Author: Ridge Personal Trainer Jackie Corcoran

If your mind is anything like mine, you have vowed to avoid favorite “taboo” foods only to find yourself overindulging in them. I have learned in my 42 years that deprivation does not work for me.

Here is what I do to maintain a steady weight: keep it simple and avoid diets like the plague. For the sake of simplicity and enjoying my favorite snacks, I follow the 80/20 rule everyday—even on weekends. Here’s how I do it: 80% or more of all foods and beverages I consume every day are good quality, organic, local (when possible) whole grains, fruits, veggies, vegetable protein and locally raised eggs (my husband eats local lean red meats as well.) The other 20% of my diet is whatever I want it to be (today I had a peanut butter sandwich cookie from WeeBees and will have a glass of red wine with dinner tonight.) That simple.

If you need to get more specific, look at it this way: I went to the site and clicked on “calculators/tools” in the left side bar. Once that page opened, I clicked on “Weight Maintenance Calories Calculator” on the right. I plugged in my age, height and weight to get an estimated amount of calories I should consume everyday to maintain my current weight (if I were trying to lose, I would cut out 500 calories or burn 500 more a day to lose 1lb/week.) It says I need 1700 calories a day. 20% of 1700 is 340 calories—about the amount of a cookie and a glass of wine.

Some days I miss the mark and other days I skip the sweets and/or chips altogether but I don’t feel deprived because I know I can have them—guilt free—tomorrow and the next day.