Wednesday, September 7, 2016

How to Balance the Drive Through with a Healthy Lifestyle

I am a firm believer of the 80/20 rule for a healthy lifestyle that is sustainable. You eat healthy and nutritious food 80% of the time and not so healthy comfort foods/treats 20% of the time. Its not rigid and allows you to have more freedom in your eating choices. It allows the concept of healthy /clean eating to be doable. Here is a great article from the Huffington Post about how the 80/20 rule can improve your health and your life.

A healthy lifestyle that is sustainable and not burdensome requires balance and moderation. You should not become a slave to it you nor should you hate it. Creating healthy habits should leave you with a life that is fulfilled and enjoyable.

While I don't live off of fast food, the rive through and eating out is not prohibited. I believe that you should not live a life that requires you to never go out to eat with friends and enjoy yourself. Allowing yourself to have treats, but also using portion control and limiting certain things takes time and practice. Over time it will start to feel more natural and enjoyable.

 For example, I allow myself to eat pizza, fries, a juicy burger, you name it, but I also know that a steady diet of those foods are not good. There are also certain foods that I stay completely away from.

I choose healthier options most of the time, but I don’t feel guilty when I allow myself to enjoy a treat or a meal out with family and friends. The key is to not make that treat or meal a daily or normal occurrence. For example If I eat pizza one day, I make sure that it is not more than once a week.

 I feel you! I know that some days, may require convenience foods such as fast food or pre-made lasagna due to hectic or crazy schedules. Don't guilt yourself. Do what you can, when you can, with what you have. Just make sure you add a healthier side such as fruit salad, or some type of veggies.

Here are some realistic ways I balance the drive thru while not feeling guilty. Just making small changes make a big difference. This way, a balance lifestyle is much easier to maintain. You can use any combination or do what works for yourself.

1.   Sometimes I allow myself to enjoy a value meal, complete with fries, but I opt for a      unsweetened tea instead of a sugary drink.
2.   I may downsize my fries so I can still enjoy the salty and fresh fries without overeating.
3.   I like to order a grilled chicken sandwich instead of the crispy sandwich.
4.   I always forgo the mayo (you can always ask for ketchup or mustard instead if you think the sandwich is too plain).
5.   I will ditch the dressing unless it is a vinaigrette, or only use half of the dressing if I think the salad is too dry.
6.   I always order grilled chicken for the salad.
7.   Sometimes when I want to eat healthy, but I really want fries or something salty, I will order a salad with a side order of small fries.
8.   Other times I will order the hamburger and replace the fries with a half salad. My taste buds are satisfied and I have saved myself tons of unhealthy fats, starches, and calories.
9.   I have also been known to order the junior size hamburger instead of the normal sized one.
10. A good option for breakfast at fast food establishments such as McDonalds is to order the oatmeal and fruit with maple syrup and a side order of bacon (for protein).
11.  I will opt for no dressing on the wraps or ask to see if they have a low-fat Italian dressing they can put on it.
If you feeling overwhelmed with making healthy choices or like a healthy lifestyle has to be all or
nothing, I am here to let you know that it doesn't! Lets start enjoying life and stop worrying about
everything we put in our mouth. Life is too short and stressful enough.


  1. I believe in the 80/20 rule too and have a few fast food chains that I will go to but find it hard to eat fast food with food allergies

    1. That would make things a little more difficult for sure, or easier... Depends on how you look at it. ;)

  2. I believe in the 80/20 rule too and have a few fast food chains that I will go to but find it hard to eat fast food with food allergies

  3. Great article and great tips. I also believe in 80/20 we just have to be careful to not let it become 20/80 haha.