Here we are another 365 days under our belts, I think it’s safe to say 2016 has brought a real mix of emotions to our lives yet we still have one thing that we can always come back to, ourselves.
No matter how you feel about 2016, the one thing that is still within YOUR control is your progress and the option to try something different. Something which can be incredibly scary, and yet fulfilling at the same time.
This was the choice I had to make 12-months ago.
This year I learnt a lot in various areas of my life, and I am so incredibly grateful for the opportunities that have presented themselves, and the women I have met along the way.
I felt it entirely appropriate that my final blog of 2016 should be a collaboration with the amazing, authentic and strong women I have been surrounded by this year! It really is true that women can lift each other up, and these women do that not just for each other, but for their clients and for the healthy communities they have created. You can find out more about each of them by clicking on their image or name – thank me later!
So here it is…
[17 Moderation Tips for 2017]
I am a major foodie, and one of the insights that has helped me the most was realizing that food is nourishment, not a reward. Come to think of it, it’s not a punishment either. It’s a way to experience the world. I like to remind myself that moderation is a practice, not something that you reach and then you’re good forever. Every single choice that we make is an opportunity to practice moderation. When it comes to the food itself, I like follow what I call my P&P+T&T guideline for every single meal and snack: protein & produce, plus texture & taste. This keeps my taste buds satisfied, as well as my body!” – Fabienne Marier
“I used to be the New Year’s resolution gal. I would start out eating so healthy and not cheating and never missing a workout….
I would ALWAYS start out this way, but it would fizzle out a couple months later. It became too restrictive and life was happening. I would miss a meal on my plan or would get sick, etc. I would then feel like a complete and total failure; that I was just not meant to be healthy and that I just didn’t have what others had to reach their goals. That was Years and years before I finally stopped the diet cycle.
Now I have a plan. A plan that I have created that works for me and my own life. Not some one size fits all plan but a plan created uniquely for me!
I focus on 2 different things daily; daily movement and 3 nutrition non-negotiable. I move my body in a different ways each day whether it is strength training, yoga, stretching, walking, etc. just move my body as that is what we are meant to do and it’s what we need. I then focus on my 3 nutrition non-negotiables: Protein at each meal, a serving of veggies for at least one meal, and sip on water throughout the day. Doing this has allowed me to break it down and think smaller and simpler. They are attainable for me as well as provides flexibility for life. Plus they are things that I can easily achieve. This has allowed for me to create new healthy habits for my own life which has given me the reward of reaching goals,being healthier, more energy, fat loss etc.” – Stacy Hobson
“Moderation to me, is just eating what you love, and not totally putting anything off limits, because as soon as I put something off limits in my mind I always want it more.
I set up little goals for myself in fitness, and in health which I wanted to reach, this has really kept me going when the going got tough. I always kept it in my mind that I could have anything I wanted to have any time. By eating what I love it made it easier to have everything in moderation, because it was a sustainable way of living and not another diet, that mind shift made all the difference for me keeping off the 100 pounds for 24 years now.
Walking is a non negotiable for me every day, and has been for the last 24 years, and it is such a habit now, its like brushing my teeth. Resistance training a few days a week, to keep strong as I age. I also prioritize sleep, and stress management. Also having quality protein, veggies, and good fats at my meals, with starchy carbohydrates at my dinner meal now that I’m older, this just works better for my body now. I have treats sprinkled in to keep my brain happy, and me happy, with wine on the weekends. For me treating treats as treats and having small amounts, is very easy and sustainable lifestyle.” – Crystal Pecora
“I have a HUGE appetite. Seriously. I can put down some FOOD! So, for me, when I’m planning my meals, I plan high-volume, low-calorie meals. See, when we eat, two of the things that need to happen in our stomachs so that it sends signals to our brain that its time to stop eating are: our stomach stretches, and it gets heavier. So, I plan meals that have a lot of volume. This translates into eating lots of vegetables. I know “ Boring! ˜Eat your veggies’ But it works! In fact, I will often increase the amount of vegetables that a recipe calls for – JUST so I can create more volume of food.
I probably don’t need to sing the praises of vegetables to you, but one of the reasons that its effective, is that vegetables are low in calories, high in fiber, water, and take up a lot of space! By eating more vegetables, what I’m doing is filling my stomach with low calorie foods, so that I have less room for the higher calorie ones. Try it!” – Elizabeth Sherman
“The #1 tool I use with my clients to help them navigate the middle is evaluating, what I call, the #SatisfactionFactor of the meal. On a scale from 1 to 10, how satisfying is this meal? Satisfaction is key is helping to prevent us from eating more and worse stuff later, and contrary to what most people think, satisfied is not the same as stuffed, or eating with abandon.
