Eating out, being social and attending dinner parties is a part of life, one of the nicer parts, right? What tactics should you adapt for these situations? How do you combined social events with a healthy lifestyle? 

We definitely do not want food to be associated with guilt and filled with prohibitions. The stricter we eat, the harder the setbacks. The more junk food we allow ourselves, the more our willpower is tested. We must learn to find a middle ground. A middle ground can still give us the results we want, even though it sounds too good to be true!  

Let’s not get wedged between two evils, dieting or binge eating in some form. Binge eating doesn’t have to manifest itself as a daily event; it can appear at the weekend or after a couple of months of being “good”.  

Enter the 90/10 rule!

If we look at a whole year – it consists of 52 weeks. In that year, we have festivities like Christmas, New Year, Easter, birthdays, weddings, holidays, nights out, etc. Let’s say these 52 weeks is 100%. The events mentioned are approximately 10% of these 52 weeks. Let’s say five weeks in total. This is the 90/10 rule! 

90% of the time you should eat and exercise as best you can and 10% of the time when you have something to celebrate, you can eat what you like.  

Or take a week with 35-42 meals (depending on whether you eat 5 or 6 times/day). Out of these, you can eat what you want in 3 of those meals, which corresponds to a dinner out. 

10% will never affect the 90%. It is the 90% that you get your result. 

This rule is easy to handle because it is natural and follows the events of life. No hassle and no restrictions. 

Some tips along the way: 

Make sure you like the food you eat. Cravings emerge when we don’t like what we eat and eat to be “good” and thoughts such as “soon this is all over, and I can return to my old life”. 

Stop labelling food as “good” or “bad”. The problem with “bad food” is that we generally crave more of this particular food and if we “accidentally” eat it, feelings of guilt are not unusual. Bad vs good creates a black and white mindset. We judge ourselves based on how we eat. Have a think about how certain foods make you feel. 

Find a balance where you don’t feel too limited or strict. Eat, feel strong, energetic and avoid going all-in on the weekends. If you prioritise eating yourself full on nutritious food primarily, you naturally steer away from junk food. You simply don’t have room for it. 

All or nothing leads to… nothing. When it comes to food, it is rarely black or white, there is also a lot of grey.  

So, find the strategy what works for you, find your middle ground.