a healthy and fitness lifestyle, I DO love to have some desserts and fried foods too. After all, food plays a GREAT part in one of life's pleasures and should be enjoyed thoroughly. Living a healthy lifestyle doesn't mean you need to swear off desserts, foods or treats that you love. It just means you need to eat once in a while and not go overboard. You just need to practice the 80/20 rule.

The 80/20 rule (or some use 90/10) means that if you eat healthy 80-90% of the time, then feel free to reward yourself for the other 10-20% of the time. For example, if you eat 5 meals a day, which totals 35 meals a week, about 80% or 30 of those meals should be healthy and you can reward yourself for the rest. These rewards or indulgences are called cheat meals (however, if you're trying to lose fat, have them only 1-2 times per week or eliminate completely, depending on results).

The benefits of having a cheat meal is you get to let loose psychologically, boost your metabolism and of course, reward yourself for your hard work and dedication (although good health and being fit should be your greatest reward for a healthy lifestyle!).

As I said earlier, when indulging in a cheat meal, do not go overboard into BINGING! Binging happens when you continuouly stuff yourself, even when you're already full, sometimes to the point of feeling sick. It can be caused by long bouts of low calorie dieting or being too overly strictly in your diet and depriving yourself of the foods you love. During binging, it's like your appetite and you stomach are not in synch. You stomach signals that it's FULL, but your appetite still wants more. I should know, coz I've BEEN THERE!

For me, it's ok to...

...have some ice-cream, but not the whole large tub (this is my krytonite).

...indulge in a bar of chocolate, but not 3 bars (another one of my kryptonite, why am I letting people know my weaknesses???)

...have some fried chicken, but not the entire bucket.

...a few slices of pizza, but not the whole pizza.

...have a small/medium bag of chips, but not polish off a family-sized bag.

Well, you get my drift =)

Therefore, it is important to occasionally indulge and be guilt-free about it, but remember to regulate yourself.

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