People often think of healthy eating as an all or nothing proposition, but a key foundation for any healthy diet is moderation. But what is moderation? In essence, it means eating only as much food as your body needs. You should feel satisfied at the end of a meal, but not stuffed.
Moderation is also about balance. Despite what certain fad diets would have you believe, we all need a balance of carbohydrates, protein, fat, fibre, vitamins, and minerals to sustain a healthy body.
Try not to think of certain foods as “off-limits.” When you ban certain foods or food groups, it is natural to want those foods more, and then feel like a failure if you give in to temptation. If you are drawn towards sweet, salty, or unhealthy foods, start by reducing portion sizes and not eating them as often.
Think smaller portions. Serving sizes have ballooned recently, particularly in restaurants. When dining out, choose a starter instead of an entree, split a dish with a friend, and don’t order super-sized anything. Eating in front of the TV or computer often leads to mindless overeating.
Take time to chew your food and enjoy mealtimes. Chew your food slowly, savouring every bite. We tend to rush though our meals, forgetting to actually taste the flavors and feel the textures of our food. Reconnect with the joy of eating.
Listen to your body. Ask yourself if you are really hungry, or have a glass of water to see if you are thirsty instead of hungry. During a meal, stop eating before you feel full. It actually takes a few minutes for your brain to tell your body that it has had enough food, so eat slowly. Eat breakfast, and eat smaller meals throughout the day. Eating small, healthy meals throughout the day (rather than the standard three large meals) keeps your energy up and your metabolism going.