I recently learned about moderation by complete accident while working with the reigning Miss South Africa, Ade van Heerden. I realized that my obsession with food extended to treats and this small trick taught me to get over it.
Being the curious person that I am, while I was at Miss South Africa’s home I noticed her grocery cupboards, she had a little Tupperware with all the tasty protein snacks that I absolutely love. I saw this and knew that it would never last in my house, I didn’t think that I had the kind of restraint necessary for that to happen. I mean, obviously – have you even seen the perfection that is Miss South Africa? This got me thinking, why can’t I practice such restraint and still enjoy life in moderation? Why couldn’t I just have a bite of a protein treat to satisfy my cravings? Did I always have to finish the entire bar?
While we were going about the day, I discovered that she has a moderation problem with Nut Butters, and that is where her weakness lies. It was a real eye-opener for me to realize that everyone has their weakness and that doesn’t make you a weak person. I mean, I was talking to living proof of that fact – but (as usual) I digress…
We become so wrapped up in what we’re not allowed to have when we start a new journey, that we form unhealthy attachments to unhealthy food. When you start eating healthy food, you’re presented with endless options of what you can actually have, but because it’s not laced with sugar we feel like we’re restricting ourselves.
Isn’t that ridiculous?
We have a smorgasbord of healthy fruits and vegetables and delicious protein snacks that we can have, but because it’s not pizza and tubs of ice cream we feel like we’re restricting ourselves. It’s been a process to learn the difference and I’m still not even close to being at peace with my relationship with food, but I am learning that I can have tasty treats but in moderation and that is the important part.
Back to the Tupperware, inside this little container were stacks of tasty treats, the big trick is that they weren’t finished. Adè would have a slice or a bite of a chocolate bar, a protein bar, you name it, but just enough to satisfy the craving and not finish the whole bar. This little habit makes the world of difference – do you know how many calories are in those bars? Compare that to a bite to satisfy the sweet tooth and you’re within your macros and not a shred of guilt in site!
Obviously, I had to copy this genius hack at home. I have a few snacks available if I want them, but I also know that I don’t have to finish it in one go. I tried this last night and had 19 g of a protein bar and it was all I needed. I felt satisfied and still have a chunk of protein bar left. It also gave me a hint of protein, without the heap of calories.
For anyone who has had an eating disorder, overcoming unhealthy relationships and habits that you form with food is a challenge. That is why I am so proud of the fact that I’ve taken this tiny lesson and made it part of my relationship with food. My hope is that you can learn from it as well, and use it to heal your relationship with food and self.
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Until next time.