Those feelings (emotionally and physically) are not at all satisfying, they’re stressful! So satisfied, to me, is not stuffed and not feeling deprived. By definition, we are good to go. If your meal is not at least a 7 on a #SatisfactionFactor scale, I’d add something small to it to boost the flavor. mouthfeel or experience itself.
My common go-to’s are smaller, condiment-style additions, like a sprinkle of cheese, some butter or ranch dressing. These things, while not commonly perceived as ideal are also small nutritional gimmes that provide enough relief that we are able to stay consistent with our eating over the long haul and even out the highs and lows that the all-or-nothing eating approach perpetuates.” – Jill Coleman
“For me moderation is about creating a healthy lifestyle that I don’t feel the need to escape from. It’s about workouts I enjoy and food that I love. To maintain this throughout the year I stick to a workout schedule that is realistic and fun. For me that is 3-4 days of strength training and that’s it. I don’t enjoy cardio, so I don’t do it. It’s that simple. When you enjoy your workout, you’re more likely to do it consistently.
With nutrition, I never tell myself something is off limits because when you do, that’s when you want it the most. Instead, I strategically eat the foods that I love on a regular basis. I may have gelato one week and pizza the next. Heck sometimes both in one week, but the other 90% of my meals are nutrient dense. It’s a balance that works for me and never leaves me feeling deprived.” – Michelle Rycroft
“It’s the way I eat today, how I ate last week, how I’ll eat in 6 months from now, heck I can guarantee I’ll eat this way in 6 years from now. NOTE: Holidays are meant to be enjoyed not Cheated with- remove that word œCheat it sounds so negative! #AbundanceMindset
C-Cravings. We all have them. This is why I like to enjoy Buffer Foods. These foods help take the edge off of being so hardcore- I can tell you that once you insert Buffer Foods into your day, you will build Self-Trust & Resiliency & eventually those cravings will become non-existent.” – Crystal Gayle Brisson
“One of the key ways I moderate my health is to have a key non negotiable in my day which means no matter what else I do this always happens – and the this is MY DAILY VEGGIE JUICES.
Without fail wherever I am I ensure I have some form of green juice to start my day and help balance my body and finish my day to help support it over night. Sometimes this might be a greens powder in some apple juice (you’ve got to make the best of every situation) sometimes it might be a wheatgrass shot at a juice bar and most of the time it’s my pint of home made fresh green juice blended with an avocado in the morning and my beetroot and carrot juice in the evening and that is my non negotiable every day and how I moderate my health everyday. For me this ensures whatever happens in the middle of my day I know my start and finish bring me back to me!” – Mairi Taylor
If I’ve learned one thing during my journey it’s; Don’t stress about the numbers! You’ve made a commitment to live a healthier, happier, fitter life. That’s amazing!
Remember the name of the game is being happier! Don’t let the numbers stress you out in your journey to a fitter, happier, healthier you!
- Don’t worry about the number of calories in every single thing you eat.
- Don’t worry about the exact number of calories burned in your workout.
- Certainly DO NOT WORRY about the number of the scale!
The same applies to meal times. 7.30am might be œbreakfast time but if you’re not hungry and don’t like to eat so early, don’t! Don’t do it just because the numbers on the clock tell you it’s time to eat! Eat when you’re hungry.
Spend a little time learning about the food that will help you achieve your goal and food that will take you further from your goal. This way you can:
- Eat food you enjoy
- Achieve your goal of being fitter, happier and healthier
- Not count calories and stress about the numbers
When it comes to workouts, there will always be one workout more effective than the other, but my advice is do something you enjoy. Don’t worry about how many calories your workout burns, focus on how it makes you feel. If you opt for a workout that you enjoy and makes you feel good when you’re done, you are more likely to do it more often, making you more active!
Make the journey suit your life, not the other way around. “ Julie Duncan
I tend to struggle with moderation the most when I try to combine leisure and food.
In other words, I have several things I do to relax, recharge, and get inspired. They include, but are not limited to:
- listening to business and/or fitness & nutrition-related podcasts
- reading fiction
- watching reruns of my fave shows online
- perusing YouTube (mostly to catch up on Carpool Karaoke with James Corden!)
