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Eating in Moderation Makes You Fat

Posted by James on Sep 23rd, 2008 and filed under Lifestyle. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry


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Many health guru’s will tell you that you can have all of your favorite foods in moderation, and you don’t have to count calories. Maybe you orderd something healthy at dinner only to have a friend or family member say you could have something else (unhealthy) if you only eat in moderation.

Give me a break. If your health goals involve losing weight, you have to count calories if you want consistent results. Living in the land of “moderation” will only make you fatter. Let me explain why eating in moderation does not work.

A Little Adds Up

Let us say you are going to have your favorite foods in moderation. Which is the same thing as reasonable portions every one in a while. Consider the following:

  • 2 Slices of pizza a week
  • 2 Beers on the weekend
  • 1 Fast food hamburger a week
  • 1 Donut or pastry a week
  • Bowl of popcorn while watching a movie at home
  • 1 Slice of office birthday cake a month
  • 1 Big plate of pasta once a month on date night
  •  

    Each one of the above on their own is no big deal. Could you look through that list and say you only have one of those a month? In a week?

    More than likely you eat all of those things every week or month. You are eating reasonable portions of your favorite foods every once in a while. Nothing wrong with that, right?

    Well, in a months time you would have eaten 8 slices of pizza, 8 beers, 4 fast food hamburgers, 4 donuts, 4 bowls of popcorn, 1 slice of office cake, and a big plate of pasta. Does it still sound like your life of moderation is a healthy lifestyle?

    Believe it or not, that scenario is conservative. If you take a close look at your diet and you may find yourself eating far more than you realize under the disguise of “moderation”. I’m willing to bet you are combining some of those items in a single meal.

    What Moderation Really Means

    While I have painted a grim picture of moderation, it only represents how most people view food when eating in moderation. What moderation should represent to you is eating ONE favorite food every once in a while (once a week).

    This can be flexible depending on your goals. If you are losing weight, “once in a while” should mean once a week to you. If you are active, healthy, and maintaining your weight, you can get a way with a reasonable portion of your favorite food couple times a week.

    Still Need to Count the Calories

    If you choose to eat your favorite foods every once in a while, you still need to count the calories and keep track of it in your food log. Staying under your target calories for the day will limit the impact a large calorie meal will have on your results.

    Don’t forget if you eat more calories than your body can use over the next few hours, it will get stored as fat. This is why it’s important to limit your portion sizes of your favorite foods.

    My advice is to eat your favorite foods while tracking the calories. This may help limit the amount you will eat and keep you on track towards the goals of your diet. “Moderation” without keeping track of what you are eating will only make you fatter.

    What do you think?

    2 Responses for “Eating in Moderation Makes You Fat”

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