By now you should be sensing some changes. You may feel lighter, not as bloated. Some of you may have a bit more energy. You're half way through. Pat yourself on the back.

Does Everything in Moderation Really Work? BY CLAIRE GEORGIOU

Adapted from Reboot with Joe.

When it comes to consuming unhealthy foods and making unhealthy choices, “everything in moderation” is believed to be the key to weight loss success. This can work in some cases, but it can also sabotage your health goals. When we deprive ourselves of our favorite unhealthy foods, we may desire them more. And when the floodgates eventually open and we give in to our cravings, we eat too much, too often.

What Is Moderation?

Moderation is “the avoidance of excess or extremes, especially in one’s behavior.” Is this how we need to eat?

Here’s a common situation people find themselves in:

1. Monday: a creamy latte in the afternoon due to Monday-itis
2. Tuesday: a slice of cake in the office for someone’s birthday
3. Wednesday: a few potato chips on the side of your meal
4. Thursday: a small piece of chocolate as you’re running errands
5. Friday: an ice cream after dinner, because, after all, it’s Friday
6. Weekend: Well, it’s the weekend, isn’t it? So it’s drinks, snacks, and maybe takeout.

It’s easy to view this as moderation because you only had cake once, then only ate chocolate that next day, and of course you can’t say no to your favorite Chinese takeout as your weekend indulgence. This is the sneaky truth of what moderation means to many. But this is no longer “in moderation,” it’s more like a lifestyle choice! You generally don’t think about what you ate two or three days ago, so you forget you already gave yourself that treat.

When it comes to eating in moderation, you should grant yourself a few treats, no more than one to three times per week at the most, and be sure these treats are consumed in small quantities. However, this guideline also depends on your current health.

Why Moderation Might Not Be the Answer

Everything in moderation gives people permission to eat less-nutritious food more often. Frustration then develops, as they view their unhealthy eating as infrequent and don’t understand why they aren’t losing weight or why their health problems aren’t improving.

So, What Are You to Do?

It’s important to classify all unhealthy foods as just that—unhealthy—and make foods from this category something you consume very occasionally, rather than several times over the course of the week. Healthy needs to be our new normal. To support an excellent mood, a healthy weight, and great energy, most of the food you eat needs to be nutritious and promote health.

Foods that contain toxic compounds, artificial ingredients, and empty calories only cause inflammation and stress the normal physiology of the body, so it’s important to keep your consumption of these to a minimum and to maximize your consumption of healthy, nutrient-dense food.

Reward Yourself with “Good”

People often want to reward themselves with unhealthy “bad” food after they have been “good”. This is the normal practice after a diet and will quickly unravel the positive steps forward. When you reach for your weak spots in terms of food, there’s normally an emotional aspect involved, so it is important to find other means to support your happiness. Keep in mind that emotional eating occurs suddenly, is food specific, and persists past an adequate snack or meal. It’s better to reward yourself with non-food-related treats that make you feel good, such as time to yourself, hobbies, a massage, a new book, an early night in, an aromatic bath, or a new outfit—the list goes on.

Love Yourself No Matter What

It’s important to remember that making important health choices for yourself is an act of self-love, nourishment, and kindness. Judging yourself as good or bad neither supports you nor creates success, so it would be more beneficial to make it about how “I show myself kindness and love by feeding myself nourishing and supportive foods!”

And remember, enjoy an occasional treat—just don’t make it an everyday occurrence.

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How We Shed Nearly 300 Pounds, Multiple Symptoms, and All of Our Meds … in Just Two Years! BY LORI OLSON

In January of 2010, my husband Ed decided it was time to make some healthy changes in his life. He began walking daily and centering his food choices around a lot of fresh vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and lean protein. I watched the changes he was making and decided that I would join him. Up until this time, Ed had suffered from hip pain, snoring, and acid reflux. I had suffered from aches and pains, not being able to walk up the stairs in my home without being left breathless, and borderline high blood pressure and cholesterol. I always worried about not being able to fit in chairs and booths at restaurants, and if I did fit, it was very uncomfortable. Over the next 18 months, Ed lost 140 lbs., going from 315 to 175 lbs. At the two-year mark, I had lost 150 lbs., going from 298 to 148 lbs.

As time went on, we noticed that we were losing our taste for meat and eating less of it. In June of 2013, we watched a couple of very good documentaries, Forks Over Knivesbeing one of them. I was amazed at how some of the people in the film went from being so sick and medicated to healthy and medication-free in such a short period of time.

In July of 2013, Ed and I decided to cut out all animal products. Ed had suffered most of his life from nasal allergies. These symptoms disappeared within a short period of time after cutting out dairy. Now he has only occasional seasonal allergies. I had suffered from some digestive issues and would take over-the-counter meds to treat the symptoms. Three days after eliminating dairy from my diet, these issues completely disappeared, and I no longer need to take meds.

I have really enjoyed finding articles and recipes that support the plant-based lifestyle. There is so much good information right at our fingertips. With today’s social media, it’s easy to find other groups and individuals who also live this way of life.

Ed works as a pharmacist in a busy retail setting. A high percentage of the prescriptions he fills are for disorders and diseases that could be prevented or eliminated by making healthy lifestyle changes. Customers frequently ask him which diet aids work best. He is honest and tells them that none of them do, and then he shares his weight-loss story.

Today our lab results and BP numbers are fantastic, and our doctors are impressed with all the healthy lifestyle changes we have made. I have become a firm believer that each of us has the ability to prevent certain diseases and disorders by the foods that we eat.

A big thank you to doctors Campbell and Esselstyn for sharing their stories with us in such an eye-opening book and documentary. FOK has literally changed our lives!

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Video of the Day

Jessica Bowen: Stage 3 Breast Cancer Survivor

This is a story more should hear. She went whole food plant based through John McDougall's program which can be read about in his book "The Starch Solution"
Jessica Bowen: Stage 3 Breast Cancer Survivor