Looking to lead a stronger, healthier life?
Sign up for our Wellness Wire newsletter for all sorts of nutrition, fitness, and wellness wisdom.

Now we’re in this together.
Thanks for subscribing and having us along on your health and wellness journey.

See all Healthline's newsletters »
Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

See all posts »

Moderation Isn't a 4 Letter Word

Ok, here's my $0.02 about dieting – it's for the birds! The other day I was reading a magazine in the checkout line. The article was about how popular actresses stay slim and one responded, "I stop dieting; it always made me binge." I nearly shouted out, "You go girl!" For me, not spouting off while reading diet articles is about as tough as a football fan not yelling at the TV when the ref makes a bad call. I get all fired up when I read that a newly svelte celeb ate only grilled chicken, egg whites, and vegetables to lose weight. Because while I won’t deny that a strict, repetitive diet will cause weight loss, the big question is, "what else will it cause?"

In my experience as both a registered dietitian and human being, the answers are: cravings, mood swings, fatigue, cravings, relationship and social problems (more on this in another post), nutrient imbalances, irritability, (did I mention cravings) and eventually, weight re-gain. I mean, who can go through the rest of their life never eating their favorite foods (and if you can't keep doing it, it stops working)? And let's face it, for most of us, the favorites list includes things like bread, chocolate, cheese, and ice cream – not exactly "diet" foods. Now, if a high calorie, low nutrient food isn't a "can't live without" food, I’m all for giving it up. But when your no-no list includes foods you know in your heart you can't (or don't want to) give up forever, you're bound to rebound. And losing weight doesn't have to be about deprivation. By making realistic changes you can stick to, you can lose weight and keep it off without feeling sentenced to diet prison.

In my previous post, I mentioned that my hubby has shed 50+ pounds since we met, and he's kept if off for over 3 years now. And guess what? He didn't diet or work out for hours a day. He just used good old fashioned moderation (i.e. 2 tacos vs. 5, a small hot fudge sundae vs. large, etc.). So my motto is: moderation makes sense. Now that's something you can sink your teeth into – pun fully intended!
  • 1
Was this article helpful? Yes No

About the Author


Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

Recent Blog Posts