- listening to public radio
What I’ve found is that these activities do not mix well with meal time, at least not for me. The moment my attention is not on what I’m doing”savoring my food, paying attention to how full/still hungry I am, etc.”I end up eating more than I need or want.
I recently read a great book by Geneen Roth called œWomen, Food and God. In it, she discusses the seven guidelines for eating more consciously.
While they are difficult to practice, I’ve found that I enjoy my food more, enjoy my leisure activities more, and am much more able to employ moderation with food when I follow them.
Here they are:
- Eat when you are hungry.
- Eat sitting down in a calm environment. This does not include the car.
- Eat without distractions. Distractions include radio, television, newspapers, books, intense or anxiety-producing conversations or music.
- Eat what your body wants.
- Eat until you are satisfied.
- Eat (with the intention of being) in full view of others.
- Eat with enjoyment, gusto and pleasure.
And here’s to more pleasurable and moderate 2017! “ Hilary Glaus
My #1 anti-diet tip, which I ask my clients to also adopt, is setting Daily Health Commitments! These are 3 “ 5 commitments which you can make which set you up for success. Simple and effortless strategies which you can come back to repeatedly.
Instead of setting an extreme goal or New Year’s resolution, I set myself #DHC which reflect what I am trying to achieve in my life. These are my current daily health commitments:
#1 Protein + Fiber + Water at 2 meals
#2 Movement of some kind each day
#3 Meditate for 10 minutes
These are my commitments, and yours might look totally different, they reflect what I am trying to achieve in my life and they feel easy to adopt “ they are not extreme and don’t involve overhauling my entire life. “ Melanie Knights
To me, moderation means allowing for the food you want/need while learning when it’s best to forego the indulgences. There may come a day when I can always eat what I want when I want (because I’m that in tune to my body), but right now I still need to take pause and think.
One strategy I use to help me give pause is “Review and Preview.”
When you’ve got that yummy stuff to choose (whatever that is for you), first:
- take a quick pause and REVIEW the last several days/meals. Have you had quite a few yummy (though not especially nutritious) treats? Have you been fueling up with great food like proteins and veggies?
- PREVIEW what is coming up for you in the next day or two. Lots of outings planned? Making meals at home? Get-togethers?
Decide if what you want in that moment makes sense based on what you have already had AND plan to have. We can’t always predict what is coming up, but if you’ve had lots of unplanned treats already and there are ladies nights coming up, perhaps foregoing that donut this morning makes more sense.
Each moment is a choice. Choices are not inherently good or bad, rather they help you align more closely with the health changes you want to see! Give yourself pause and make the choice that makes sense in that moment! “ Carrie Headley
I’m not sure I moderate my nutrition differently through the year as such but, as I entered my 40s, I found that moderating my nutrition was something that I would have to do more of on an on-going basis. I knew that there were going to be many hormonal changes coming my way that would have an impact on my mind and body but could, hopefully, be made to work for me if I paid heed to my nutrition, amongst other influencing factors such as movement, sleep and exercise. It’s a challenging time for any woman and, like many others, I’ve found myself on and off diets, listening to conflicting advice and guidance about what I should and shouldn’t be doing.
I’ve finally realised that what I need to be doing is what is right for me, not for anyone else, just me. I’ve taken on board information that I think is relevant for myself, my mind and my body and I’m continually working out what works for me and what doesn’t. I like to call myself a work in progress and I know that I will forever be playing the ˜Diet Detective’ as I continue on my life journey.
There are certain things that I try to do every day and I feel that if I can at least get these right then I stand a better chance of making sure I find what is sustainable for me “these are making sure I drink enough water every day to keep my body functioning optimally; I’m creating strategies to minimise and manage stress including walking every day, having been in my body for a fair few years now movement is key; eating good fats, protein and plenty of carbs in the form of vegetables, some fruit and some rice “ this varies depending upon what I do each day, I try to consume enough to give me the energy I need for the day, to keep my hormones balanced and to keep my mind and body healthy; I’ve cut back on my meat consumption and now tend to eat just chicken, turkey and fish; I take probiotics and fish oil supplements daily; I’m working out how best to get enough quality sleep and I also incorporate ˜treats’ into my day “ these for me might be some cheese, wine, chocolate, lemonade or such like, not a lot and I’m still working on figuring out how much is enough for me!!
