McDonald's smallerHow many times have you been told to eat in moderation only to walk away having NO IDEA what moderation means!? Is it based on your:

  • height and weight?

  • health?

  • age?

Let’s create some foundational components to create meaning and understanding to the concept “eating in moderation.”

(1) 80%/20% RULE (relaxed moderation) or 90%/10% RULE (strict moderation):

Based on your level of REALITY, you should eat between 80% to 90% HEALTHY and 10% to 20% on choices that satisfy comfort desires. This provides a method that satisfies the body’s physical  NEEDS with the brain’s emotional WANTS. How do we define HEALTHY EATING? These are REAL FOODS with LIMITED or NO PROCESSING involved. Examples of these foods would include:

  • beef, chicken, pork, fish,

  • vegetables, {including whole potatoes (white and sweet) a couple of times/week}

  • fruits

  • beans /// grains (such as lentils, black beans, pinto beans, /// quinoa, millet, oats, brown rice, ) There are certain nutrition plans that omit this category as part of a healthy intake. It would require too much space to explain in detail, however, if Celiac Disease or other gastrointestinal disorders are not present, these foods offer nutritional benefits worth consuming.

  • dairy including milk (although I’m not a fan of milk), yogurt, eggs,

  • seeds, nuts

  • water, coffee, tea,

These are REAL FOODS required by the body to meet the nutritional component of GOOD HEALTH. These foods should be HOME PREPARED 80% to 90% of the time.


These foods WILL BE ENJOYED 80% to 90% (or higher) if you are willing to research spices and healthy natural sauces for additional flavoring.


Who are the 10% – 20% (“THE BAD GUYS”):

  • processed sugars

  • starchy carbohydrates (ex. white bread, white pasta)

  • most fast food products

  • most canned, boxed or bagged man made food choices (ex. cereal, soda, potato chips, cold cuts, hotdogs, buns)

  • most bakery style dessert products

  • most frozen food entrees in grocery stores



ihop_mealIHOP Chorizo Fiesta Omelette

Eggs can often be an excellent breakfast choice. But not when you stuff them with chorizo and cheese, top ’em with chili, and accompany them with three pancakes with syrup to boot.

Calories: 1,990
Fat: 121 grams
Saturated fat: 42 grams
Sodium: 4,840 milligrams
Added sugar: 60 grams
How to burn it off: Clean house for eight hours

dickeys_platter_drink_coneDickey’s Barbecue Pit 3 Meat Plate

As if three fatty meats—Polish sausage, pork ribs, and beef brisket—weren’t enough to spell heart attack on a plate, heap on sides of fried onion and mac and cheese, a massive container of sweet tea, and a cone of the free soft-serve ice cream. It all adds up to more than a day’s worth of calories and nearly eight days’ worth of artery-clogging saturated fat.

Calories: 3,816
Fat: 190 grams
Saturated fat: 133 grams
Sodium: 6,834 milligrams
Added sugar: 149 grams
How to burn it off: Run for five hours


These are just two examples showing the calories, saturated fat, sodium and added sugar consumers take in on a regular basis. Remember, the ENTIRE DAY WORTH OF CALORIES should range between 1600 and 2500 on average. Each of these two meals ALONE amounts to 1990 calories and 3816 calories respectively. DAILY SATURATED FAT should range between 17-25 grams. Each of these two meals ALONE is 42 grams and 133 grams respectively. DAILY SODIUM should rage between 1300mg- 2300mg.  Each of these two meals ALONE is 4840mg and 6834mg respectively.  DAILY ADDED SUGAR should not exceed 25 grams (women)35 grams (men.) Each of these two meals ALONE is 60 grams and 149 grams respectively.The same type of numbers holds true for pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers, fries, fried chicken etc… which consumers eat on a regular basis.

The average person lives a lifestyle so far out of the range of MODERATION, changes can feel intimidating. The key is to implement WEEKLY changes that are built upon (each following week) to gradually align oneself with a REALISTIC plan that achieves the goals outlined in this article.

