Is eating everything in moderation enough to keep you healthy?
#4 Nutrition In Menopause Series
eat everything in moderation
Only actions give life strength; only moderation gives it charm. Everything in Moderation – Even Moderation
What does moderation in eating really mean, and does it apply to even the worst foods for your health in menopause?
For example, most cultures advocate some kind of fasting. It is as if our forefathers and mothers knew how important it is not to overburden your digestive system.
Today’s experts are leaning towards a calorie-restrictive diet as it was proven to promote longevity. How many morbidly obese people do you know of who have reached the age of 100 or beyond?
So, is moderation enough to keep you healthy and fit both physically and mentally in menopause? Can you eat the worst foods every day in moderation and still stay in good shape?
Addictive nature of food
Can you eat that chocolate cake or favorite fast food in moderation? The real problem is the addictive nature of the food, particularly the kind that is bad for you. These foods are usually delicious and give you pleasure because they are full of sugar, carbs, and fats. This makes them almost impossible to regulate.
Everything in Moderation – Even Moderation
It is common knowledge that these ingredients (sugar/carbs and fat) when combined are detrimental to your health, especially when combined.
The question is: Isn’t a good ice cream or chocolate bar with creamy filling OK in moderation? Is a small portion of French fries acceptable?
Dr. Manisha Arora says: “So, there comes a need to eat in moderation. Moderation in eating suggests dietary habits that avoid excessive consumption. Eating a moderate and varied diet can help with weight loss, weight control, hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol, and help you stay healthy. So, you can say that eating in moderation really works. However, eating in moderation does not work in terms of consuming unhealthy foods as you eventually get stuck in a vicious cycle of cravings and end up eating more than what is recommended, especially while dieting.”
Metabolism in menopause
In menopause, when our metabolism is naturally slower, eating in moderation means that you need to “downsize” your portions and take even better care of yourself. Eating foods high in trans-fat, hydrogenated oils and fructose corn syrup are bad for you no matter how small the portions are. Even if you succeed in eating these unhealthy foods in moderation, they are harming your health anyway.
This moderation business does not suggest that you never ever have ice cream, a piece of cake, or your favorite fast food. It just means that you have to be very smart about it and not do it too often.
What we are saying when we suggest moderation is to revise your eating habits and introduce some new ones like using smaller plates, for example. Smaller plates trick the eye and convince you that you are having a full plate of food.
If you introduce the healthy habit of chewing every bite of your food slowly and more times, you will give your stomach time to signal your brain that it is full. It takes about 10-15 minutes for this satiety signal to reach the receptors in the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that tells you you are full. This is why if you eat too quickly, you often overeat.
Even if the food you are eating is the healthiest sort, overeating is not a good habit to have. With food – more is not better.
One of the ways to become aware of how much you are eating is keeping a food journal. This habit of putting down on paper or into an app every bite you have is an eye-opening experience for many women. Some of the apps you might want to try are MyFitnessPal, CarbManager, among many others.
Most of us are not even conscious of how much we eat every day until we add it all up in a journal or log. This is the first step in practicing moderation.
You can ask a friend to be your “moderation accountability buddy,” where you share with each other what you eat each day. You can even send them a photo of your portions before you eat them!
Use any trick you can think of to get to the level of moderation best for you.
Don’t forget to do everything in moderation – Even Moderation. 😄
To read more tips on good nutrition in menopause, click here.