While some go completely cold turkey for their eating regime, as someone who has restricted themselves with eating 1,200 calories a day and then eventually yo-yo dieting, I personally think that moderation is key.
I know this produces frustration from some of you guys as you (and myself included) want a definitive answer of how to stay healthy and slim. Eating in moderation is open to so much interpretation, however, I think the message is clear — it means you have the freedom to sometimes eat a salad, or sometimes eat a burger, sometimes go on a 8-mile long run, or sometimes not even workout at all. It’s with being flexible with your eating options.
For example, this past Friday, I had a mandatory meeting for one of the councils I’m in for school. The meeting started at 12:30 and my science lab ended at 12:25. The council provided pizza and while in the past, my uptight self would have been anxious and frustrated that I would not have time to stop by the dining hall and get a “healthy” salad, I opted to eating two slices of pizza. The same council, had a mandatory meeting on Saturday night at 5:30 when my dining hall opened at 5:30. So dinner on that Saturday night was just a lot of snacking. But you know what? I need to be okay with that. Trying to live your life where each meal has to be perfect in portions and quality is impossible. And even if you achieve this, You. Will. Be. Miserable. Trust me, I’ve been there.
While it is vital that we nourish our bodies, we at the same time, need to nourish our souls. We need to be both physically and emotionally healthy. And I know this easier said than done. I can rant all about this, but in reality, I have times where I am tested.
So both you and me will be taking this challenge. We will be eating in moderation. No more rules. No more “carbless meal,” no “not eating past 7pm,” no “not eating any refined/processed foods,” just simply: eat in moderation. It’s actually a lot simpler than it is. You would think that if you were given the complete freedom, you would just eat junk food all the time. But if you’ve come from a standpoint where all you’ve been eating is healthy food, you actually start craving food that’s healthy. I personally can’t go very long with pizza and junk food. My mouth salivates for a nice and light salad. So trust yourself.
Also, in addition to moderation of food quality is important, PORTION moderation is important. My dad and I were talking about this (as he is a complete health and fitness freak now — and also: Happy Birthday, Dad!), but you can gain weight from eating just healthy foods. Healthy or not, all foods have calories.
This motto also applies to burning calories, too. I am a Type-A so I can get carried away with anything – such as fitness. I ran every morning at 6:30am and did core everyday. Even when my body was screaming that I sleep more or take an easy running day. And guess what? I learned my lesson as currently I have a stress fracture on my foot so I can’t do anything for two weeks and probably can’t run for 6 weeks.
So all in all, remember, moderation is key. Not beat yourself on those “bad” “junk food” eating days. We are all humans. We need to have life. We need to nourish ourselves but enjoy ourselves. Remember: a sustainable and healthy lifestyle is the best.
What is your motto for nutrition and fitness?