Many of us hear the old saying ‘everything is okay to eat if its in moderation’ but is this really true? There will be many different opions on this, but here is my view on it as a a Personal Trainer!
Why Many People Think it's Okay
The reason why people think its okay is because its an easier way to basically eat what you like and in little portions thinking that it will be okay, in my opinion it also helps people have an excuse to make themselves feel better for eating something bad and using the saying as something to justify having an unhealthy food or drink. This then spreads and creates the trustworthy opinion which isn't actually backed by anything to prove that its true!
Why It Isn't Okay
Lets imagine someone who has a very fast metabolism and doesn’t gain weight easily eats many things in moderation, they will probably be okay by not gaining too much weight or being extremely unhealthy from it (depending on many factors e.g - activity level) On the other hand, if another individual eats everything in moderation but gains weight easily and is already unhealthy, is eating anything in moderation really okay? No! When considering living by this saying, you need to be honest about your body and what your definition of ‘moderation is’. Depending on your goal, this will determine how much of certain things you should eat, what you should limit and what you shouldn't eat at all! This is because everyones body is so different! Therefore if you eat the same as someone who will use and digest this food very differently to you, how can you eat the same?
Some people eat and drink large portions, some people eat and drink smaller portions, therefore you will both also have different perspectives of what 'moderation' actually is! Moderation to you might be one chocolate bar a week , but to someone who eats 2 a day, moderation may be 4 a week? So wheres the line? Which takes me back to why it needs to be so individualised in correlation to your own goals, aims and body type!
If You Want To Lose Weight
When aiming to lose weight you need to be careful what you eat in moderation, as even though it may not be what you consider to be ‘a lot’ it still may not be optimal to help you lose weight and therefore you may need less of certain foods or even would be better to cut them out to achieve this! Eating in moderation is always difficult when wanting to lose weight as it doesn't allow you to have a clear idea of how much of what you are eating. It's all a bit here and there with no real idea of how its going to aid losing weight. My suggestion would be to cut out any foods you know aren't great for you to help accelerate weight loss, and keep the moderation term to a real minimum, know what you're eating and be honest to wether you should really eat it or not to correlate to your goal.
If You Want To Maintain Weight
Even if you're trying/aiming to maintain weight, your body is always changing, activity levels change, metabolism can slow down, you start to get worse with your diet, which is why moderation could still be a problem of you! Eating chocolate in moderation may be okay for years, but if you start training or moving less, that will increase your weight! When eating in moderation still make sure you keep in sync with how your body is reacting to the different foods and drinks, and if you do that accordingly, eating particular things in moderation may keep you the same as you are, but isn't healthy.
Be very careful when being so easy going with what you eat and how much, don't let other people tell you something is okay to eat or drink as its only in moderation, does this person really have any idea of what your goals are? Do they know how you react to certain foods? Use your own body to determine what you should and shouldn't eat in correlation to your goals and adjust accordingly to how your body changes and adapts. Don't live by a generalised term in a situation where everyone is so different.