Now I’m in my late 40s and I’m hoping that this approach will continue to take me successfully through, and beyond, the changes I’m now entering into and, will enable me to adjust what needs to be adjusted to enable me to keep a healthy and happy body and mind. “ Louise Grafton
Nowadays it seems like every dieter has a list of foods that they simply won’t allow themselves to have. For me, it used to be things like chips, trail mix, nuts, peanut butter, ice cream, candy and any kind of baked good or pastry. Due to my warped dieting mentality, I really believed that I couldn’t control myself around these foods. I didn’t trust that I could eat what I really wanted with any sort of control. Instead, I fought tooth and nail to abstain from those foods and ended up eating a whole lot more food in the long run.
Finally, I got so fed up of living like this that I knew I had to make a change. Although it was scary, I began intentionally buying my forbidden foods every time I went to the grocery store. I’d eat them as I wanted throughout the week being mindful that I could always have more if I wanted and there was no need to finish it all in one sitting. Lastly I knew and accepted that I might eat more than I actually wanted sometimes, and that was ok because it was part of the learning curve.
As I write this, I have food in my cabinet that I never thought I could have. From chocolate peanut butter cups, peanut butter M&Ms, two bags of chips I bought 2 months ago and still haven’t opened, among other things. I allow myself to have what I want, when I want it because I’d much rather enjoy treats when I really want them instead of fighting tooth and nail to abstain.
Side note: since I implemented this strategy I’ve lost 20 pounds and I’ve kept it off for over two years “ Lauren Bradley
I used to view meal prepping differently. It was my week-long punishment. The same meals every day, every week; interrupted only by my weekend food bender. Binge, punish, repeat.
No more! I LOVE to prep meals for both myself and my family, and it has made a huge impact on my success both in terms of my strength and my physique.
I always eat foods that are in season. This prevents me from getting BORED out of my mind with eating the same foods over and over (and saves a few pennies at the store, too!) and ensures I get a fresh, quality product!
The grill, oven and crock pot are my best friends. I can prep a week’s worth of food all at once with very little effort or mess. I refuse to slave over the stove! This doesn’t have to mean body-builder style, with all of my Tupperware (admittedly, my collection is extensive)… but batches of proteins and starches that I can combine quickly for meals is a huge time saver, and I can eat NOW! No stress over making poor food choices, and I don’t have to apologize to anyone for what I said when I was hungry.
My current seasonal obsessions are Japanese sweet potatoes and pears! “ Ally Cruz
Special occasions are a tricky thing to navigate when trying to be mindful of our nutrition needs. Here is my top moderation tip to navigate your choices at a party.
Insist on only indulging in delicious bites. Or said another way, just because you took it, doesn’t mean you need to finish it.
We are often programmed from childhood to finish what is on our plates, which especially applies to food that someone else has prepared. But you may be sacrificing your goals (not to mention your gastro comfort), by finishing every morsel on your plate out of politeness.
Here’s the thing. Special occasion eating provides us the opportunity to socialize and enjoy things that we may not typically prepare for ourselves. And if something looks amazing to you, you should absolutely try it. But if the first bite isn’t as delicious as hoped, discretely discard the remainder when the opportunity provides itself. No one is handing out bonus polite points for choking down a less than stellar snack/dish. Be discerning, and save the calories for the spectacular.” Amber Mikaelsson
My first rule of thumb for living a lifestyle of moderation is that nothing is off-limits. The moment I tell myself that I “can’t have” this or that, I just want it more. When nothing is off limits, I hold the power…and a lot of times, those things that were once considered “forbidden” don’t hold the same appeal; or if they do, I can take a few bites and be done. Also, I prioritize a few other things so that my cravings stay in check: sleep (majorly important for me), stress reduction, a daily greens drink, protein and healthy fats.
Exercise definitely affects my cravings, so sticking to shorter duration, higher intensity cardio and weight training helps me keep hunger under control. This is a far cry from cardio-queen days when I was ravenous all…the…time! If I DO over-indulge, then it’s totally fine. I increase my water intake, get a heavy lift in and start fresh the very next meal! Avoiding the all or nothing mindset is crucial to my sanity and happiness, so I refuse to go there anymore. “ Tara Ballard
So, there you have it seventeen strategies tried and tested by some of the best health and fitness professionals in the industry. These ladies have all struggled with their health, weight and nutrition but we now have one very important thing in common – food is not our enemy and it doesn’t control us.