There are all kinds of complex nutritional articles out there on the interwebs, written about very specific subjects such as renal insufficiency, BCAA ratios, or the benefits of ketogenic diets. This article is not one of those. In honour of the twelve days of Christmas (12 days of holidays for the fellow non-Yuletide celebrators), I will impart 12 basic healthy diet habits. These articles are not cutting edge Chevy Volt type material, but instead are more like the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu triangle choke–a basic move learned on day one, and still workable as a black belt.
Day one: Everything in moderation.
This is obvious, you may say, and you are correct, but it seems that many of us often forget this tried and true tenant that is applicable to much more than diet/fitness. My personal observation is that trying to stick too hard to a schedule/routine/eating plan is a recipe for failure. The reality is that humans are not machines, and we eat for many reasons besides extracting energy from our food.
This is not to say that there are not times when strict adherence to a schedule is imperative, there are. I would never advise an individual with a severe peanut allergy to stay away from peanuts “most of the time”; similarly, a competitive bodybuilder/athlete has to stick to their periodization (link) plan 100% of the time to make it work (although even they can have ‘cheat’ days built into their schedules).
This is especially valid around the holiday time. This season only comes around once a year, and if you want to enjoy an extra helping of turkey with your family or an extra glass of Beaujolais Nouveau, by all means go for it without feeling guilty. Just remember, that the habit is “Everything in MODERATION“.