What Is Moderation?

How much do you eat? Do you measure your food in portions? Stop when the food is gone? What does eating in moderation really mean and can you measure food intake with this subjective term? Moderation is personal. It means eating in relation to how much food your body needs. The average American should consume about 2,000 calories per day and that’s around 500-600 calories per meal with 150 calories for a snack. To help put this in perspective, compare a typical holiday meal that can average 3,000 calories.

Eating in moderation is a mindset to master. Here are a few tips to help you master eating until satisfied, but not stuffed:

Eat the foods you love. There are no foods that are off-limits. Start by reducing the quantity of unhealthy foods and eating them less often.

Smaller portions. One meal should not contain close to or more calories than the amount recommended in one day. At restaurants, share a dish or take half to go. At home, use smaller plates and bowls and look at serving sizes on packaged goods.

Variety. No one food contains the nutrients you need in the portions you need, so eat a variety of foods from many food groups to ensure you’re eating the nutrients your body requires.

Pay attention to how hungry you are and if you tend to overeat. Try keeping a food diary to mindfully track how much and what types of food you eat.