Moderation – dietflex


ModerationSo often we hear well-meaning people, even health professionals, say that all foods are OK “in moderation”. But what does this mean, and how useful is it?

What might be moderate for one person may be just a teasing temptation for another. A single square of chocolate might be moderate for one, but an entire box moderate for another. A glass of wine once a week is moderate for some while others find moderation in three glasses every evening.

Trite advice such as this may be given to avoid upsetting, offending, or putting someone off trying a particular dietary approach. The idea of moderation can apply to foods, drinks, amounts or frequency of consumption, so how do we know how much is too much? Clear guidelines help avoid sabotaging our efforts to lose weight.

Clear guidelines don’t mean that everything has to be weighed, measured and counted down to the last gram or calorie, but it does mean that some foods are off-limits while you’re losing weight. The key is that different guidelines apply to different people.

When starting a new dietary or weight loss program, most people have no clue as to how their body responds to different foods and drinks. Making these discoveries is often time-consuming and can sometimes be a little frustrating.

In cooler weather many people look forward to including hot soups in their eating plan. To be moderate, a single bowl of soup might be appropriate but most of us make a large pot of soup and then eat it until it’s gone. This might mean that the pot of soup lasts a number of days and the soup is included in two meals each day.

The process of discovering which soups suit your body while you’re losing weight is interesting. Now if the soup was made only with stock and very low-carb vegies, it would not be a problem for most. It’s the inclusion of higher-carb vegies, starchy vegies, lentils and pulses that can make a difference to people’s weight loss. Sure, the soup tastes great and is thick and comforting and warming, but if it stops your weight loss then a different strategy is needed.

Perhaps moderation for your body allows you to eat the soup at every meal until it’s gone. Perhaps it means you can have a bowl and freeze the rest in individual servings, defrosting one every third day. Until you try it you won’t know what works for you.

Soup is hardly the enemy of weight loss for most of us. Think about some of the foods that you currently “eat in moderation”. How does this compare to what your intuition tells you is appropriate for your body? Is it possible that moderation is simply not working for you?

St Augustine is credited with the quote: “Complete abstinence is easier than perfect moderation.”