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22 Tips For Eating in Moderation
Building a healthy and fit body is a process that depends on several factors that are all necessary to achieve the wanted results.
You will have to pay attention to two things. What you eat and how much of it you eat. You can have the healthiest diet in the world, but if you eat more calories than you can burn in a day, you won’t see any results. On the same note, you can eat high-calorie foods in moderation and achieve some positive results. In this article, I will show you 22 tips for eating in moderation.
Diet is one of those things that takes a lot of time and discipline to stay on top. However, no diet can help you if your eating habits don’t support it. When it comes to your diet and nutrition, so many things depend on your eating habits that you simply must understand what your eating habits are and how they affect your waistline.
According to Harvard Medical School, your eating habits dictate your weight, your fitness, and even your mood.
How Eating Habits Influence Your Weight And Health
Eating habits have a very real impact on your weight and overall health. They say you are what you eat, and that is a very true statement. Most people don’t pay attention to what they eat when they eat, and how often they eat. This kind of negligent thinking puts your body at risk in more than one way, and may lead to further complications down the line.
If you eat several small meals throughout the day your body’s metabolism will be stimulated enough to burn calories effectively and keep a supply of energy available when you need it. On the other hand if you eat only around noon, and then late at night, your body is robbed of that much needed energy and is in turn overloaded with food at a time when your metabolism is slowing down.
While most of us eat when we are hungry, your daily eating schedule should be optimized in a way that allows your metabolism to function at the best possible efficiency. Everyone’s metabolism is slightly different, but there are ways you can learn how your own metabolism works, or you could consult a nutritionist for more thorough information.
What we eat also plays a role in our overall health and weight management. One of the best aspects of mastering portion control is that you will not have to deprive yourself of the occasional not so healthy favorites, which is the highlight of moderation.
Identifying Your Eating Habits
Eating habits are not something we usually think about unless we are trying to lose weight or gain muscle mass. For example, chances are you regularly grab something to eat when you sit down to watch TV or play video games. These are known as triggers – events and actions that prompt your brain to seek food even though your body doesn’t necessarily need it. Recognizing the bad effects of your eating habits such as these triggers is the first step you can make towards changing your eating habits. It will take both time and discipline to eliminate these detrimental eating habits, but you will feel better for it.
In order to achieve this, and reduce any bad habits to a minimum, you need to find out what your eating habits are. You can do this by keeping a journal where you will write down what you eat, and when you eat.
Just take your time and do things slowly. Keep in mind that the eating habits you are trying to alter have been there for a while, usually since early childhood, and they are not something you can just change overnight. It takes a lot of mental conditioning and self-discipline to get this done the right way.
How Much You Eat Matters As Much As What You Eat
Healthy eating habits aren’t necessarily restricted only to what you eat. How much you eat is as important, if not more so. Under normal conditions, you need to take in as many calories as your body needs daily. If you consume more, you will gain weight, while the opposite leads to weight loss.
Keeping this balance in place requires you to be aware of how much you eat. Certain foods have higher caloric values than others, meaning that you need to keep track of how much of each you consume in order to keep your daily caloric intake on the same level. When you start limiting your portions, you may feel like you haven’t eaten enough, but that is because your body needs time to process the food in order to let your brain know it has had enough, which usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes.
One solution to this problem is to eat slowly. The Department of Human Nutrition of the University of Otago recommends that you chew your food longer, and make an effort to pause between bites.
Most people think that a healthy diet means they can’t have a cheeseburger or a piece of cake for the rest of their life. This is simply not true. You can have all the foods that you enjoy, but you also need to pay attention to how much of them you eat and how often you eat them. This is where moderation comes in.
What Is Moderation
Moderation Is Not A Sacrifice…It Is A Compromise
Moderation is a powerful tool, which can really help you achieve your fitness goals and keep your weight at the desired level. People generally tend to see moderation as some kind of harsh sacrifice that completely changes the way they enjoy their favorite foods, but that is not the case. On the contrary, introducing moderation to your diet usually leads to greater enjoyment of your favorite snacks or treats.
