Anyone who knows or follows my exploits about health and wellness knows I am a pretty regimented guy. Although my dynamic work environment and schedule don’t allow me to have a set “routine”, I still do the same things routinely every day. For example, unless I’m actively resting my body from a tough week of workouts, I try to challenge my body 5-6 times per week. If I don’t, I actually feel guilty. I guess that’s a good thing? My eating habits are similar in nature, although I definitely enjoy some cheats here and there. The same rings true for gaming and my other exploits. I plan my day around the things I need to get accomplished and make time for the things I want to get accomplished.

One of the most important aspects of my life is keeping to a balanced fuel intake. I don’t like to use the word “diet” because modern society has created a stigma behind the word. I’m not on a diet. Diets come and go and they usually fail. I consider my food as fuel for my body. Some fuels will feed the machine and some fuels will bog it down. But what does this all have to do with the title of this article – moderation?

Well, I’m sure you’ve heard it before. Moderation is key to a well-balanced anything! As nauseating as it may sound to hear again, it is absolutely the truth. As an example, take my food habits in consideration. As regimented as I may eat, I have been recently finding myself off the mark a bit. I stick very close to a Paleolithic food intake. Meaning, my fuels consist of anything a caveman may have had access to during the Paleolithic era. Meat, vegetables, nuts/seeds, fruits and lots of water. That’s about it. But lately I’ve found myself loving the meat way too much! My portions began to get out of sync as the meat took over a larger portion of the plate. Seconds? Why not.

What I found is that my blood work numbers began to get out of whack.  My cholesterol was up a bit more than last year and I started to carry a layer around my mid-section that is normally relatively lean. I hadn’t slowed down the consumption of healthy foods, though. I had just added to my normal meat (protein) intake.  Well, guess what? Just about anything that you eat above and beyond what your body requires or can burn in a single sitting will store as – you guessed it- FAT. So I was actually working against myself for over-indulging on the meats I love so much.

So I took myself to task. Keeping a close eye on the amounts of food I was consuming really balanced everything out nicely. By bringing my meat and protein sources down to about 6 ounces (about the size of my palm in area and thickness) per meal, my body began to receive the amounts it needed – and ONLY the amounts it needed. Without the excess protein, my body no longer had to store it as fat. The lean structure came back in a hurry as the excess fat melted off.

So even if you think you are already living a pretty healthy lifestyle, small tweaks such as redefining your personal moderation can make a huge difference. If you’re not living a healthy lifestyle, figuring out how to live in moderation is very simple. Actually doing it, however, can be tough at first. But trust me, it IS doable.

If you’re a junk food junkie, pick the ones you can’t live without. Choose one day per week to indulge. But be relatively strict about your intake on the other days. This is called a “cheat day”. I take advantage of them every week! Trust me, I can crush some pizza! If you need a bit of your favorite poison every day, have a bit each day and cancel the cheat day once per week. But just make sure you’re not overdoing it and try to have the treat during the morning hours to allow your body to burn off more of the calories during your work day.

The bottom line is: Focus on the good stuff and don’t overdo the bad stuff.

This actually works with many things in life. For me, it works with gaming, too. Trust me, I could burn a whole day playing my favorite MMO’s, but my other responsibilities would suffer. So I save that game-time for when my “must-dos” are done. It works great because it feels like I’m rewarding myself for being effective during the day. Your food intake and exercise are no different.

If you’re starting from square one, don’t fret! We all start somewhere and living a healthier lifestyle can be a daunting task considering most of the things the food industry pushes toward our mouths taste amazing. But make no mistake, they will eventually kill us. If you need help making healthier food choices, don’t hesitate to ask. We can point you in the right direction and get you on the path to health. Just remember gamers, it starts and stops with YOU.

Moderate your life! Don’t adopt anything to excess that you know is bad for you! It’s a personal choice and 9 times out of 10, you know in your heart if it’s right or wrong.

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