No need to deprive – just follow the 80/20 rule

One of my favorite nutrition and weight management tips is the 80/20 rule. What is the 80/20 rule? Eighty percent of the time you want to be doing the right thing—20 percent of the time you can afford some indulgences.Cobbler blueberry - neily

It’s an especially good rule this time of year—around the holidays but like all my tips it’s pertinent all through the year. Of course celebrations are expected and it’s not always easy to tighten the belt. So just follow the 80/20 rule and you’ll be good to go!

Eighty percent of the time we should be eating a healthy diet of fruits and veggies, whole grains, lean protein—lean beef, poultry, fish, legumes/beans, eggs. Also eating minimally processed foods—a clean diet with low fat or nonfat dairy is best. On the other hand, 20 percent of the time food should be enjoyed. Celebrations are a part of life.

However, what I’ve seen in my practice is that a client may get off track and have difficulty getting back on. It’s okay to get off course—we all may do it, I do it. One party, one day, one weekend, one week, even a holiday season is not going to make or break one’s healthy efforts. Most importantly is to get right back on track. Get into what I call a detoxifying mode. I like to naturally detoxify and that is to get back to the 80 percent—a diet of whole fruits, veggies, whole grains, lots of water. Let your body detoxify itself and let the liver and kidneys do what they’re designed to do.

Celebrate the season. Enjoy yourself. But remember how good healthy eating makes you feel. Best to you for the new year!

Jennifer Neily, MS, RDN, LD, FAND
Dallas Registered Dietitian Nutritionist | Wellcoach® Certified Health Coach


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