Moderation: Always, Never, or Occasionally?


One time I asked a question on Facebook about whether or not we should tell our kids “No,” to certain foods. One person said she did not think that we should tell our kids “no” to any foods completely, but rather teach them moderation in all things.

Her comment got me thinking about the phrase “Everything in Moderation,” and how exactly phrase applies to weight loss and weight maintenance. I then found the above quote and thought more about moderation.

I am a believer in moderation as evidenced by the fact that we do have some processed foods in the house, I bake desserts on occasion, and we go out to eat every great once in a while. However, there are some foods that I do not believe in moderation for because those foods are ones I feel as so unnecessary and unhealthy that I avoid them altogether. In other words, we do practice abstinence with certain foods.

So for me, the phrase “everything in moderation” really is not quite true. My phrase would be, “most things in moderation.”

Some examples of foods that I abstain from completely include:

1) Sugar sweetened beverages such as fruit juices.

2) Vitamin water

3) Sodas

4) Fast food

5) Margarine and trans fats

6) Fake food like Velveeta cheese, processed boxed meals, and pre-packaged desserts

7) White bread

8) Artificial sweeteners

Moderation for me is more about nutrition and less about calories.

I admit that came with time. At first, I did eliminate chocolate and desserts from my diet completely. It was good for me to take a break from those kinds of foods I had very little control over. I was that person whose grocery cart seemed to steer itself to the cookie and ice cream aisle and before I knew it, there were packages of cookies and Breyer’s ice cream. Well, at least it seemed to just happen.

After the initial break-up with sugary foods, I occasionally had them but not often. I moved from abstinence to moderation with sweets. That’s still my philosophy although I respect people who avoid those types of foods altogether.

The key for me in weight loss and weight maintenance is balance.

You have to find the balance in food choices so you do not feel so deprived and just go wild and eat every dessert/sweet you can find after avoiding them for a while. (Not that that ever happened to me.)

Only you know what works for you.

Perfect moderation can work but it can be tough to be perfect. I’d encourage you to find the balance that works for you and be willing to change if it doesn’t work for you.

I’ve known a lot of people who started out with perfect abstinence toward certain foods but shifted into moderation over time. It’s okay to make changes in your diet. In fact, it’s a good thing. Because wouldn’t you rather make some changes along the way to make things work for you in the long run? A diet is only good if it helps you meet your short-term and long-term goals.

How do you handle moderation in your weight loss or weight maintenance efforts? Is it moderation with nothing off limits or most things in moderation? Diane

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