Moderation is the opposite of deprivation and goes a long way to promote sustaining healthy lifestyle habit changes that leads to permanent weight loss.
In a way, you can use moderation as an award for following your weight loss program or
achieving a certain fitness goal on schedule. That tasty food you indulge in once in a while can become a motivator that will help you maintain a clear course towards the body you desire. Moderation allows you to enjoy your favorite foods that would be considered unhealthy, without them influencing your weight or health.
For example, the cheesecake will be bad for you if you eat one or two or more slices every single day, but if you eat a ½ a slice once every 2 weeks, or only on special occasions, you can still enjoy cheesecake without the usual repercussions you would otherwise have to deal with.
Another example is ordering dessert when eating out, but only taking one bite and leaving the rest. True, the above is not going to be much good for you aside from tasting really great, but it is not likely to negatively affect your health or weight in any meaningful way.
Love fried chicken? Sure, you can have a piece on occasion, but not every day, that’s
The Connection Between Moderation And Caloric Intake
We’ve already established that the amount and type of food you eat dictates your daily caloric intake. Moderation can help you trim any unnecessary calories from your diet, allowing you to optimize it according to your fitness goals.
Since moderation is usually a tool we use to keep our consumption of unhealthy foods under control, it’s easy to understand how moderation can affect your caloric intake.
If you eat fast food once a month instead of every other day, your weekly caloric intake will be much lower, allowing you to consume so-called healthy calories instead, ones that will actually help you reach and maintain a healthy level of fitness.
Not only are you substituting bad calories for the good ones, you are also restricting the amount of other detrimental substances that you consume. Today’s processed food is usually the one we enjoy the most, but it is also riddled with artificial sweeteners and other chemicals that your body is not capable of processing without taking damage at the same time. This, among other things we’ve mentioned, is why moderation is not only necessary but also very much a recommended part of any diet, no matter what your goals are.
Why Moderation Allows You To Indulge And Still Keep Your Waistline Trim
Any effort to lose weight pretty much depends on your ability to moderate what you eat in one way or another. The key to losing weight is to consume fewer calories than your body needs per day, forcing it to burn whatever calories you have stored in your fat tissue.
Eating foods that are have a high caloric value, such as burgers, on a daily basis will not only create a surplus of calories, but chances are you will consume enough calories to meet your daily needs with just that single meal.
On the other hand, one burger a month won’t impact your caloric intake in a way that will cancel out your weight loss efforts. As long as you keep track of your calories, you should be able to eat whatever food you desire and still have your weight under control.
One of the main issues with moderation is the fact that you will need a lot of self-discipline in order to stop yourself from eating more than you want to. Unfortunately, this is something you have to develop and maintain on your own. It’s no secret that mental fortitude is the key to accomplishing almost any kind of fitness goal you can imagine.
The same applies to moderation. If you are someone who’s already following an exercise routine, you probably won’t have much trouble with moderation as a concept.
Keep in mind that it make take time to get used to moderate your intake. If for your whole life you have indulged without thought, then this new concept will be as foreign as moving to France after living your whole life in the United States.
With time and practice, it will become second nature, and you will soon see that the rewards of trim and fit body and all its health benefits prove that moderation allows you to have your cake and eat it too!
Moderation Versus Complete Restriction
Aside from being a powerful tool, moderation also allows you to avoid complete exclusion of your favorite foods from your diet. With moderation, you can still eat whatever you want while making progress in your weight loss or fitness program. Completely eliminating every delicious, but potentially unhealthy, food is a wrong way to approach the idea of leading a healthy lifestyle.
Complete exclusion of unhealthy foods from your diet can lead to developing negative sentiment towards your fitness goals, and ultimately destroy your wish to achieve those goals at all. Not only is it bad for you, but there is absolutely no need for complete abstinence of this kind.
