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I Allow For Moderation to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

Living a healthy lifestyle is not about restriction but allowing for moderation. It's not realistic to eliminate a favorite food forever from our diet. I consider my occasional splurges as treats and not even cheats. Because eating them in moderation is an enjoyable experience. It's called living a balanced healthy life.

I don't believe having a fresh baked brownie now and then is cheating on my fitness program. I follow a 90/10 rule consuming a wide variety of good carbs, lean proteins, and healthy fats 90% of the time. I allow for 10% indulgence like a glass of wine or dark chocolate. These small treats won't derail my efforts as many of us are taught to believe. It's what we do consistently that defines what our body looks like.

I will even apply the 80/20 rule eating healthy foods 80% of the time and allowing 20% for indulgence. This comes in handy when on vacation or during the holidays. I will not turn down a piece of my Mom's home-baked pie or biscuits with butter and honey ... are you kidding me?

I do feel indulgences need to be quality. I don't waste time on packaged process junk foods but will splurge on home baked goods made with real ingredients. I also enjoy a good burger, gourmet pizza, and frozen yogurt with toppings. When I treat myself, I still want to be in control of the quality of the food. I also don't believe in having a free ticket to binge on thousands of calories on splurge day. That is defeating the purpose of a splurge meal or day. If I want a burger and fries, I enjoy the meal and move on.

I don't plan a treat day either but listen to my cravings. I work hard, eat clean 80 to 90 percent of the time and know eating a slice of apple pie Ala mode is not going to break my fitness bank. I will savor every bite of my indulgence and eat slowly. I eat slowly anyway, but really take even more time when eating a treat.

Having treat meals are always a personal choice. Sometimes there are physiological and psychological issues to consider. Those suffering from emotional eating disorders may not be good candidates for treat meals and should be under the guidance of a physician. Also, newbie fitness adapters may not be able to manage treat meals just yet and succumb to past triggers and old behaviors. Medical issues like diabetes require food monitoring and certain treats may not be in their best interest.

I utilize treat meals for balance in my healthy lifestyle. Thinking we can sustain on boiled fish and broccoli is not realistic. I enjoy some sort of sweet treat or fun meal a couple of times weekly and still maintain a healthy body. It really comes down to how we apply treat meals. It's not a reward for being deprived all week or for completing a hard workout.

There is a place for eating healthy and allowing for treats in a healthy life. Living a healthy lifestyle shouldn't feel like a burden or deprivation. If that's the case, a review of your current nutrition plan is advisable. An unsustainable nutrition plan will cause many of us to return to unhealthy eating habits. Life is too short not to eat healthy and it's also too short not to enjoy some splurges along the way.

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