Achieving MODERATION in lifestyle will transform you in ways you can’t even imagine. Now that MODERATION has MEANING, treat yourself to a learning experience that will improve your health and quality of life!

****Special thanks to HEALTH from Time inc.  for the pictures and nutritional information below the pictures used in this post.****




  1. I have kept a food log a few times, and it’s important to note that even what we’d consider a light meal dining out is not so light when you get down to real numbers. It was a bit of a shock to me.
    A good post, Doc, reality check.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re right. This is why I provided a couple of examples followed by actual values that consumers should be consuming. I think many people will be shocked by what they are truly doing to themselves.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I just gasped at the concept of a meal being 1990 calories. It’s only now that I realised that just because a plate of food sounds similar to something I would make at home, doesn’t mean that they are, indeed, the same.

    I’ve recently found that the only way I could honestly and responsibly control what I was consuming was by preparing the dishes myself. So, even if I felt like adding a bit of indulgence to a simple meal, I could control that. An example was my love of a tuna and avocado panini, I REGULARLY purchased from a deli. Turns out, even though it was from a juice bar, it was packed with a bunch of things I could do without. The thing that made me buy this sandwich, over and over again was something small.

    It was the DILL in the dressing! That’s all I craved. So I’ve potentially cut down a 700 calorie, dressing soaked-sandwich down to about 280-330 calories by simply preparing it myself and upping up on the things I loved.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for such an important comment. As readers see what you have done it will motivate some to reconsider their approach to health and life. Changing behavior requires some effort, but the positive benefits outweigh the effort. Keep up the good work!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. glad to get this info somewhere since my own physician seems unable to answer questions on the matter. thanks for a good post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hopefully more physicians will begin understanding the importance of this component in overall health. The goal (in my opinion) is to help restore health; NOT maintain chronic disease!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. and here I thought the goal was to fund the pharmacutical companies……….

        Liked by 1 person

        1. …it all depends on whose eyes are seeking the truth… 🙂


  4. I’d have to say most Americans have no idea what “moderate” eating is, either in terms of quality or quantity. It’s much easier to overconsume processed foods because of their calorie-density. These types of foods also increase appetite and do not satisfy hunger. That being said I personally subscribe to the 80/20 rule. I eat clean most of the time but on Friday night I follow what I call the “whole meal” plan (half of a pizza and half of a carton of ice cream!) Long term success is all about delayed gratification not denial.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well said. Denial will do nothing but contribute to yo-yo failure. Including comfort style foods AFTER eating a complete meal consisting of REAL FOOD will satisfy the emotional desire while preventing a feeling of deprivation. You will also eat LESS comfort food (out of CHOICE!)


  5. Reblogged this on disue.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you again for sharing. I appreciate your recognition in sharing these messages.


      1. No problem. Not good at practicing, but very interested in nutrition.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Having an INTEREST is the FIRST step needed to overcoming life’s deficiencies. “Practice” doesn’t begin until INTEREST develops into ACTION. Hopefully, I can help you find enough reason to begin the process, that INTEREST progresses to ACTION. I respect your right to pursue any direction of choice. If you ever have any questions feel free to ask. If your question requires greater detail my email address is

          Thank you again for sharing my messages.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. wow those numbers just grossed me out! hahaha! oh my goodness! shocking…makes me so glad ive cut fast food out of my life and have learned moderation. my plateful is about half the size it use to be. and truly I dont miss the ice cream and junk food one bit…every now and then Ill have some chocolate but its not on the daily menu like it once was thats for sure! Sugar is the enemy! hhahaa My body feels better without all the crappy food its just as simple as that and all I want to do each day is feel better. whatever is under my control I will pay attention to and that is what I eat and how many times I get myself to the pool. Im not going down without a fight Doctor Jonathan! ahhaa! 🙂 thank you so much for doing this blog! the info I read here sticks with me truly it does! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. People will benefit from seeing the changes you implemented in your life with positive results. Your past history is the classic American Diet. Your behavior should be used as a model for other people to follow. Well done!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well thank you for saying so! i wonder if you would ever consider doing a post ‘a day in the life’ haha or something? i would love to know what you eat and what your exercise routines are. i have a feeling im not the only one who would benefit from that 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. My lifestyle is more structured than I recommend for most people. I think it might scare people away from attempting a lifestyle of MODERATION. I have entered all my foods and exercise in a computer program since 1995 (except for vacations.) I exercise 4-5X/week for 90 – 100 minutes each session.