You can still enjoy your favorite foods in moderation, and use them to treat yourself for maintaining a healthy diet and reaching short or long-term goals in your fitness program. People who enforce complete restriction on foods they enjoy but find unhealthy, usually tend to be less happy with their overall progress. This lack of satisfaction leads to people creating so-called cheat days, or cheat meals which usually have the same results as eating those very same foods in moderation. The only significant difference is that when you have a cheat day, you’ll end up feeling bad for eating the food you like. Again, this is unnecessary and can be avoided by mastering moderation instead.
A large part of the human condition is that being deprived or restricted instantly makes us want that thing more.
How many times have you started one of those useless “diets,” and suddenly found yourself
craving food that you never normally want, only because it is not allowed on that diet?
This is part of the reason that fad diets don’t work, as they can never be sustained for the long term.
When you choose instead to make profound dietary habit changes, you are planning for the long-term and you are never restricted, instead you are empowered and you have choices.
Make Habit Changes And Not Weight Loss Your Goal
Focusing strictly on weight management can prove to be a tedious task. You will find yourself in a place where you are obsessed with every single calorie you consume. While it can be effective, trying to reach your weight goals this way can also be very demanding.
Instead, you can accomplish the same results, if not better ones, by just creating a healthy eating habit. Not only will you still eat healthy foods and meet your caloric intake goals, but you will do it without even thinking about it.
Once something becomes a routine, it takes little to no effort to accomplish. Establishing good eating habits requires gradual changes, and that takes time. Don’t let your impatience get to you, and you will be eating healthy and efficient meals every day in a matter of months. The best thing is that you will enjoy every meal you eat.
When you put things into perspective, creating healthy eating habits by gradually introducing changes to your existing ones, is both easier and less demanding in the long run.
Would you rather dedicate your time to things that matter to you the most since your eating habits are on autopilot, or spend that same time checking every food product to see just how many calories there are in a serving? You don’t need this burden.
22 Tips To Practice Moderation In Your Life
Don’t Skip Meals
When you skip meals, it will become harder for you to make mindful decisions when it comes to eating. When you get too hungry, you will let the hunger consume you, and you will not think about portion size or the food you’re eating. You’ll just grab whatever is close to you.
Always Eat Nutrient Rich Food Before Sweets
When you eat a solid meal, you will be satisfied and eat much less dessert.
By eating more slowly, you will have a chance to notice when your hunger has been pleasantly satisfied. This way you will know when the right time to stop eating is.
People who tend to cram their meals quickly won’t have a chance to pick up the signals the body is sending them, so they won’t know they’re full until they’ve eaten all that they can possibly eat. If you don’t have time to eat your meal slowly, then make sure you eat a smaller portion.
Eat Smaller Bites
Eating smaller bites will help you to eat your meal more slowly. It will also allow you to truly experience the taste of the food you’re eating, and will do a good job of satisfying your hunger.
In case you didn’t know, the process of digestion starts in your mouth. This is why chewing thoroughly will not only improve your digestion, but will also allow your palate to taste the food properly. Depending on what you’re eating, make sure to chew each bite 20 to 40 times.
Engage All Of Your Senses
When you eat your meal, make sure to notice not just the taste of the food, but the smells, textures, and colors as well. This will make you appreciate and enjoy food more, and it will make it easier for you to notice when you’re full.
Honor The Food
When you get a fork and knife in your hand, try to pause before beginning to eat your meal. Take a few breaths to become one with the food. This way, you will be fully immersed in the experience of eating your food. Try eating a meal in silence while at home; turn off your computer, TV, and smartphone. By doing this, you won’t let your hunger take control of you. Instead, you will be in complete control of the food you’re eating.
Serve Only In Modest Portions
Despite them trying, most people have a problem with eating in moderation. When you make a bigger portion, you’ll be wasteful of the planet’s resources (as well as your food budget), but you will also be more likely to overeat. To make sure you avoid overeating, try cooking smaller portions and using a 6-inch plate for all meals. If you snack, don’t eat from the bag or a box, serve yourself a small portion on a plate, and eat only that what is there.
