Diet Secrets Revealed! The 90/10 Rule
Achieving your fitness goals requires a substantial amount of dietary discipline. This is undeniable, and there is no way around it. We’ve all heard people complain about how they can’t understand why they’re not losing weight or not building muscle, and yet we see them eating unhealthy foods on a regular basis, only doing the right things when it is most convenient for them. However, constantly practicing strict discipline will eventually drive you crazy – everyone needs to have fun! So how do you balance your goals with keeping your sanity? Enter the 90/10 rule.
The 90/10 rule is quite simple: 90% of the time you eat the right foods you need to accomplish your goals. Then for 10% of the time, go wild and have fun. Eat that big ice cream sundae or that pizza you’ve been craving all week, live it up! The most important part of this rule is knowing how to manage that 10% and making sure you keep it under control – your progress depends on it.
Let’s say you eat three meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner), not including snacks or your Whey Protein Plus smoothies. That gives you 21 meals for the week. If you’re following the 90/10 rule, that leaves you with 2 cheat meals for the week. The best way to make use of these cheat meals is to have one pre-planned cheat meal and one random meal that you will keep in your back pocket for a spur of the moment situation.
Cheat Meal 1: Pre-Planned Cheat Meal
Everyone loves to talk about how epic their cheat meal was, and rightly so if it was deserved, of course. Try to plan your cheat meals around days where you have a particularly taxing workout. If you train in the afternoon/evening, have your cheat meal right after your workout. This helps to ensure that you will store little of the bad food you eat as fat because your exhausted muscle cells will soak up most of the carbohydrates you eat. If you train in the mornings, have your cheat meal the night before – chances are you will sleep like a baby that night and wake up with your muscles feeling full of stored carbohydrates, ready to destroy your workout and get back on track. Remember, it’s a cheat meal, not a cheat day. Keep the unhealthy foods you eat confined to a small, strategically planned window of time and make sure you earn it!
Cheat Meal 2: Random Cheat Meal
This is the cheat meal option that you keep around as your “just in case.” For example, let’s say you have your cheat meal planned for Saturday night after your big leg-training workout, but it’s Wednesday, and some relatives show up at your house with your favorite baked good – cake, pie, whatever it is – they have it and you want it. Because you still have half of your 10% ready for such an occasion, you can dig in guilt free! Life doesn’t always go as planned, so it’s good to not plan out all of your weekly cheat meals far in advance. This will allow you to better enjoy social situations without derailing your progress.
Those 10% cheat meals are going to help you make continuous progress. Would you have slightly better results if you ate clean 100% of the time? Yes, perhaps you would. However, we are human, and for 99.9% of the population this is simply impossible. Without planned cheat meals you are likely to work your willpower into the ground and end up on a weeklong binge at your local Cheesecake Factory. By sticking to the 90/10 rule, you are setting yourself up for long-term success. To build the physique of your dreams you have to understand it’s not just a diet, it’s a lifestyle. And with the 90/10 rule you are designing a lifestyle that is geared for success!