• Kristin Gerkens, Senior Writer

Let's Talk Moderation

Have you ever heard the term “Eat everything in moderation?” What does that mean to you? To me, it means that we can enjoy everything (yes, the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’) as part of our daily diet but there are certain food items that require more will power. That translates to eating 2 slices of pizza twice a month and not every other day, or enjoying an ice cream cone once a week and not a pint every night. “Moderation is about finding a balance between two extremes – deprivation and overindulging.” - Gemma Sampson RD APD

Were you ever part of the ‘clean plate club’ growing up as a kid and have your parents make you finish your plate at dinner before you could have dessert? When you were at a restaurant, did they make sure you ate everything on your plate because they didn’t want it to go to waste? We seem to get caught up in this all-or-nothing principal in all aspects of our lives even when it comes to food, (especially when there’s a pint of Ben and Jerry’s staring you right in the face.)

You may find yourself saying, ‘If I just finish this whole pint now, then it won’t be in the house to tempt me!’ Don’t worry—we’ve all done it. Sometimes, guilt and an upset stomach ensue, and you swear off ice cream for a while. What if I told you there was a way to enjoy all food without going off the deep end on your nutrition?

Here at UNF, we have many dining options on campus that allow you to enjoy the foods that you like in a healthy manner so you don’t feel guilty. Let's chat about some tips and tricks to avoid overindulging, especially around the holidays when there’s so many yummy tempting options!


‘Tis the season for exams and Starbucks overload! It also happens to be the season of the ever so popular PSL and peppermint mocha. These seasonal items are only available for a short period of time, so it's only natural that we want a holiday cup full! If you’re craving a PSL from Starbucks choose the tall option rather than the grande. While coffee may be your go-to every morning, it's still possible to enjoy the fall flavors of pumpkin spice without consuming an entire day's worth of calories in one cup. To make it even lighter opt for it to be made with skim milk and hold the whip.

That pumpkin bread looks good too – eat half and then save half for later.

Especially with holiday and seasonal flavors, make sure you are really enjoying and savoring the dimensional flavor. Mindless eating can easily lead to overconsumption. To combat this, be fully there when you enjoy your holiday favorites. Taste each sip and soak in all the cozy feelings!


It’s bagel time! Have you noticed that Einstein’s has so many delicious bagel flavors around this time of year? Don’t pass them up! Pumpkin, sweet potato, egg: get one and toast it up! You can eat half and save the other half for later. I don’t know if you guys know but they also have bagel poppers that come in a plastic container, which is a perfect way to save some for a snack attack later. Pop a couple and put them away for later or the next day. Maybe you want something a little more filling and complete like a bagel egg sandwich. Choose one egg instead of two.

Papa Johns

We all crave pizza once in a while. Get one slice instead of two. You still get to enjoy your pizza but not overindulge and feel sick.


I don’t know about you but I love me some waffle fries! Grab a small fry and a grilled chicken sandwich instead of a fried one or a small fry and 6 chicken nuggets instead of 8 or 12.

You want a peppermint milkshake? Small please!

The Café and Outtakes

These are locations on campus where YOU get to be the ultimate decider of how much you eat. Here are some tips for when you are serving yourself:

-Be sure to listen to your body. What does that mean? Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full.

-Portion sizes. Do you want spaghetti for lunch? Only fill up part of your plate with spaghetti or grab a small plate to fill so you don’t have this huge plate staring you in the face. And, remember to never eat with your eyes!

-Eat slowly. Take your time and enjoy your food. Being students, we are all usually in a rush or eating on the go. A lot of the time, overeating can happen when we scarf down our food and then don’t realize we have a food baby until after the fact. Slow down and relax.

Now you have some tips and tricks for eating in moderation not only on campus but off campus as well. Take these tips to your dorm or the next party you go to. Eat SLOWLY, ENJOY what you want, and LISTEN to your body. Take 1 or 2 instead of 5 Christmas cookies. Doggy bags are a must when you go out to eat--You don’t have to finish your plate if you’re already full. Take half home and save it for dinner the next day!

Until next time, Stay Healthy Ospreys!

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For more information about meal plans or hours of operation, please visit dineoncampus.com/unf