Let’s talk about the myth of moderation. It’s like nails on a chalkboard to me. I’m sure you’ve said or at least heard the saying, “Everything in moderation.” This is the ultimate lie. The problem with “everything in moderation” is that we end up trying to normalize something that can be highly addictive. We try to pretend that we don’t have a problem by continuing to consume it. It’s like trying to put that square peg in the round hole.
The problem with moderation.
When you continue to think “everything in moderation”, and you go to try to have just one piece of pizza, you actually end up eating the whole pizza. Then, you start to feel bad about yourself. You feel guilty, ashamed, and stupid and wonder what’s wrong with you. You ask yourself, “How come I can’t be moderate with whatever it is?”
In my life, I’ve seen very few people eat half a cookie and walk away or drink half a beer and walk away. Truthfully, I have never even seen my dog eat half his dog food and walk away. Let’s be completely honest and a little bit edgy here. This is your warning.
Crack addicts don’t moderate crack. They don’t have a big pile of crack sitting on their kitchen counter. They don’t just walk by it and take a little crack here and there. No, they’re crack addicts. They’re going to consume all the crack. Spoiler alert: you might be a crack addict with some other drug. Maybe it’s not crack, but it’s alcohol, Twinkies, Netflix, or online shopping?
Full disclosure, I’ve been that person who can’t practice moderation with certain foods.
For example, I have no shut-off valve for chocolate chip cookies. I just don’t. Sometimes I can have one. But I don’t really want one. If I’m eating the cookies, I want more. So I know that about myself. I don’t pretend that I’m just going to be moderate with these cookies. I’m not the person who is going to just have a bite, put them away, be totally fine and totally forget about them, and just get on with my life.
No, I’ll be thinking about them. I know that they’re there. When should I have them? Should I have them now? Can I eat all of them? I’ll be obsessing about them. It’s just just the way it is. You might have that same thing with chips or wine or whatever.
The whole idea that you’re supposed to be moderate with something that is very pleasurable to our brains is just shit.
Stop doing it. You have to be the parent of your brain and just say no. It is about being honest and truthful with yourself. Quit telling the lie of “everything in moderation”. It’s almost out there with “I deserve a treat”. That’s another saying I want to kick in the balls. I can’t stand it. Stop it. It’s just your brain trying to get away with eating and drinking and doing whatever it wants.
As adults, we do have the power to acknowledge there are certain things that you’re not going to be to practice moderation with. And that’s okay. Don’t have to judge it. I don’t even have to wonder why chocolate chip cookies are fucking great. They’re sweet and salty, and kind of chewy and kind of crunchy, but kind of soft. I mean they’re fucking amazing, right? I bet you have something that you just can’t get enough of. When I want to lose weight and keep weight off, I’m very cognizant that chocolate chip cookies are on a list for me of the high drama foods.
The truth about moderation.
There is no problem if there are certain foods, drinks, or activities that make your brain really light up. Our brains have these things called dopamine receptors. And when our brains experience extreme pleasure, they literally light up like pinball machines. So of course, our brain is going to seek pleasure from those things.
But here’s kind of the thing. Over time, if we do keep indulging and keep rewarding, eventually, we’re going to need more. It’s not going to be one cookie, it’s going to be 1000 cookies to get that same dopamine hit. So while I’m not telling you not to reward your brain, you do have to be careful. This is why people do have problems with drugs, alcohol, food, sex, gambling, and all the things they become addicted to.
Hyper-palatable foods are no exception.
I’m trying to normalize having a human brain that likes cookies, but we have to get away from “everything in moderation”. Stop saying it and stop thinking that you’re missing out. People who continually say “everything in moderation” to you just wants you to be their drinking buddy. They want you to eat cookies with them and start your diet tomorrow.
But here’s the deal…
You can definitely incorporate foods that you like as long as you understand and you’re honest with the implications. I still eat chocolate chip cookies. Some days the cookies win. And some days I win. I’ve just gotten really good at noticing what happens on the days that I overeat cookies and the days that I don’t.
The myth of moderation does not take into account that there are foods, drinks, drugs, or activities that our brain really cannot get enough of. We’re all different. Our brains will be lit up by different things. Oftentimes with similar things. Not everybody becomes a drug addict or an alcoholic. Maybe you cannot be moderate with certain foods. But the glorious part is that you can decide what you want to do about it.
NOTES IN ANCHOR
Let’s talk about the myth of moderation. It’s like nails on a chalkboard to me. I’m sure you’ve said or at least heard the saying, “Everything in moderation.” This is the ultimate lie. The problem with “everything in moderation” is that we end up trying to normalize something that can be highly addictive. We try to pretend that we don’t have a problem by continuing to consume it. It’s like trying to put that square peg in the round hole. Your brain does not like moderation with foods, drinks, and activities that light it up like a Christmas tree.
ABOUT THE HOST
Bonnie Lefrak has been in the health and fitness industry for 25 years. As a former bikini competitor, Bonnie helps other women achieve their dreams of being on stage as bikini competitors through her bikini program at the gym she owns in Massachusetts called Fitness Asylum. But as a self-proclaimed professional dieter, Bonnie also realized the toll dieting takes on the human brain.
Bonnie helps women over 40 lose weight without killing themselves in the gym, eliminate all the BS food drama, and help to create a life and body they LOVE. She wants to help women create certainty in their own lives, their own results, and their own abilities. Weight loss is not about the one “right” diet. It is about MUCH more than that.
Weight loss is not about the one “right” workout. Weight loss is not about being positive and putting a big smile on. Weight loss is about FEELINGS. All of them. Not trying to bury them or hide from them but knowing and allowing the full human experience. Weight loss is not about grinding hustling and will powering your way to some end line. Transformation (when done well) is done from the inside out. Transformation doesn’t happen on the scale. She is an expert at Demystifying weight loss and helps you unfuck your diet brain.
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