It’s a fact you have heard before, and it is definitely true! You can enjoy your favorite foods, but only in moderation. This phrase is meant to prevent feeling deprivation while you try to maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, it doesn’t mean anything.
It’s confusing and may not be useful for people trying to lose or maintain weight. Lisa, my friend, defines moderate as having a small piece of pie or cake twice a week. Tom, her husband, believes it to mean a sweet treat twice daily. Appetite published a study that shows how elusive the term can sound. Researchers discovered that people are more likely to enjoy a particular food than they are to be tolerant of the term “moderation.” Tom, for example, thinks his twice-a-day sweets consumption is reasonable. He’d rather eat treats three- or four times per day. (Ha ha!)
Here’s some guidance to help you understand moderation in your daily eating habits. I use a 90/10 approach. This means that 90% of my food choices are healthy and 10% is left for my favourite indulgences like pizza, cookies, and ice cream. You’ll find that you have little room for less nutritious foods once you’ve stocked up on healthy choices. Limit your intake of treats to 150-200 calories per day if you are counting calories. Enjoy yourself!
Joy’s Plan to Healthy Moderation
Serving sizes to aim for are 1 to 2 meals (about 100 calories per serving).
Serving size: 1 cup of cold cereal, 1 slice bread, 1/2 cup cooked rice or pasta and 3 ounces any potato
Example: Half a bagel for breakfast, sandwich with two slices of bread for lunch, half a large potato for dinner. You can also skip the starches for breakfast and lunch, and have 2 cups of pasta for dinner.
Servings to aim at: About 200 calories per day or 700 twice a week. You can’t have both!
Examples: Daily: 1/2 scoop icecream; 1 oz chocolate; small fast food fries; 2 to3 small cookies; 1/2 slice pie/cake Biweekly: 1 large slice of pizza or 2 small pieces of pizza; 2-piece chicken entree; cheeseburger, chocolate milkshake; or restaurant desert
Women should aim to consume no more than 1 standard drink per day.
Approximate serving: 12 oz regular beer, 5 oz wine, or 1.5 oz (1 shot) distilled spirits.