If I ate the way I should eat 100% of the time, I probably would be terribly cranky. Sure, eating for optimal health means you feel better- you have more energy, you sleep better, your mood is improved (that’s all proven folks). However, I still need a glass of wine here and there. My body craves burgers about once a month- the juicy burger from the restaurant- not the healthy version I create at dinner for myself. I love chicken wings and have a particular weakness for real potato chips.
That is why I have adapted the 80/20 principle to my life. 80% of the time, I eat well and get my workouts in. 20% of the time (in my case, about once a week ) I splurge. I don’t wake up and just spend the entire day in gluttony- but I plan out my splurge. I plant the idea in my husband’s head a few days in advance and look forward to it from there. Last week it was a burger. For three days I schemed, planned and craved that burger. Then, we went out to dinner over the weekend and I got my burger. It was delicious. Once I was finished, my craving was satisfied and I haven’t thought of a burger since. If a holiday weekend is coming up or an outing with friends where I know I will want to indulge- I treat that as my day off.
On other days, in order to stick to my 80% healthy plan- I try to make it easy on myself to be healthy. I plan my workout each day- which means I treat it like any other appointment in my calendar. I plan our meals for the week. I keep healthy food in the house and don’t buy junk. It works most of the time too, and when I have the off day and give in to the craving, I don’t beat myself up about it. I enjoy my meal or booze and then wake up the next morning and resume my “regular” eating habits. Since nothing is forbidden and nothing is off limits, I feel like I crave things less and don’t make a big deal of splurges.
This principle doesn’t work for everyone- but it is something that has really helped me feel good about the occasional splurge. What about you? How do you splurge and enjoy?