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Monday, July 15, 2013

Moderation is a term that is thrown around the message boards a lot and it got me thinking. A person that likes to eat a treat a few times a month is far different from the person who likes to eat a treat a few times a day and there is a massive spectrum of moderation in between. Some people think some foods should never be eaten even in moderation while others believe you can eat anything in moderation.

When I first started my journey into health when my first child started eating solid foods 13 years ago, I was interested in eating healthier. So I started reading and trying out different types of diets. Eat Right 4 Your Type with a Zone ratio worked well but was too tough to maintain at the time trying to keep my ratios at 40:30:30 all the time. Vegetarian and ultimately vegan didn't work well for me at all. I put on weight which was unfortunate because I was horrified with factory farming and I didn't want to eat those animals. But my body just needed the kind of protein only available from animals. So in the end I had to source out meats from animals that were treated well on smaller farms.

Over the years I have learned a few things and one of them is this. There is a theme that runs though pretty much every diet with a long term success rate. From vegan to paleo, SP to Atkins. They all advise eating a diet that contains a large amount of fresh whole foods with a heavy emphasis on vegetables while avoiding processed foods. All of those diets work for a reason, whole unprocessed foods are great for us!

So do I believe in moderation?

Well, some people (like me) have allergies/sensitivities to certain foods so eating a moderate amount of all foods would be harmful to them. But that aside when I think of moderation I think, do I want to be moderately healthy? Do I want to be a moderate weight? I think as I got closer to my goal weight and body composition moderation changed for me. At this point even my treats are, well I wouldn't exactly call them healthy but they are not harmful and they are not an everyday thing with the exception of my dark chocolate which I do eat every day and that works with my ultimate goal of achieving long term longevity and health.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    1532 days ago
    Excellent points. When it comes to eating, a lot of us are like alcoholics, and the LAST thing an alcoholic can do is drink in moderation.

    So no, I don't think moderation in food choices works for most people - for the two thirds of Americans who are overweight or obese, certainly not.
    1533 days ago
    As the saying goes, everything in moderation, including moderation. While it has many interpretations, I think most people would agree that certain "treat" type foods a few times per day would not be moderate in any common sense use of the word but those same may disagree as to whether moderation means once per week or once per month. That's where personal judgement and requirements come in, everyone has to figure out what works for them, including moderation or degrees thereof.
    1533 days ago
    I think that it depends on the person. I have to pretty much eliminate all junk food or I will start to crave it more if I only have it "in moderation." Also, I am gluten sensitive so moderation doesn't work for me there at all. I think if you are a very disciplined person who is okay with a treat now and then, then more power to you.
    1533 days ago
  • RUSSELL_40
    I started thinking this way when I was diabetic. I was told to halve my carbs to keep blood sugars in line, and was told " That's dangerous ". My thinking was, if 1/2 is good, cutting 3/4 would be even better! Years later, after struggling with diabetes, I started Atkins. Some foods I can never have, others rarely, but over the years I have found that as long as it is real food, that is unprocessed, and no extra salt/sugar, that I do well eating it. I didn't want to be a moderate diabetic, I wanted to be off my meds.

    That took 1 year to get off my meds, after years of readings at 300+. I used to write fake numbers down to take into the doctor..lol, on the morning of the visits.

    I was looking at a post on Eat to Live diet, and I wrote about the similarities between that diet/vegetarian vs low carb/Atkins/Paleo. If you focus on the carbs alone, you will see that they have quality carbs to choose from, and then add stuff to that. Low carb adds more fat/protein( meat/eggs/oil ), and vegetarians eat more healthy carbs, and less healthy fats/protein ( beans, dairy etc. ).

    The secret to a diet that works is IMO the types of carbs you eat. I think that the stuff that is making us unhealthy is the processed carbs, and added salt/sugar. The pop, sugary cereal, Hot Pockets etc. Barring a trigger food/ allergy, you can eat quite a bit of carbs, and still lose weight, have no cravings, and become healthier. I would also include low fat/sugar free foods to the list of foods to avoid, but just because those aren't real foods. they have been altered. I think they are why we have elevated cancer, and heart disease. The fact that they cause us to have cravings, is why we have obesity. All 3 ( cancer, obesity, and heart disease ), plus diabetes, I see as symptoms of eating this garbage.

    You wouldn't drink paint in moderation, and these foods are just as bad. We may decide to eat a small slice of cake on a birthday, but on 350 days a year at least, some foods should be avoided completely. Others we can have weekly( beans, cheese for me ), and then we have our unlimited foods, which tend to be real food. It is tough to overeat while eating these foods. That should be the base of our diet.

    Meat/fish/fowl, oils/butter, eggs, fresh fruits and vegetables. How we make our diet look, is how we combine these foods. We can focus on meat, and eggs, OR have more fruits/veggies, yogurt etc.
    1533 days ago
    I believe in moderation in goals, especially the pace of weight loss. But I'd rather plan for "strict" diet and exercise daily targets, knowing full well I'll fall short some days. You don't have to build in moderation, it just happens. How quickly we resume course is perhaps the most telling trait of all in predicting weight loss success.
    1534 days ago
    Bravo! Very well said!!! I don't want to be "moderately" healthy either. Ha! That's really good by the way. I never really thought of it that way, but you are absolutely right! My blog entry from this morning was similar in that I wrote about eating "real" foods, being aware of ingredients found in processed foods, etc. I'm currently doing Atkins - and while I find myself getting bored with the food options, I have to say. . . I've never before eaten THIS healthy. Atkins really leaves no room for "junk" food, so I'll stay the course because I know, at the end of the day, that real - whole - foods is what my body needs to achieve homeostasis. Thanks for sparking me today! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1534 days ago
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