We’ve all heard that we can have everything in moderation.
You can have a little chocolate here or a few drinks there. It’s all ok if it’s only a little amount. That sounds great in theory but not great in practice. It’s much harder to eat only a few M&Ms from a bag and then put the bag away and not eat anymore. It’s hard to only have one drink when all of your friends are double fisting. So is moderation all doom and gloom? No, it’s not but there are some real-life lessons about dietary moderation that you should know. First and foremost, moderation is individualized and can mean something different for everyone. That makes sense. We all have certain foods that we can eat moderately where other foods we cannot control our temptations. That can vary for each of us. The second is there are certain types of food that we should always consume in moderation where other foods we can really go crazy on. For example, we should eat fats, alcohol, and sugar moderately whereas eating copious amounts of vegetables really has no downsides. Finally, we should build some kind of rules around when and what we have and how often. We’ll explore how beneficial the 80/20 rule is when it comes to moderation.
What does moderation mean?
Aristotle called it his “golden mean” where moderation falls in the middle of two extremes. Dietary moderation specifically is all about eating a few out of bounds foods every once in awhile and not every day. There are studies coming out every year that show how we as humans really don’t know how to moderate our food intake. If you think back thousands of years our mind and body was meant to consume as much food as possible. Simply because we had no idea when our next meal was going to happen. This blows up in our face because we have access to food all over the place. These studies are finding that because the idea of dietary moderation is so individualized it can have no effect on limiting our dietary consumption. That can be depressing but when you think about it you still have control. Look at our ALT Fitness Bylaws. There are plenty of ways to limit consumption. A few quick examples are not eating carbs after noon or cutting off your calorie consumption after 6:30 pm.
There are other ways as well.
Don’t worry all is not lost when you think about the idea of “everything in moderation” being debunked. There are some other strategies. One of those ideas is called FAT. No, not that kind of fat but the acronym FAT. We should moderate our intake of fats, alcohol, and treats. This is a great way to think about moderation. Especially this time of year when we are literally inundated with sweet sugary treats. Plus, we are all out at holiday parties where there is way too much alcohol. We found this acronym at the body and soul website but their acronym included sugar. Which makes sense but what treat doesn’t include sugar? Think about how much healthier we would all be if we did a better job of moderating fat, alcohol, and treats. This is the culmination of the weight gain quarter and if we want to be in the best shape for the spring this is crunch time. At your last few holiday parties before the new year remember to consume your FAT in moderation.
Wait, you need more than some flashy easy to remember acronym?
Again, we’ve got you covered. What about applying the 80/20 rule to your life so you can stay healthy and fit? There are so many different versions of this rule but all of them fall under the same idea. You should do what you need to do 80 percent of the time and do what you want to do the other 20 percent (greatist.com). What does that mean? Well, that answer is easily answered by our ALT Fitness Bylaws. If you eat great during 6 days out of the week then you get one free day to eat anything you want. If you do the math on that really it's more like 85/15 but who cares? The point here is eating like Gandhi during the week and party like Farley on the weekend. That sounds pretty doable, right? You could also look at the other ALT Fitness bylaws. For example, eating your starchy carbs before noon. That’s seven meals out of 21 during the week that you can have almost anything you want for breakfast. That’s like 67/33 rule which seems totally doable for everyone.
Let’s wrap this up and put a bow on it.
Dietary moderation seems difficult when you look at the whole picture but if you unpack it a bit you can see that just isn’t the case. Hopefully, you can now see that for most of us “everything in moderation” is a recipe for disaster because moderation can mean such different things from person to person. With that said, if we follow specific rules we can still stay healthy and fit through the holiday season. If we try to limit or moderate out FAT foods then our dietary goals can stay on track. Furthermore, we can follow our ALT Fitness bylaws that create a sustainable weight loss environment during the last part of the weight gain quarter.