By Claire Georgiou, Reboot Naturopath, B.HSc ND
When it comes to consuming unhealthy foods and partaking in unhealthy choices, ‘everything in moderation’ is believed to be the key to weight loss success. This can be true in some cases but it can also contribute to a person sabotaging their own health goals. Everything in moderation sounds like a good idea because when we deprive ourselves of certain unhealthy foods that we crave, we may desire them more. And when the flood gates open, and we eventually cave in, we eat too much, too often.
Moderation is ‘the avoidance of excess or extremes, especially in one’s behavior’. Is this how we need to eat?
When it comes to eating in moderation, you should grant yourself a few treats, no more than 1 – 3 times per week at the most, and to be sure it’s consumed in small quantities. However, this guideline also depends on your current health.
Here’s a common dilemma that people may find themselves in:
This is no longer ‘in moderation’ and it’s more like a lifestyle choice and habit! People generally don’t think about what they ate 2 or 3 days ago so you forget you already gave yourself that treat.
Everything in moderation gives people permission to eat foods lower in nutrients more often. Unfortunately, in my practice I have witnessed this attitude inhibit a person from achieving successful weight loss. Frustration then develops as they view their unhealthy eating as infrequent and they don’t understand why they aren’t losing weight or their health ailments aren’t improving.
It’s easy to view it as moderation because you only had cake once, then only ate chocolate that next day, and of course you can’t say no to your favorite Chinese takeout as your weekend indulgence. This is the sneaky truth of what moderation means to many.
It’s important to classify all unhealthy foods into one category and make it something that you consume some of the time rather than many times. Healthy needs to be our new normal. Most of the food you consume to support an excellent mood, a healthy weight and great energy needs to be nutritious and health promoting.
Foods that offer toxic compounds, artificial components and empty calories only provide stress on the normal physiology of the body so it is important to truly keep it to a minimum. Healthy nutrient dense foods need to be consumed to reduce the inflammation that is stimulated by these foods and the negative impact they have on organ health and blood sugars.
People often want to reward themselves with unhealthy ‘bad’ food after they have been ‘good’. This is the normal practice after a ‘diet’ and will quickly unravel the positive steps forward. It’s better to reward yourself with non-food related treats that make you feel good such as time to yourself, hobbies, a massage, your favorite book, early night in, an aromatic bath, a new outfit and more.
When you reach for your weak spots in terms of food, there’s normally an emotional aspect so it is important to find other means to support your happiness. It’s important to remember that emotional eating occurs suddenly, is food specific and persists past an adequate snack or meal.
Its important to remember when making important health choices for yourself it is an act of self-love, nourishment and kindness. Judging ourselves as good or bad neither supports us or creates success so it would be more beneficial to make it about how ‘I show myself kindness and love, by feeding myself nourishing and supportive foods!’
One of the resounding successful principles of the Reboot is its level of discipline that many Rebooters have while Rebooting. Those ‘moderation slip-ins’ are largely avoided thus allowing successful health changes to occur.
And remember, an occasional treat is to be enjoyed, just don’t make it an everyday occurrence.