Moderation! The word means nothing to us any longer because our ideas about balance, reason, moderation and the like are completely skewed, screwed and abused. Bigger, in this brave new world, is viewed through super-sized glasses. When we like something - a food, a trend, an alcoholic beverage, training, the internet, George Clooney, etc. - all reason goes out the window and we indulge freely and at will. Obviously lack of reason when it comes to training or George may not be a bad thing unless of course you go nuts and overtrain so you cause damage or you become a stalker and end up in jail. Moderation played no role in the injury or jail term.
When it comes to food, alcohol and drugs, moderation is a necessary limitation, a kind of natural defence to prevent one from going completely stratuspheric with the joy of consumption. One or two cocktails in an evening when you are celebrating is enough especially if you practice double fisted drinking > one hand holds a glass of water and the other your drink of choice. Drugs are never good if they are the recreational kind so no amount of moderation will help you here. Food on the other hand is a circus gone mad. No one knows what the @#$% moderation is. Governments in Canada and USA give us recommended guidelines but who ever checks those out? And how do you make sense of them?
What goes into your mouth and ultimately your belly, cells, colon and out the back door, needs to be thought about carefully. Too much is too much. But too much of what? Even too much of a good thing is too much. I have seen people put weight on from Eating Clean because it gave them an excuse to eat more good food. What is it that makes such a mess of our approach to food? In my mind the more solid nutrition you surround yourself with the harder it is to go overboard as long as you are REALLY LISTENING TO AND FEELING YOUR STOMACH.
Do you know how to do that? It means to sit and think about every bite from the first to the last so you feel the sense of cumulative satiation - a sense of being satisfied - happening in your belly. It isn't hard. Take a bite, chew it 25 times, swallow and repeat. After about 20 to 30 bites you should be full. These are small one-tablespoon sized mouthfuls, not pig-out sized gobbles of goop. With that one tablespoon in your mouth, chew well - chew so well your food has become liquified. Then and only then swallow! Your stomach will tell you soon enough when it has been satisfied. Please don't fill your stomach. That will be most uncomfortable. You are more likely to fill your stomach when you gobble and don't chew. We eat about 6 liters of food a day so each sitting should be no bigger than one liter.
It is actually very difficult to stuff yourself when you are eating good, wholesome, nutrient-dense food. This kind of food is so filling and so nourishing to your belly, it is easy to stop short of a full blown pig out session because you get full faster. You see, your stomach knows when it and thus YOU have had enough. Why? Because it is looking for just enough nutrients to satisfy the body's needs for fuelling itself. The stomach never wants great, gorging amounts of food. This is viewed as a stress by your stomach. Then the food becomes a stressor rather than nourishment. So please stop short of stuffing yourself and slow down so you get the sense of what is happening in your stomach. This will help you understand MODERATION, THE LESSON DELIVERED COURTESY OF YOUR STOMACH.
Moderation is an understanding of what is enough but not too much and knowing when to stop gorging many, many mouthfuls of food and drink past the point of satiety. Let your stomach help you gain an understanding of what moderation feels like. Then listen like the intelligent person I know you are.
Moderation! Enough but not too much. Moderation!