No…we are not eating Breakfast At Tiffany’s, but I mean…I guess we could? Anyone have a copy?
Let’s all admit it right here right now: Most people think chocolate is an instrument of evil and that eating chocolate is a mortal sin. On a diet, if you snack on a chocolate truffle, you’re incriminating yourself. Or so society pretends. Is it the truth, though? Absolutely not.
Chocolate is my best friend. One of them at least. Chocolate can cheer you up after a bad day, or a bad break-up, as Elle Woods can contend. It can remind you of your childhood—the nostalgia that comes with the sweet taste and warm fuzzies of taking a bite of a delicious Hershey bar, pretending you’ve just won the Golden Ticket, or (for anime fans) becoming a bad-butt with one dramatic bite and a crazed glare à la Mello from Death Note. So why is eating chocolate so evil? Well, it’s carbs and it’s tasty and it’s sweet (ooh, mmm, sugar!). But, how is banning chocolate the answer to all of your problems?
It isn’t right to deprive yourself of happiness. Audrey Hepburn knew that best. The vintage queen was a whopping 110 lbs. (49.8 kg) at 5’7” (1.7 m) for most of her adult life—I could probably lift her and I’m weaker than Spongebob, in all honesty. She was as light as a feather and as slender as a Victoria’s Secret or Vogue model without ever dieting. So, what was the lovely Holly Golightly’s secret?
People like to tell you different things left and right on how to lose weight, and here I am doing the same. But I’m really just trying to lend a helping hand and shed a little light on one instance, while also trying to get some info through my thick skull, as well. I’m a little plumper than an aspiring competitive figure skater should be, even though I’m barely in Freestyle, but “o whale,” am I right, 2012? But I digress.
As I’ve learned in Philosophy 101 (don’t at me, okay? I’m 19, I have a right!) everyone has a bit of the truth, and it all comes together to form the absolute truth. The big picture truth. How one should lose weight depends on a number of circumstances (resting metabolic rate and lifestyle are on the long list), but it is possible for everyone. The same goes for gaining weight. However, there are a few things everyone can consider when it comes to losing weight. (I’m not much of an expert on gaining weight, so we’ll skip that, but I’ll read up on it for a future article, perhaps.) I’m going to focus on a few specifics in this article, taking a look at the famed and worthy Audrey Hepburn, but expect a future compendium of an article on what I’ve learned about weight loss from my many years of trying to, um…do that.
Audrey Hepburn ate pasta pretty much on the daily and she had a piece of chocolate every day. Keto dieters would probably balk at her and shake their heads in shame (nothing wrong with the Keto diet, I myself have attempted it with pretty good results…until I stopped, haha, oops). So how was she Gisele Bundchen, Naomi Campbell, or Kelsey Merritt slim? Well, as they say, “moderation is key.” Honey, it is so true.
Audrey Hepburn was an intuitive eater and portion-control kinda girl, but she didn’t deprive herself of happiness or nutrients. (Note: If you are suffering or recovering from an eating disorder of any kind—anorexia, binge eating, bulimia, etc.—intuitive eating is not the best choice for you as eating disorders can mess with your hunger centers. Please be safe and I pray for your recovery and I believe in you, and if you’ve recovered, I’m so proud of you! God bless, honey ❤️ .) She practiced what is called the 80% Full Rule, or “Hara Hachi Bu.” One can also argue that she practiced the 80/20 Diet Rule, which is a pretty good one. Because food. 😉
Hara Hachi Bu, or the 80% Full Rule, originates from Japan, most notably Okinawa, but also from China as a Confucian practice. Its name implies its execution: You eat until you are 80% full. But why is that? Well, the brain takes about 15-20 minutes to process if someone is full, so if you eat until you are 100% full in a short period of time you are overeating. It may take some time to get used to, but once you acclimate your body and brain to syncing up, you’re golden!
Audrey also ate a heck ton of veggies. It’s important to remember that you can get more nutrients and less calories from eating high density and low calorie—which basically means fruits and veggies. Just think of it: Broccoli is only about 30 kcal per cup. And broccoli is yummy! Her “diet plan,” as in her diet lifestyle, aligns with the 80/20 Diet Rule. It pretty much goes like this: 80% of your meals should be healthy and full of nutrients and the remaining 20% can be unhealthy, but yummy, yummy, yummy! It’s not mentally healthy to restrict yourself from food that you actually enjoy. As my Poppa says: It’s good for the soul!
A piece of chocolate isn’t going to kill you, especially if it’s dark chocolate, packed with delicious healthiness. In fact, keeping yourself in a prison where chocolate is being dangled right in front of you is worse. Especially if you have the key and you’re your own warden. Chocolate scientifically makes you happy, after all! Serotonin, baby *wink*! Audrey Hepburn ate a piece of chocolate every day—keywords: a piece. Studying other people really can help you figure out how to work your own life, man.
Anyways, listen. You’ll be much happier and you’ll find it easier to stick to a diet if you don’t force yourself to stay away from foods that make you happy. Just eat less of whatever it is, and remember that just because you can’t have it now or you aren’t eating it now it doesn’t mean you’ll never get to eat it again. In fact, if you eat less of it or you replace it with a healthy, but equally enjoyable alternative, you might find it tastes a million times better when you do eat it again! Scarcity breeds interest, after all. And, also remember this: You’re allowed to be happy with your diet. Just balance between healthy and yummy—or better yet, healthy and yummy!—and you’ll be fine. You will be able to eat chocolate again, and you can. Audrey did, so you can, too. Good luck, lovie. I believe in you, whatever your challenge may be. You’ve got this, kid.