By Coach Sam
Eating in moderation sounds simple enough in concept — eat only until you feel satisfied.
Despite its simplicity, many individuals (possibly even you) struggle to keep their calorie intake moderate, especially when they’re around delicious, indulgent foods like pizza, pasta, and sweets.
Now, some diet “experts” will tell you that you should never have certain foods because they’re “bad” or contain “anti-nutrients.”
The truth is that you can eat any food you like. There are no “bad” foods, but you do have to eat in moderation.
If you’ve struggled to keep within your calorie and macronutrient goals for the day, here are 5 expert strategies for eating in moderation.
5 Expert Strategies For Eating in Moderation
#1 Slow Down
These days we’re busier than ever, with more demands for our time, attention, and efforts. As a result, we constantly seek ways to optimize, streamline, and multi-task, so that we can get everything done in a day that still needs doing (and still have sometime to Netflix and chill!).
One of the many things that has become a “hurry up and get it over with” is mealtime.
It used to be that sitting down to a meal wasn’t just about nourishing the body and mind. It was a chance to relax from the stressors of the day and enjoy company and conversation.
In other words, eating used to be a social experience, not merely a pitstop on your way to “#crushingit”.
A byproduct of eating too fast, aside from GI upset and bloating, is that we tend to overeat since the brain hasn’t had a chance to receive the signal from the stomach that it’s had enough to eat.
Research shows that taking your time eating leads to less calorie intake, which can help you stay on point with your weight loss goals.
Eating more slowly also allows you to focus on what you’re eating, bringing some much needed mindfulness to the meal and allowing you to truly savor each and every bite. You’ll also have more time to enjoy conversation with those you’re sharing a meal with.
#2 Alter Your Mindset
It has become commonplace in diet circles to moralize foods as either “good” or “bad.”
The reality is that no single food is good or bad. Some foods may be more nutritious or less processed than others, but putting a moral label on a food as “good” or “bad” can set dieters on a dangerous path towards disordered eating.
Rather than labeling foods as “good” and “bad”, try to base your decisions on which foods are most micronutrient-dense (fruits, veggies, lean protein, whole grains, healthy fats) and minimize the amount of foods that are less micronutrient-dense (processed goods like cakes, cookies, chips, crackers, and candy bars).
Viewing food in this light helps shift your mindset away from “good” and “bad” foods and keeps you focused on nourishing your body with the most nutritious choices.
And besides, even prototypical “bad” foods can do some good if they bring you joy or happiness when you eat them (cake on your birthday, for instance).
#3 Be Aware of Portion Sizes
Research shows that portion sizes are dining establishments have continued to expand since the 1970s. In fact, it’s not unheard of for a typical entree at a restaurant to contain (and even exceed) 1500-2000 calories. That’s some individuals’ entire daily caloric needs!
And, when you factor in that the average individual eats a significant portion of their food prepared outside of the home than inside the home, it’s easy to understand why more and more individuals are gaining weight.
If you are going to dine out, rethink how you approach your plate.
Since you know that restaurant portions are on the hefty side, be prepared to split an entree with someone at the table, or set half of it aside to take home and eat later. If you’re tempted to eat the whole thing when it’s placed in front of you, simply ask the waiter to box half of it up before he brings you the entree.
Being aware of your portion sizes will pay tremendous dividends towards helping you stay on track with your diet goals when eating out.
#4 Revamp Your Favorite Recipes
Still another way to practice moderation, and stay on track with your weight loss transformation, is to retool some of your favorite recipes.
Simple swaps in classic recipes can help reduce calories and improve the fiber and micronutrient content.
For instance, you can substitute some of the white flour in your grandma’s famous chocolate chip cookie recipe for oat flour. Another option is to replace some of the fat with applesauce, canned pumpkin or greek yogurt.
Another example is amping up the veggie content of marinara sauce by folding in some pureed zucchini or frozen spinach. Instead of serving the sauce over just pasta, use a mixture of pasta and zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash.
Finding revamped recipes made with smart substitutions are easy to find and have the triple benefit of being healthier, allowing you to enjoy your favorite classics, and being more diet-friendly!
#5 Use Supplements
Even with the above strategies, eating in moderation can still be challenging at times, especially if you’re someone with a voracious appetite.
Ray Marks #putyourmarksonfitness ✨