Is “everything in moderation” sabotaging you?

“Everything in moderation.” Have you ever heard that? Have you said that? Yeah, me, too.

What do we mean, though? After all, we’re not talking about obeying laws in moderation or using heroin in moderation. We mean things like eating cake and drinking wine in moderation.

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

But how do we measure it? And, does “everything in moderation” work?

It depends.

Do you have the results you want? If you’re at your ideal weight and can easily maintain it with your lifestyle of moderation, then it works for you.

If not, well then…

Here are three ways I see moderation sabotage peoples’ weight loss efforts:

  1. An excuse for over-eating: understand that over-eating is not just eating to the point of feeling stuffed. It’s eating when you’re not hungry. For example, I know many people who say they feel the need (or have a taste) for something sweet, especially in the evenings. Moderation justifies a little chocolate or a little ice cream. Any over-eating will keep you stuck.
  2. Your interpretation is overly generous: moderation is avoiding extremes, but that doesn’t help much when it comes to food and alcohol. How does one take in fried foods, sugar, and wine in moderation? A little of each every day? A little of one every day? One of each once a week? Look to see where your interpretation might stop you from losing weight.
  3. Going without is deprivation: but you’re deprived anyway. If you’re not at your ideal body weight, and able to easily maintain it, then you’re robbed of being your best. The moderation argument sells you on a cheap substitute and you trade a drink here, a little over-eating there, for what you really want: to feel and look amazing.

I used to think moderation worked for me with most things. But I’ve discovered it allowed me to justify bad habits that over time don’t benefit me at all. The momentary pleasure of butter cream frosting (if you know me, you know that was my “thing”) was just that. A tiny thing in comparison to living my best life.

That might sound overly dramatic. I mean, moderate intake of butter cream frosting can’t prevent me from living my best life, can it?

The thing is, someone doesn’t suddenly have a heart attack, or gain 30lbs overnight. It’s years of small steps, of compromising on the little things, that bring her to that place.

Yes, moderation can work. But if your current practice of it is not working for you, then dig into the top three saboteurs to see what you might want to do differently.

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