Hillary Moore, B.S. Nutrition
It’s hard to believe it’s already the New Year—where did 2018 go? And with the New Year comes New Year’s Resolutions, the most common being to get healthier. Yet, the biggest fear surrounding getting healthier (and where most fail) is diet.
One of the first rules of success for your resolutions will be to shake it off and know your reasons. Whether it’s a well intentioned co-worker or wisecracking family member, they may not realize that their joking about lack of eating or avoiding certain foods can really affect us. Maybe grandma doesn’t understand why you aren’t eating gluten or what the heck whole 30 is. That’s ok, it doesn’t have to ruin your resolution. Explain your reasons if you feel like it, but remember they’re your reasons, and that’s all that matters.
Now enter our second rule for success—The 80/20 Rule. Unless you’re doing a strict elimination diet for health reasons, bending the rules every once in a while won’t hurt you. (This obviously doesn’t pertain to those with allergies or sensitivities, your health comes first!)
The 80/20 rule is simple: 80 percent of your food needs to be clean, with the remaining 20 percent being discretionary indulgence. You can’t expect to be perfect all the time, so give yourself some wiggle room.
So how do you go about the 80/20 rule when you just have to go to the birthday party, baby shower or are going out with friends?
- Don’t starve yourself—you’ll be so hungry you’ll lose self control.
- Grab a small plate if possible. Smaller plates loaded down with food will trick you into eating less than if you had a large plate.
- Hit up veggie plates first and limit simple carbs, over-processed fats, and sweets. This means go easy on crackers, chips, mystery cheese balls, dips and anything that is going to spike your blood sugar. (Even if you aren’t a diabetic spiking your blood sugar can lead to issues)
- Limit your alcohol intake. Make sure you’re hydrating with some H2O before and after alcohol consumption if you must.
- Check the menu ahead of time to decide what you’ll have, and add or substitute veggies in your meal instead of the less healthy options.
- Ditch the sodas and try a flavored or carbonated water, even a little juice is better than a soda.
- Take some milk thistle - a little indulgence never hurt anyone but taking milk thistle can limit the effects fructose and support natural detoxification in the body.
And sometimes, while it can seem like a bummer, it’s just safer to eat ahead of time or show up with a dish that you can safely eat. You can have fun but it should never be at the expense of your health.
Remember the 80/20 rule. You should be able to look at your plate and clearly see 80 percent veggies and healthy proteins and fats, with only 20 percent simpler carbs or sweets. You can do this, and if you slip up, remember your reasons and get right back on board.
*This information is not intended to treat, mitigate, diagnose or prevent disease. Always consult your doctor before changing your diet, as supplements and prescription medications may have interactions.