To preface this post: I’ve never done this before, but on today’s blog I actually wanted to share this week’s newsletter. Typically I write different content for my blogs and newsletters (don’t miss out, enter your name and email to sign up for the newsletter in the box to the right!), but I feel very strongly about this, so I wanted to share it here too!
So without further ado, here are my thoughts on moderation (and why it might be a load of crap!)
Have you ever heard the saying, “everything in moderation?”
To many of my colleagues in the nutrition and fitness industries, moderation is the answer for long term results and a balanced, healthy lifestyle.
And while I don’t dispute this (I’m actually a fan of moderation myself), sometimes I think the message gets a little mixed up.
For instance, it really gets me when I see pictures of someone about to devour a highly processed candy bar, or donuts, or fro-yo, with a caption stating, “See? I get to eat stuff like this as part of my normal routine, it’s about finding balance and practicing moderation.” It’s like the Oprah Winfrey ad for Weight Watchers where Oprah says, “I love bread. I LOVE bread! And with Weight Watchers, I eat bread every single day.”
Honestly, it seems like a bit of a cop out.
It seems like we are all just trying to break out of following a really strict, limiting diet (which is great, by the way!) but we go too far in the opposite direction.
We are so opposed to feeling restricted in our dietary choices that we choose to ignore the quality of ingredients in a food, or if a food is not tolerated by our bodies. After all, everything is fine in moderation, right?
Here’s the deal. There are some foods that should just not be eaten more than once in a blue moon. There are some foods that should not be eaten at all, honestly, but if there are NO other options for food, then it’s not going to kill us to eat these foods on very rare occasions.
What we do routinely and consistently determines our health. A bit of junk food here and there isn’t really the issue.
What is the issue, for me, is that it’s hard to tell exactly what is “moderate” by what we see on t.v. and modeled by popular health and fitness experts. Is moderation eating just a little bit every day (a la Oprah)? Or just once per week? Or per month?
What’s moderate for one person might not be moderate for someone else. Furthermore, we are all different. We all have unique nutritional needs, and our bodies all react a little differently to foods. For someone with a dairy or gluten intolerance, it’s not about eating cheese or wheat in moderation, it’s about not eating these foods at all.
What’s more, some foods, especially highly processed options with tons of additive, may not have any apparent effect on our waistlines when eaten “in moderation,” but may be wreaking havoc on our internal health and setting us up for chronic disease in the future.
What I’m getting at here is that moderation is a great tool for a healthy, balanced life. But not all moderation is created equal, and sometimes using moderation for certain foods is really just a cop out, an excuse. Not everything can be eaten in moderation. And it takes a little work, experimentation, and tuning into our bodies to figure out the type of moderation that works best for our bodies and lifestyles.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on moderation! Do you practice moderation, or are there just some foods you don’t ever eat? Leave a comment and let me know!