Healthy Eating

Choosing Between Too Much and Not Enough

Our ability to succeed is based on our ability to manage our inputs and outputs.

Too much food = obesity and all the health risks that come with it.

Too little food = undernourishment and all the health risks that come with it.

Too little exercise = poor physical status. Too much exercise = poor physical status.

Too much knowledge = potential for poor outcomes. Too little knowledge = potential for poor outcomes.

carrot bunch
Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay

Eat too many carrots and you could turn orange.

Eat too few carrots (sources of vitamin A) and you may end up dealing with night blindness.

What to do, what to do?

Our ability to succeed is based on our ability to manage our inputs and outputs, physically and mentally. Typically we think if something is bad, we should stay away from it, and if something is good, you need all you can get. The truth is usually somewhere in the middle.

That’s what we need to remember. We can set ourselves up for perpetual failure and restarting with the same goals and tactics over and over again (oh hey, new year’s resolutions). Yes, we are all human and have basic needs. That’s essential. Beyond that, how you do your human thing is up to you. Here are some ideas that might just be exactly what you need.

  1. Stop overgeneralizing eating occasions. Don’t have the same rules for a weekday breakfast as you do a holiday brunch. Ask yourself if it’s an everyday choice, or a special choice. If you are on holiday in Italy, and you are only getting handmade pasta once, it is not the time to count the noodles. It is the time to savor every bite. Your everyday meals need to include the balance of nutrition the five food groups bring you. Your special meals need to allow for indulgences and re-prioritizing choices. Doughnuts in the break room are frequent. Homemade snickerdoodle cookies are not. Maybe you could skip the daily doughnut (I personally hold out for a really good apple fritter a few times a year). Take a cookie (not 8) at the holiday buffet. See?

    snickerdoodle cookie holiday treat
    Image by serenestarts from Pixabay
  2. Stop thinking everyone needs to become an Olympic level athlete. You know what’s great? Walking. Gardening. Dancing. Or whatever makes you happy to move. Get your activity the way you like it. Just do something every day.
  3. Start appreciating and owning the choices you make. If you don’t like how you feel, change your lifestyle habits to align with feeling better. Talk to your doctor, a dietitian, a personal trainer – the experts you need to help you think of new ways to go about caring for yourself.

What are you waiting for?

starting line go
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

By Kim Kirchherr

I am a dietitian working in food and fiber (agriculture) through retail, addressing opportunities to make things better for people and planet.