The theory behind "moderation" is that unhealthy foods are only bad for you if eaten in excess and that balance is key. Where this goes wrong is that sometimes even a small amount of unhealthy food can do horrible damage, as in the cases of trigger foods and of food allergies. Also, this philosophy promotes using willpower, which you may have experienced, is a losing proposition in the long term.
Follow the 85/15 Rule
I believe in striving to follow the 85/15 rule when it comes to food and nutrition. It does not promote moderation, but instead allows for making exceptions on special occasions.
The 85/15 Rule: The numbers 85/15 are percentages representing the amounts of nourishing foods (85 % healthy) and depleting foods (15% unhealthy) you allow in your diet.
The theory is that if the large majority of foods in your diet are nourishing, then having a small amount of depleting foods will not do much harm because your body will have ample stored reserves of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. This may eliminate any guilt, feelings of deprivation, compulsions, or stress associated with personal food choices. This way of eating also allows room for exceptions on special occasions and alleviates feelings of social isolation due to diet choices. Anything extreme is never a good idea anyway.
Gradually shift your percentage of healthy foods higher and higher until it is the new norm in your routine.
(Click HERE to read a more in-depth explanation of the 85/15 rule.)
(Click HERE to fully understand the difference between nourishing foods and depleting foods.)
Ask yourself, "What am I really hungry for?"
There really are only 2 answers: FOOD or FULFILLMENT.
If it's food, then eat a nourishing meal. If it's fulfillment, then work on other parts of your life that may have a void that needs filling. Holistic health is about more than just food, it's about nourishing your mind & spirit, also. Read some of my older blog posts for topics like sleep, marriage, and motherhood & stress.
Jenny Yelle, MHNE Holistic Wellness Educator
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