I wish you could have tasted the dark chocolate cake I ate the other night.
Was it ever delicious.
I savored every bite, allowing each morsel to linger on my tongue until it melted into heavenly goodness.
And I relished the entire experience without an ounce of guilt.
It wasn't a non-fat, sugar-free cake. And I didn't attempt to redeem myself by fasting the next day or working out for an extra hour.
It was a guilt-free, no-fuss cake. You can have some too.
Most of the Time Matters More
You see, I believe what you eat most of the time matters more than what you eat some of the time.
Most of the time, I eat nutritious, wholesome food. Some of the time, I eat chocolate cake.
When I lost a big chunk of weight ten years ago, I discovered this eat-healthy-most-of-the-time approach worked best for me. I didn't follow a formal diet plan or weight loss program. I successfully shed pounds and kept them off by listening to my own body wisdom, which regularly led me to the veggie bin with an occasional stop at the cookie jar.
Joshua's 90-10 Diet
At my holistic nutrition school, we were exposed to all types of dietary theories from The Zone and Atkins to raw food and macrobiotics. Then, the founder and author of Integrative Nutrition, Joshua Rosenthal, shared his "90-10" theory.
"Since I'm not very much into rules, this diet only has one rule. And even this rule is flexible. The rule is that 90% of the time you eat what is healthy for you, and 10% of the time you eat whatever you feel like eating. A lot of people try to stay 100% on their chosen diet program, which is bound to cause stress and likely to result in failure. Why turn dietary "mistakes" into sins? Having fear and guilt around food is not healthy. By giving yourself a 10% range of flexibility, you can indulge without guilt and maintain a basically healthy diet."
The simplicity of his theory resonated with me. It's easy to remember and easy to follow. There's no calorie computing, point counting, or complicated rules. By listening to and trusting my intuition and intelligence, I was pretty much already following this approach; I had just never put a name to it.
Your Path to Good Health
For me, 90-10 works effortlessly. For you, it might be 80-20. That's fine. Or maybe this approach doesn't resonate with you at all. That's fine too. There are many paths to good health. The goal is to take the one that works best for you.
Eating healthy doesn't have to be hard or complicated. When it comes down to it, Joshua's theory really is just good ol' common sense--something often missing in the food and diet world.
It's liberating to eat without guilt, fear or shame. After all, nothing spoils a sublime treat more than a side of guilt.
Here's wishing you a relaxed, enjoyable, kind and healthy relationship with food--and a seriously good slice of cake every now and then.