The 90/10 “Diet” Plan- This Is How Eating Should Be!
Whether enjoying the occasional sinful treat or learning to crave for healthy food, the key is to allow flexibility and find out what works best for your body.
If you have been following my blog for any length of time, then you know I’m all about filling your plate with fresh, wholesome food the majority of the time, and splurging on delicious treats on occasion. Allowing ourselves a piece of chocolate here and a scoop of ice cream there is what ultimately helps keep people on track… and sane!
What is the 90/10 rule? The 90/10 food rule isn’t so much a diet, and it’s not even a rule. It’s more of a mindset. It basically means that you eat clean, whole foods 90 percent of the time and splurge on the remaining 10 percent.
It’s an eating plan that many celebrities, nutritionists, and weight-loss experts rave about because, when done right, it can help you feel and look amazing without ever being denied the good stuff. Because if you exhaust your willpower too much by consistently denying yourself the things you crave, you’re likely to cave and binge. And if you eat too many treats, well, we’ve all been there and know how that turns out.
The truth is, everyone’s body and lifestyle is different. Rather than making your life fit around a strict diet plan that wasn’t designed with you in mind, the 90/10 allows for food flexibility and freedom. But if you want to achieve success with this increasingly popular way of eating, there are some things you need to know.
𝟭. 𝗨𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗿𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝟭𝟬 𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗰𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝗺𝗲𝗮𝗻𝘀
How sharp are your maths skills? While you don’t need to be a statistician to succeed at the 90/10 way of eating, it’s important to have a general idea what it really means. For example, if you’re eating three meals and one snack per day for seven days then you eat a total of 28 times a week. If you splurge 10 percent of the time, that means you can treat yourself about three times a week.
𝟮. 𝗙𝗶𝗴𝘂𝗿𝗲 𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗼𝘄𝗻 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗰
I always say life is like a laboratory and you must conduct your own experiments. Some people may be able to splurge on indulgent food 20 percent of the time without falling into pizza and ice cream forever-land. Others may only be able to veer off their healthy eating path 10 percent of the time. I personally fall into that 10 percent category because if I splurge too much then I’ll immediately notice my jeans are fitting too tight. Figure out what works best for you and do that.
𝟯. 𝗗𝗼𝗻’𝘁 𝘀𝗽𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗲𝗼𝘂𝘀𝗹𝘆 𝗯𝗶𝗻𝗴𝗲
Creating a schedule when you first start to adopt new habits can sometimes be beneficial. If you’re a planner, set aside time to map our your eating week ahead and make your food fit your lifestyle. So if you know your friend’s birthday is next Thursday, for example, you can reserve one of your allotted indulgences to dig into a piece of cake without the guilt.
If you actually enjoy the healthy foods you eat, then you will start to crave them.
𝟰. 𝗘𝗻𝗷𝗼𝘆 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗶𝗻𝗱𝘂𝗹𝗴𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝗺𝗼𝗱𝗲𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻
Just because you’ve marked Friday night for pizza doesn’t mean you should stuff the whole pie in your mouth in one sitting. Rather, just enjoy one or two pieces and move on. Stop slightly before you’re full.
𝟱. ‘𝗛𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗳𝘆’ 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗶𝗻𝗱𝘂𝗹𝗴𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲𝘀
When you do splurge on cakes, cookies and pasta, make it worthwhile. These days, we have an abundance of options when it comes to natural flours and sweeteners. Incorporating better-for-you ingredients into your occasional treat could mean you actually feel good after splurging.
𝟲. 𝗦𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗸 𝘁𝗼 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗹𝗶𝗺𝗶𝘁𝘀
I try my best to eat a dairy-free diet because my body doesn’t do so well digesting dairy products. Since I know my limits, I avoid dairy 95 percent of the time. Sure, I indulge in cheese from time-to-time, but you’ll rarely find dairy on my plate.
Remember: part of being flexible is having a strong foundation. So, understand what your body can and can’t handle and stay strong.
𝟳. 𝗙𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝟵𝟬 𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗰𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗳𝗼𝗼𝗱𝘀 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗲𝗻𝗷𝗼𝘆
Take Brussels sprouts for example. Some people can’t figure out a way to make them taste amazing. My advice? Roasting them will bring out the sweetness and you can jazz them up with various spices but if you simply don’t like a certain healthy food regardless of how it’s prepared, then you shouldn’t force yourself to eat it. There are plenty of other healthy options out there. When you actually enjoy the healthy foods you eat, you will start to crave them, and that’s a good thing!
𝟴. 𝗟𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗻 𝘁𝗼 𝗰𝗿𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗼𝗱𝘀 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗲𝗮𝘁 𝟵𝟬 𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗰𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗲
I would much prefer to eat a well-dressed chicken salad than a burger and fries for lunch. Why? Because I know how each option will make me feel afterward. I no longer crave the same sweet treats or pizza like I used to.
For me, it all started 6 years ago when I was diagnosed with kidney failure. Before that, I put very little thought into my diet and whether or not I was eating too many processed and garbage foods. For me, kidney failure and dialysis were the wake up call I needed. I buried myself in nutrition education and learned how and why it’s so important to eat organic fruits and vegetables and non-processed, clean foods.
Trust me, give it some time and you’ll start to appreciate fresh foods too. Why? Because your body will reward you with feeling better! You may even enjoy healthy, clean eating so much that you don’t even want to splurge on junk 10 percent of the time.
Don’t wait until you have a heart attack, diabetes, or kidney failure to get on the right track. Start eating right NOW!
𝟵. 𝗞𝗲𝗲𝗽 𝗺𝗼𝘃𝗶𝗻𝗴!
Eating well is only part of the health puzzle. Make sure to set aside some time each day to move your body. Yoga, barre, spin, Zumba, CrossFit, weights— whatever type of workout you enjoy. Find a routine you enjoy and stick to it! Consistency is key!
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