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.