Last month over on my Facebook page, I put a call out for any questions you might have had regarding food, nutrition, health, and overall wellness. I finally got around to answering them and compiled the answers into a video!
Question 1: What does moderation really mean? For example, I love baked goods like cupcakes, cookies, donuts. Can I have a small baked good a day and call that moderation if the only other thing I am eating is fruits, veggies, and lean protein?
Question 2: What’s your take on artificial sweeteners? Not a problem or cancer causing spawn of satan? Which is best/least terrible?
Question 3: Is calorie free soda really better for you than actual soda? How does that work?
Halfway through the video, I realized I was rambling, and I had so much more to say on the topics, especially that pesky term, “moderation.” During my personal weight loss journey, I was pretty rigid with the foods I allowed myself to eat. When you fall into the diet trap, suddenly you lose trust with your mind and body. I thought if I gave in to an urge to eat a donut or have chips with my sandwich, all those “bad” foods, that suddenly I would re-gain the weight. Cue cycle of self-loathing and misery. I became even more obsessed with food and had intense cravings for strange things. One day I drove by a Starbucks, circled back, and drove by again because all I wanted was a slice of pumpkin bread. Instead, I went home, baked cookies, and hastily ate half the batch. Which would have been the better scenario? It would have been best to simply shift my focus to another activity, but what if I had stopped at the Starbucks? I might have ordered the bread and sat, like a normal person, with a fork, and enjoyed it. Eating half a slice would’ve at least been better than eating half a dozen cookies.
Ultimately, I decided to just own up to these cravings and move on with my life. I knew eating an entire bag of Doritos wouldn’t bring me happiness, but I also knew that eating just a handful would save me from eating the rest of the cabinet. I ate fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, but I also saved room a few times during the week for a portion sized snack of whatever I felt like. By portion size, I mean actual portion sizes not 100-calorie packs. Things like a small dish of ice cream or a couple cookies. Interestingly enough, when you stop eating foods with intense flavors like sweet or salty, you can lose the taste for them over time. Practicing this also led me to be a bit pickier over my cravings. Every time I gave in and took the time to enjoy a food I once feared, I suddenly started to realize what I truly liked and disliked. I also found other things to occupy my time, like spending time outdoors, catching up with a friend, and simply, living.
How do you practice “moderation” in your life?
What other questions do you have about nutrition, health, or wellness?