New Year, New You?

Everything in moderation, including moderation.
— Oscar Wilde

It's a new year so most likely you've set a goal to eat healthier or go to the gym and so forth. Or maybe your doc has told you to "balance your diet with exercise" or have everything in moderation. And you probably left the doctor's office confused thinking, "what in the world is moderation?" 

People use those terms so loosely it's no wonder everyone is confused. So let's break down what moderation means and how you can incorporate that into your lifestyle. After all, we don't want you to give up on those resolutions just yet. 

First moderation is different for every person. This is why it can be difficult to get the concept of moderation. It's all about you and your body and what works for you. What one person may think is minimal, another may think is too much. The key to mastering moderation is determining what diet fits your lifestyle. (And when we say diet, I don't mean fad diet but your everyday diet). Moderation is definitely not a one size fits all kind of deal. 

While moderation is different from person to person, there are some things we all can do to make sure we are not over indulging.

Check the calories! 

Calorie counting can be annoying but until you get a good handle on what packs the most calories and what doesn't, it's good to keep a log of what you are eating. There are numerous apps available for your phone to easily keep track and most come with a bar-code scanner. 

The average American man needs about 2,200 - 2,400 calories per day and the average woman needs about 1,600 - 2,00 calories per day. Now, of course, all of this varies depending on lifestyle (exercise, weight goals, etc). So remember to listen to your body. 

Don't drink your calories

The easiest way to go over your calorie limit is to drink away your daily intake. Most soft drinks, juices, and iced teas are packed with a lot of calories and sugar. Drink water instead. Keep water at your desk and in your car so it's your first choice not your last. 

While you might think, " I'll just drink a diet soda or drink", it's not always the best option. Diet drinks are tempting but the artificial sugar isn't as healthy as you think! The best way to avoid the extra calories and sugar is to limit them in your everyday diet. 

And don't forget alcohol. Those margaritas with taco Tuesday and shots are packed with sugar and calories. Social drinks can add up to a meal so don't forget to count them in your daily calories! 

Eat Undistracted

Whenever possible, eat at a table without the latest reality blow-out in front of you. Eating in front of the T.V. or on the go can make you over eat. And smaller plates don't hurt either for portion control. 

Add Variety to your plate

Food and eating should be an enjoyable experience. Food should be savored so when you are eating add some color to that plate. Fruits and veggies and different types of grains can make your plate interesting. If you're at a loss for a good recipe, the internet is bursting with new recipes. A quick google search for a creative healthy chicken casserole or good food blog can help spice up your plate. 

Whenever possible buy your fruits and veggies fresh but if that's not possible by them frozen. Canned veggies and fruit are the last resort because those options are usually packed with a ton of added salt and sugar. When buying canned food, check the sodium levels aka the salt levels. Most excessive salt intake comes from processed and fried foods. 

Here are some estimated values of salt from the American Heart Association

1/4 teaspoon salt = 575 mg sodium
1/2 teaspoon salt = 1,150 mg sodium
3/4 teaspoon salt = 1,725 mg sodium
1 teaspoon salt = 2,300 mg sodium


The gym can be a dreaded place but it can also be tons of fun. Find out what gets you going in the gym. Every class or machine isn't for everyone. Can't afford the gym, let youtube be your best friend and workout buddy. There are plenty of videos on every type of workout from yoga to boot camps. Try to get at least 30 mins of exercise in a day. Make it a habit and a lifestyle instead of a chore. So when you find a workout you love, it will feel like a treat instead of punishment! (But believe me, we have all been there.)


Moderation is a tricky subject. Listen to your body for what it needs and remember that you can achieve those new year goals. One of the best things I've heard is the: "mind creates the body, the body does not create the mind." Keep that in mind when you go through a rough patch with moderation or any of your 2017 goals. Believe in your self and your achieveable goals. 

All in all, YOU GOT THIS! Go be great people and crush those 2017 goals. 

Quack HealthComment