Maintain Stable Blood Sugars
Eat a small healthy meal every 3 hours. You will never get famished and you find yourself eating much less throughout the day than you ever have before.
Eat The Healthy Food You Love
Just because someone said that a certain vegetable or fruit is good for you doesn’t mean that you need to start eating it. If you don’t like a certain healthy food, you shouldn’t feel like you have to eat it just because of the benefits it may offer. In fact, forcing yourself to eat something that you don’t like will make you more likely to give in to certain less healthy options eventually.
Instead, focus on finding the healthy foods you do like and enjoy those. Keep in mind that when eating becomes associated with a negative experience, like eating broccoli when you hate it, you are never likely to continue and the main goal of successful weight loss is to make permanent and lasting changes. Additionally, make sure to seek out healthy substitutes for your old junk food favorites, you will be surprised at how many there.
Ask Yourself If You’re Really Hungry
Before grabbing a snack from the vending machine, make sure to ask yourself if you could eat an apple or a carrot at that particular moment. If the answer is no, then you’re not really hungry. If you find yourself in a situation like this, try searching for a distraction (go for a walk or drink some water).
Include More Fiber In Your Diet
By including more fiber in each meal, you will feel full for a longer period of time. A study conducted by the American Society for Clinical Nutrition confirmed this fact. This will without a doubt prevent you from overeating.
Plan Your Meals
If you know that you will be going to dinner today, make sure you work that into your daily meal plan. Either eat two lighter meals or exercise longer (or harder) that day.
Just like you need to learn to prepare modest portions, you also need to learn how to pre-portion your snacks. Carrying a whole bag of chips, but telling yourself you’ll only eat 25% of it won’t work in most cases.
Follow The 80/20 Rule
The 80/20 rule says that your diet needs to consist 80% of whole unprocessed foods and 20% from processed foods. People who’re trying to lose weight should switch to the 90/10 ratio.
No Cheat Days
A cheat day is generally regarded as a day when you can eat anything you want. However, eating in moderation doesn’t mean that you’ll be depriving yourself of certain treats completely.
Enjoy The Unhealthy Food
It’s generally a bad idea to complain about your weight after indulging in a delicious piece of cake. Make sure to own your decisions! If you’re indulging in some unhealthy food, make sure to enjoy every single bite.
Remind Yourself That Life Is Long
If you sometimes slip up and overeat for a whole week, you should simply try practicing moderation again. Just vow to do it better next time.
Get Plenty Of Sleep
Individuals that are well-rested are less likely to overeat during the day. This is because our body needs energy, which is actually the reason why most sleep-deprived individuals stuff themselves with food more often. However, by fueling yourself with sleep, your body won’t seek so much energy. Remember that excess amounts of food only serve as an energy replacement for people who don’t sleep enough.
Quality Over Quantity
Quality food refers to meals and snacks that are built around vital nutrients. By consuming food that’s packed with vitamins and other nutritious compounds, you will make your body satisfied with smaller portions. For example, sometimes the perfect snack is a small portion of carrot and celery sticks.
Keep A Food Journal
This doesn’t mean that you should keep a food diary for a long period of time. Tracking all the food for a week is enough for you to identify the changes you need to make.
Breakfast Is Important
Matter of fact, it’s the most important meal of the day. Even though you heard that a million times, you shouldn’t ignore this fact. A good, nutrient-filled breakfast will prevent you from overeating during the rest of the day.
Some Healthy Foods Should Also Be Eaten In Moderation
Just as you’d consume cake and pizza in moderation, it’s also possible to have too much of certain healthy foods. For example, even though oats are really healthy carbs, they are also calorie-dense (just like cake).
Another great example is quinoa, which contains 8 grams of protein per cup, and much more fiber than other grains. However, one cup of this grain contains 220 calories. This means that you should eat only ½ a cup if you’re having it as a side dish.
By altering your eating habits you can completely change the way your body feels and how it burns calories. As long as you include moderation as one of those eating habits, you are setting your body up for success.
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