          I do NOT recommend this. This is my PASSION and therefore an “experimental” lifestyle I ENJOY living. I monitor my blood chem profile to make certain all values are within recommended levels. It is NOT necessary (nor recommended) to live this style to achieve quality health.


          1. Still! oh my gosh it might not be necessary but it sure is impressive! Passion I love it! 🙂 You motivate me I hope you know!

            Liked by 1 person

            1. YOU motivate YOU! I just encourage people. I never take the credit.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. I guess you are right!! and again I smile! thank you for saying! 🙂

                Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s stark to see these numbers just right out there!

    This is one of those changes that seems hard to make, but is so easy when you realize that the food you make is not only healthier than that you but, but likely tastier. And, the process of making it can be highly enjoyable. It’s really a win-win situation to switch to a healthier diet!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hopefully, lot’s of people read your comment. People need to realize it is NOT a PUNISHMENT to prepare your own meals. It truly can be a win-win situation.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Excellent article Dr. Jonathan. Before reading this post, I thought that ‘eating in moderation’ means choosing variety of foods, I didn’t realise that between homemade meals and eat-out meals make such difference! As someone who love indulging in special treats such as hot chips; cakes and oily food and lack of exercise.., I need to change my diet from now on!

    Thank you again for sharing this helpful and informative post!

    Vivienne X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The trick is to include ALL the foods you like without depriving your body what it needs. Feed yourself REAL FOODS FIRST. You will eat less comfort food (because you will already be full) without depriving yourself. It’s not worth developing health complications first before changing behavior.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Have to really watch yogurt, most of it loaded with sugar. I buy plain and add a little Polaner all fruit for taste.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very good point. Plain GREEK yogurt also doubles the protein over regular plain yogurt.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I like to cook, and the side benefit is, I eat less of what I make. I don’t know if it’s having all the hands-on experience that lessens the desire to wolf it down, or what. But it’s a win-win in our house.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is unusual for a person to cook for themself (80-90% of the time) and develop chronic weight problems. People want VALUE (which often translates into QUANTITY) when they eat out. At home, we usually do not prepare meals so large.


  11. Counting calories is eye opening….then add the nutritional value to it can be mind staggering, its amazing at what some of the meals at restaurants add up to…but I say start at home and keep track for a week…it will definitely change the way you eat…and the way you see food….great post…thanks

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I “second” this recommendation. Thank you, Kat.


  12. I am applauding you right now ! 🙂 I have to admit I find preparing and cooking meals myself so fulfilling. Eating real wholesome foods is so satisfying, somehow the body doesn’t crave the junk. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If people become a little more open minded and give this HEALTHY lifestyle a chance, more would see the benefits and the MINIMAL sacrifices (when compared to the GAINS ACHIEVED) one experiences. Comments like yours are important and adds to the credibility of my suggestions. People will be more willing to modify their lifestyles if they read about “REAL PEOPLE” that have incorporated these changes. Thank you for sharing your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Adding the “How to burn it off” item (to a list of calories and such) is a stroke of genius.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Calories in and of themselves are just random numbers to many people. Showing what it takes to “burn them off” provides context that emphasizes REALITY in the calorie number.

      I appreciate the sentiment in the “stroke of genius” comment, however, we docs like to leave the word “stroke” out of most sentences. We even call them “shots” in golf! 😀

      Hope you are doing well, my friend. Best wishes.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I actually read this report and it is very informative.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you enjoyed it. I reference many points to provide independent information so readers can view my work more objectively. I hope to see you in the future and welcome your views (in agreement or opposition) on any subject I write about.
      Have a great upcoming weekend.


  15. Love this! Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Always a pleasure! 🙂


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