It’s No Trick – You Can Treat Yourself and Support Your Health

Halloween is here to kick-off the holiday season, and although Halloween can be scary, holiday eating doesn’t have to be. To help support your healthy eating efforts (even in the face of holiday temptations) consider using the 80/20 rule.  The “trick” is to eat health-promoting foods 80% of the time, while giving yourself the freedom to enjoy “treats” 20% of the time. healthy ingredients
Eat health-promoting foods 80% of the time, while giving yourself the freedom to enjoy “treats” 20% of the time.

What to include in your 80%

Think plant forward, an approach to eating that encourages people to fill their plates with mostly plant foods. Think about building meals and snacks around foods like fruits & veggies, whole grains, beans/legumes, and nuts and seeds. Refer to our Healthy Eating Guidelines (which encourage a plant-forward pattern of eating) to see what types and amounts of foods reduce risk of disease and promote overall health. Consider including these foods in your 80%.

What to include in your 20%

Anything you like. And treats aren’t limited to just candy or dessert. Think of them as foods you really enjoy but may not consider them to be as healthy for you as say, kale. Maybe you love a burger with all the fixings, pizza and wings on a Friday night, or a delicious donut on a Sunday morning. All of these could be considered “treats” you might enjoy on occasion.

How to put the 80/20 rule into practice

Some people like to have more freedom and flexibility to treat themselves on the weekend, so they save their 20% for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Others like to enjoy a little indulgence every day. And of course, holiday gatherings and special events are great occasions to celebrate and enjoy some of those 20% foods. Everyone is different, so use the 80/20 rule in a way that works for you.

You don’t have to eat healthy foods 100% of the time to be healthy. The 80/20 rule can help you eat more of the foods that support your health, and less of everything else. It’s about balance and moderation, as well as indulging on occasion without feeling guilty. So, give the 80/20 rule a try this holiday season to help keep your health goals on track while still enjoying all your holiday food favorites!