When you need help fixing your car, you go to a mechanic. When your sink clogs, you call a plumber. Why? Because they know what they're doing. You wouldn't trust your dog groomer to fix a leaky roof, and you wouldn't ask your yoga instructor to recaulk your bathroom. You trust your belongings to the experts, so shouldn't you do the same with your body? When it comes to losing weight safely and keeping it off for good, SparkPeople members know what they're doing. That's why we asked our top members to tell us what they did to change their lives forever. Grateful for the support they found at SparkPeople, they eagerly spilled the beans. Now we're sharing their best tips with you. We published all 27 secrets of success in The Spark, but we're leaking 15 of them to you.
Secret #15: Follow the 80/20 rule.
Ninety-six percent of successful members ate a healthy diet most of the time (between 80 percent and 100 percent) The majority (70 percent) didn’t cut out “bad foods.” These members understand that adopting a healthy lifestyle for life is not about perfection. It makes sense, then, that successful members say that when they have a “bad food day,” they “don’t worry about it because I eat healthy and exercise most of the time” (over 61 percent).
I love a glass (or sometimes two) of really dry red wine. I also have an affinity for creamy, sometimes smelly, French cheese spread on fresh baguettes. On weekends, I've been known to make those three items into a meal. During the week, I eat more than my "five a day" servings of vegetables, and I always choose whole grains, lean proteins and low-fat dairy. That means that some of the time--mostly on weekends--I can accommodate those "splurge" foods without wrecking my hard work or splitting the seams on my favorite jeans. Foods aren't "good" or "bad," and awarding them those titles gives them more power than they deserve. Being sensible most of the time allows for a little wiggle room in your meal plans.
Eating right means cutting yourself some slack and enjoying your food.
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