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Central California Life Magazine

The 80/20 Rule

Sep 23, 2014 01:00PM ● By Cen Cali Life Magazine
The 80/20 Rule
as told to Rachel Taylor

As the holiday season approaches, so does delicious food. At some point, the opportunity to binge on your favorite gut-busting dishes will inevitably arise. For some, it may even seem as if the food is screaming at you, “Eat me! Look how delicious I am!” 

Do not give in to temptation. 

Regardless of how appealing it may seem, processed, sugary and high-calorie foods are not your friend. It is perfectly acceptable to indulge your taste buds here and there, though. The 80/20 Rule gives you simple, helpful guidelines to follow.

This is how it works: For 80 percent of your week, you should be dedicated to eating clean, healthy foods. During the other 20 percent of your week, it’s OK to treat yourself to meals that may contain “cheat foods.” But it’s not a free-for-all. You should not have junk food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The same principle applies to the holidays. 

On Halloween, it may seem OK to eat a handful of bite-sized candies, but know this: You’re practically eating pure sugar. Just because Halloween candy is usually smaller than a full-sized candy bar, it does not mean that they aren’t still high in calories. Imagine if each one of those candies is 250 calories. As you keep that number in perspective, be aware that the average 45-minute exercise routine burns about 250 calories. Eventually, if you continue eating those candies, you won’t be able to compensate by working out.

Oftentimes, Halloween is the first holiday in a string of popular food-eating holidays when people begin to go downhill with their diet. This makes September a prime time to dedicate yourself to the 80/20 Rule and become conscious of your food choices. By doing so, you will more than likely be able to survive the holiday season without gaining a couple pounds or feeling ill because of overindulgence. 

To avoid overeating this holiday season, keep these tips in mind:

• Eat something high in protein, such as a small protein bar, before you attend a function. 
• Look at your plate and consciously estimate how many calories you’re about to consume.
• Think of your food as fuel for your body and ask yourself, “Is this food, or fat?”
• Don’t drink your calories. Many holiday drinks are full of sugar and calories.