moderation- what does it mean?
I am fairly new to the PB eating plan... I have had some feedback and guidance from more seasoned members (Thanks Paleobird!), but I got to thinking about one of the things that Mark says in the blog all the time-- moderation... sensible indulgences... 80/20.
Now i read the whole thing on the blog about moderation. I read the whole 80/20 principle. I searched the boards, and maybe I am over analyzing... what does moderation really mean?
Is it once a day, once a week, once a month? And is moderation different for different things- ie fruit, tubers, dark chocolate, wine, nuts and dairy? My big issue I guess is the fruit and dairy. I have no problem with the others, and as a little background i do have a significant amount of weight I am in the process of losing. I seem to have no problem from a digestive perspective with dairy and fruit- but i hear "in moderation" all the time. So I guess my question is- is having the daily coffee with cream, having some fruit (maybe 1-2 servings a day, mostly berries and apples) and raw cheese 3-4x a week considered moderate? What about snacking in general? Or is it more of a thing where- if the scales still moving you're ok type of thing... I really am not interested in doing this as a strict diet, but a lifestyle change that is actually sustainable for the long haul. Frankly a life without coffee, cheese and some fruit is a life I'm not interested in.
I would love to get some thoughts on what your meaning of moderation really is and how you apply it in PB. Also, if a thread like this already exists, let me know where- I swear I looked and couldnt find the answer I was looking for!
Moderation is going to be different for different people -- as will the 80/20 guideline. For some, fruit is in moderation (say, no more than once a day); for others, they limit dark chocolate to, say, one serving twice a week. Others might have rice or dairy in moderation -- say, rice after lifting heavy things, or Greek yogurt before a hike. And still others feel strongly that snacking at all, even on primal foods, is a no no. Some avoid nuts. If you try to do it all, you can easily lose your mind.
What I've found to help me stay sane is to keep in mind the following things:
1. This is a way of eating, not a diet. This means that there's no way for me to cheat, or fall off the wagon, or what have you; there will be plenty of days when I eat textbook paleo, and then there will be days when I don't. And that's OK. I aim for staying within the primal guidelines as per TPB 80% of the time.
2. Because this isn't a diet, you can experiment to discover what works best for you. I've been having a handful (or three) of raw macadamias daily, and quite a bit of fruit. There may come a time when I decide to shave back the quantity of nuts, or fruit, or both, based on my energy levels, my clarity of thought, my clarity of skin, and my weight. Then again, there may not.
3. Being healthy and losing weight are two distinct goals. Sometimes they intersect; sometimes they don't. Right now I'm focusing on being healthy. Once I feel very comfortable eating primally all the time (well, within the 80/20 guidelines), then I may decide that I want to lose some weight. At that point, I would probably scale back the fruit and nuts (mentioned above) and increase my protein and possibly increase my fat (which is pretty high right now -- quite a bit of coconut oil, ghee, (uncured) bacon, coconut milk and macadamias are in my diet). I might aim to stop all snacking. I might increase the times I do intermittent fasting (so far, no more than 15 hours for me). And I might bump up some of my exercise -- not so much to burn more calories but to get me out of the house more, away from the kitchen and mindless eating.
Give yourself time to get used to eating primally. And then take it from there.