What Everything in Moderation Looks Like with Your Favorite Unhealthy Foods from What Everything in Moderation Looks Like with Your Favorite Unhealthy Foods

What Everything in Moderation Looks Like with Your Favorite Unhealthy Foods

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pasta salad

What Everything in Moderation Looks Like with Your Favorite Unhealthy Foods

Moderation is easier said than done and if you overthink it, you will definitely fail. At the end of the day, you know how your body reacts to certain foods and eating too much junk will not make you feel good, but depriving yourself could mentally exhaust you.



Focus on What You Can Eat

Deprivation is never the answer, especially when it comes to your favorite foods. You will feel less guilty about indulging if you follow a healthy diet regularly and focus on all of the good foods you can eat. When you realize how many different types of healthy foods you can enjoy, you will feel less deprived.


Learn How to Eat Less

Portion sizes have increased dramatically and we are accustomed to cleaning our plate and eating the entire portion, even if it is a lot larger than we need. According to the dietary guidelines, we are recommended to cut back on fast foods and refined grains because there are a lot of calories in small portions of these foods. When you decide to indulge, cut your portion in half and save the other half for another time or share with a friend.


Look at Where the Calories Are Coming From

Most of the calories come from high-fat, sugar laden foods. According to a chart created by WebMD, the top sources of calories include grain-based desserts, yeast breads, fried chicken, sweetened beverages, pizza, and alcohol. Knowing that these foods are higher in calories than other foods can help you practice portion control and reduce the serving size of these foods and drinks when you do decide to enjoy them.



Problem: Bagels

Reaching for a whole-wheat bagel makes sense but a large bagel can be over 300 calories, and that’s without the toppings.


Healthy Alternative to Bagels

Aiming for half a bagel will be helpful, but make sure that half is only the size of a hockey puck. A better choice would be a slice of whole wheat toast with an egg white omelette.


Photo Modified: Flickr / Mike Haller / CC BY 4.0

Problem: Chips

Whether you are watching TV or behind your desk at work, it’s easy to swallow an entire bag of chips in one sitting.

whole grain chips


Healthy Alternative to Chips

Portion out your chips in advance by putting single servings into small sandwich bags. If possible, choose baked, multigrain, and vegetable chips.

ice cream


Problem: Ice Cream

One cup of ice cream may seem like a portion-controlled dessert but that will load you with over 290 calories and 75 percent of your recommended fat for the entire day.

banana ice cream


Healthy Alternative to Ice Cream

If you crave a frozen treat after dinner, try blending frozen bananas with peanut butter or even plain! It will give you the same texture as ice cream with half of the calories.



Problem: Meat

Meat is a hearty source of protein but eating meat everyday can add up in the fat category.


Healthy Alternative to Meat

You can enjoy red meat every once in a while but your protein should come from lean sources, such as fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, and beans. Eating protein at every meal will help you build muscle and lose weight.



Problem: Oil

We love roasting our Brussels sprouts with olive oil or sautéing vegetables in coconut oil, but oil can be easy to overdo if you do not measure it correctly.

healthy salad dressing


Healthy Alternative to Oil

When it comes to your salads, use a light vinaigrette instead of a creamy salad dressing. When you are cooking in a pan, you can spray coconut oil instead of pouring in endless amounts of oil.


Problem: Pasta

The serving sizes at restaurants are more than three times the size of what you should be eating. Not to mention, the sauce tacks on additional calories.

pasta salad

Healthy Alternative to Pasta

A serving of pasta should be around the size of ½ a baseball, or half of a cup. If you choose pasta when you eat out, avoid the creamy sauce and opt for tomato-based sauce instead. If you have the option, try whole-wheat or quinoa pasta. This way, your meal will provide you with fiber and a healthy portion of grains.


Problem: Pastries

Doughnuts and croissants are delicious, but essentially have no nutritional value and spike your blood sugar within 30 minutes of consuming. Try having a couple doughnut holes instead of a full doughnut, or split your portion in half.


Healthy Alternative to Pastries

If you are guilty of a sweet tooth in the morning, put your cooking skills to good use and make whole-grain blueberry or even chocolate chip muffins. These will satisfy your craving and give you a dose of fiber.

peanut butter


Problem: Peanut Butter

Whether you love peanut butter in between your Reese’s peanut butter cup or with your peanut butter and jelly sandwich, this nut butter provides a healthy dose of good fats and protein. However, too much can add up quickly.

almond butter

Photo Modified: Flickr / jules / CC BY 4.0

Healthy Alternative to Peanut Butter

Aim for two tablespoons of peanut butter, which clocks in at around 200 calories. You can also try other nut butters, such as almond, cashew, or pistachio butter.



Problem: Pizza

Pizza is a quick, and typically cheap, meal option. However, it is loaded with calories, refined grains, and fat. Enjoying one slice every once in a while is approved and a necessary indulgence if you like pizza.

healthy pizza


Healthy Alternative to Pizza

If you can’t get enough of the real thing, try making your own pizza or opting for a healthier alternative. You can choose a thin, whole-grain crust, add vegetables, and use just a sprinkle of cheese.


iStock / Thinkstock

Problem: Potatoes

Potatoes are considered a vegetable, but when they are fried and smothered in cheese, you are consuming a lot more calories and fat that you would hope.

sweet potatoes


Healthy Alternative to Potatoes

If you are willing to branch out, sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamin C and vitamin A, which promote eye and skin health. Sticking to white potatoes is fine, too. Just be sure to avoid the excess toppings at restaurants and aim to eat a potato that is the size of a computer mouse.



Problem: Waffles and Pancakes

There is nothing like a big plate of stacked pancakes or Belgian waffles sprinkled with powdered sugar.

healthy pancakes


Healthy Alternative to Waffles and Pancakes

You can still enjoy your pancakes or waffles, but instead of having three or four pancakes, have one pancakes (the size of a CD) and an egg. This way, the egg will give you protein, which can prevent you from overeating later. If you have the option, try to make or order whole grain or whole wheat pancakes or waffles and use fruit as a topping.

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pasta salad

What Everything in Moderation Looks Like with Your Favorite Unhealthy Foods