by Allie Boudreaux

As a noun, a diet is “the kind of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats”. As a verb, dieting is “restricting oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight”. In everyday verbiage, there seems to be more often than not, a negative connotation with the word diet. I like to refer to diet as a lifestyle more than anything else.

Every single day we are faced with an abundance of options of what to eat and drink. Most of 369585f2-1ca4-42de-ad96-347357a128baus who are constantly on the go, find it difficult to find time to prepare quality foods for each of our meals. I am a big advocate for meal prepping and have been doing so since I started college. I prepare all of my foods for the week on Sunday night and always carry around high protein, nutrient-dense snacks in my bag. I truly enjoy my “Meal Prep Sunday” and am constantly switching up foods to avoid getting sick of the same thing.

Now what I will also tell you is that I am a human being. I crave sugar, salt, and fatty foods. What I have done to control these cravings is implement the 90/10 rule. Assuming we eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner for all seven days of the week, this would calculate to 21 meals. In 90% of the week (19/21 meals) I eat clean, fresh foods, and 10% (2/21 meals) I eat whatever my body is craving, no matter how unhealthy it may be. Specifically, on Saturday night I have my “cheat meal” and on Sunday night I have my “cheat dessert”. DON’T CONFUSE CHEAT MEAL WITH CHEAT DAY.

The beauty to this rule is that I stay on track with my fitness goals, and also satisfy cravings in a healthy way. On Sunday night before heading off to bed, it is normal for me to feel sick and lethargic, eager to wake up the next day back to my normal routine. On the other hand, after my Saturday morning of training, I cannot wait to eat a Lou Malnati’s pizza or a greasy burger and fries.

After keeping the 90/10 rule for a number of years, I have trained my body to crave healthy foods and to think of food as a fueling source. If you are gearing up for a hard, grueling workout, be sure to fuel your body sufficiently. If you eat pizza and a hot dog, expect your workout to go as if you ate a pizza and a hot dog. However, after keeping the 90/10 rule throughout the week and sticking to a clean diet, be sure to reward yourself for your hard work. And soon…it won’t feel like hard work!