, Newburyport, MA


June 27, 2014

Living Fit: Follow the 80/20 rule

Imagine each day focusing on your nutrition. At least 80-90 percent of your food choices should come from protein, carbohydrates (non-starchy vegetables) and the good fats. The remaining 10-20 percent can be choices made from perhaps not the most clean of foods.

Now, that does not mean 10 Oreos, a huge latte with extra cream and sugar, or a fried platter with all the fixings. What I am speaking of is perhaps two cookies, a small latte with milk and a little shot of whipped cream, or a piece of broiled haddock with a baked potato and a teaspoon of sour cream (plain Greek yogurt is also a great substitute for sour cream, by the way).

You can still enjoy the flavors and foods you love and crave. But accept that the portions must be smaller. They will be just a sampling of what was once a bloodbath of calorie consumption every day.

For example, say your calorie allotment for the day is 1,500 calories. Eighty percent of that is 1,200, so your treat for the day would be a yummy of no more than 300 calories.

Take back your ability to savor your food. Find enjoyment in what you eat. As you clean up your food choices, your desire to binge on junk and your craving for unhealthy food will fall by the wayside, I promise you.

By adopting the 80/20 rule, you’ll be happier with how you look and feel. Nothing kills your self-confidence and mojo like excess junk in your trunk.

If you slip up, relax. One bad meal is no reason to send you into a tailspin of despair and self-loathing. You have the ability to course-correct one meal at a time — so embrace self-love and clean eats, and be prepared to see how your relationship with food becomes once again an experience of celebration.

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