Training Tip Tuesdays with Karon Hawkins: #4 – Practical Strategies for Eating


Check out the video above for more details!

Crash Diets: debunked and pushed to the side. Question is, now what? How do we adapt a lifestyle for sustainable eating and still hit our goals?

At the end of the day the most important variable to consider is one thing: adherence. As long as you can remain consistent with whatever diet, strategy, or meal plan you choose, results will occur. Be real with yourself.

A great practical strategy is the 85/15 rule. This rule consists of 85% of your intake being food that will fuel your body, and 15% being for fun! There’s two ways to apply this strategy into your weekly eating habits: Treat day or the Sprinkle Approach.

Treat Day

Yes, Treat Day and not Cheat Day. How you approach eating food mentally goes a really long way. When we call a day where we eat some things we really enjoy a Cheat Day, the mental stigma is that what we are doing is bad! It’s not bat at all! Why? It’s not bad because we’re human and happiness is a key to our long-term success and adherence. Plus, you are treating yourself because throughout the whole week, you were on point. You stuck to fueling your body efficiently, now treat yo self!

Sprinkle Approach

This approach involves spreading out your rewards throughout the week instead of waiting till the end. That way, if needed, you can keep yourself mentally checked throughout the week while still staying accountable toward your goals. 

What Goes on Your Plate

In an earlier article we talked about how carbohydrates are different. They’re different in how they impact your hunger and ultimately how controlled your caloric intake will be. For that 85% fuel based strategy we talked about stick to higher fiber carbs, ample amounts of protein, and a sprinkle of some fats (oils, butters, nuts etc) and you’ll do great. Leave those low fiber carbs (chips, french fries, some ice creams etc) for that 15% fun portion! If you’re adopting the the sprinkle approach, moderately spread out your intake of those foods throughout the week on your plate.

Be moderate, but don’t stress out. If you feel like you’re depriving yourself, whatever strategy you’re using won’t last long and you’ll end up binge eating putting yourself right back to, or in some cases even before, square one.

Bottom line: One cookie won’t make you gain weight, just like one salad won’t make you lose weight. Consistency is KING! 


  1. Larsen, T. M., Dalskov, S., Baak, M. V., Jebb, S. A., Papadaki, A., Pfeiffer, A. F., . . . Astrup, A. (2010). Diets with High or Low Protein Content and Glycemic Index for Weight-Loss Maintenance. New England Journal of Medicine,363(22), 2102-2113. doi:10.1056/nejmoa1007137


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A New York City native, Karon originally came to Pittsburgh to complete his B.S. in Information Systems at Carnegie Mellon University. After graduating from Carnegie Mellon, Karon worked for Time Warner Inc back in New York as a Cybersecurity Analyst. The job provided wonderful pay, incredible benefits and a great community of employees to work with. However, he was still unhappy because he knew what his real life's mission was: helping others through fitness. Karon's passion for fitness began after he completed the challenging Insanity program created by ShaunT. It awoke a dormant fitness enthusiast that would shape the next 4 years of his life. Fast forward to present day, Karon has a M.S. in Health and Physical Activity from the University of Pittsburgh and took a leap of faith to pursue his dreams. Post graduation, Karon is a personal trainer, online fitness coach, professional dancer and group exercise instructor living the life he loves. Instagram: CoachKronic Facebook: CoachKronic SoundCloud: CoachKronic