Eating in moderation – the best way to stay healthy

We’ve all heard the term “eating in moderation” – but what does it really mean? It is not a scientific term, but it is widely accepted that a moderate diet is one that does not contain excessive amounts of calories, or an excess of any particular type of food or nutrient.

Eating moderately can help with weight control, weight loss and general health. But moderation is a subjective term – one person’s moderate portion might be enormous to the next. However, there are some general guidelines you can follow to ensure that you take in the necessary nutrients in the right amounts.

Here are some handy tips to help you eat in moderation:

1.     Keep count.  On average, a human should consume about 8700 kJ a day. This number will vary depending on your age, gender, weight, height and how active you are. If your aim is to lose weight, keeping track of the kilojoules you consume will be very useful.

2.     Control portions. It’s been said that our food portions should resemble the size of an airplane meal (but, hopefully, be a lot tastier). Keeping a measuring cup, measuring spoons and a small kitchen scale handy will help you a lot in effectively portioning your meals during food preparation.

3.     Variety, variety. It is important to eat a variety of foods from different food groups. Lean protein, wholegrain foods, low-fat dairy, fresh fruit and vegetables – the list goes on. Do some research on what types of food you should consume in order to get all the nutrients your body requires to be healthy.

4.     Visit a nutritionist. If you find it a challenge to make sense of all the information out there, it could be useful to visit a professional nutritionist or dietician. They have been clinically trained to guide you based on your specific needs and preferences.

Eating in moderation vs. emotional eating

While there are guidelines we can follow to ensure that we eat moderately, it is important to note that we humans often tend to eat for reasons other than merely combating hunger. You have probably heard the term “emotional eating”, which means compulsively consuming food in order to fill an emotional void

Emotional eating is a very common behaviour in both men and women. If you suspect you may be prone to emotional eating, do educate yourself as much as possible about the topic, and consider discussing the root causes of this behaviour with a professional therapist.


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Written by Riana Wiechers


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