I think by now we’ve all gotten wind that diets don’t work. Study after study has revealed that the grand majority of people gain back MORE than they lost within 5 years. What’s worse is that they METABOLIC CONSEQUENCES of losing weight and gaining it back means that you’re better off not losing the weight to begin with than to lose it and then gain it back.
“We concluded most of them would have been better off not going on the diet at all. Their weight would be pretty much the same, and their bodies would not suffer the wear and tear from losing weight and gaining it all back.” –UCLA researcher Traci Mann
So what does this mean? Do we literally just settle for being overweight or at a size and shape we don’t want to be? No, that’s clearly not the answer. As children of God, we are called to steward our bodies well. To recognize that our “bodies are not our own” (1 Cor 6:19) but are the very temple of God that we need to maintain not only for ourselves, but to be a shining representative of God. The key is to STOP DIETING but still mindfully take care of our eating and our bodies with healthy habits. Enter in the concept of eating in MODERATION. This is a hot topic of conversation in the fitness world that has a lot of skeptics and critics alike. Moderation seems a bit meaningless to a lot of people. After all, it’s a completely subjective word where what is “moderate” amount for me is not a “moderate” amount for you. One study found that when it comes to serving sizes of a “moderate” amount, people’s answer was always the amount they intended to eat. We as humans cleverly deceive ourselves when we claim we can have whatever food we want and then throw out some amount that we conveniently call “moderation.” Moderation is not meaningless. Even the Bible talks about the mindset of moderation from a Spiritually mature perspective.
“I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”–but I will not be mastered by anything.” 1 Corinthians 6:12
But, though we humans can often get this concept wrong, there IS a way to eat in moderation by using a guideline but not a hard line. In other words, the key to allowing moderation to work but to not make it into a “diet” either literally or in our mentality, is to establish that BOUNDARY between a guideline and a “rule.” This is exactly what I offer in my Nutrient Based Eating program (debuting the week of 2/27) as I help clients build up their nutritional excellence ONE SOLID HABIT at a time. One of the MOST beneficial habits that I include help on is the “80/20 Principle of Moderation.“ In essence, in order to see results from this lifestyle based approach to health, happiness and wholeness, you need to ensure you are implementing your current eating habit(s) at 80% consistency. This means you don’t have to be PERFECT! Perfect doesn’t work. Eating “perfectly” is an ideal figment of our imagination that doesn’t account for our human nature and the uncontrolled circumstances that constantly threaten and thwart our efforts. You will see results JUST AS FAST and for LONGER if you attempt to be about 80% consistency with it. Many people find it difficult to keep this 80/20 split, some of my friends who are working towards this recently discoverd that cannabis can improve insulin regulation (Learn more). That means that if you have a little bit more than you should on the sugar side of your diet, the cannabis can improve your bodies ability to deal with it! I haven’t tried this myself but it sounds great. Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re wondering, well how do I know what 80% means? I mean, can you measure it??! Well, truthfully, yes you can, but not with any exact amount. But, this is where my NBE GUIDE helps you out. You implement the 80% Moderation Principle in one of three ways. All of these have varying pros and cons and you may toggle these from week-to-week, depending on what you have going on in your life. You’ll want to test and see which one works best in your life and your mindset. But be aware, it will take 63+ days of consistent practice to get good at this habit alone!
3 Ways to Implement 80% Moderation:
This is the most effective form of moderation in my opinion. If my NBE goal (as taken from the Phase 0 section of the NBE program) was to eat holistically (meaning, foods that are whole sourced and non-processed). This means that 80% of the plate of food I have in front of me will be foods that came from the ground or had a mother (or are sustainably processed) and the other 20% is free for the foods I like. In this example. you would measure this by literally making your plate like a pie graph that shows what 80% looks like and what 20% looks like.
For me, this means that if I wanted, I could have 2-3 bites of dark chocolate with every single meal if I wanted… and some weeks I do (hello menses!)!! It won’t sabotage my efforts so long as I keep the 80% consistent!
This moderation habit is effective for those who have a single meal they know they are going to need to be a little more relaxed.
If you eat 4 meals per day, this means that 3 out of the 4 will be 100% consistent with your current goal and then the 4th meal will be more flexible.
It works well for those days you are going out to eat or have a special occasion. Or, your family is not quite on board with your health eating and you want to enjoy dinner with them.
The only catch is to not allow yourself to think of the 20% meal as a “free for all” or one of my least favorite phrases, a “cheat meal.” To me, when you are living a moderate lifestyle there is no such thing as CHEATING! There is no such thing as “good food” and “bad food.” Calling it “cheating” can develop like a “guilty pleasure” mindset which takes on a life of it’s own. It causes more overindulgence than necessary.
If you want to see true success, you can’t go nuts even on your “more relaxed meal.” It will sabotage your entire day if you overeat and eat too much of the wrong foods.
You still have to care about what you’re eating but you don’t have to be as strict. It leaves room for you to enjoy more bites of your favorite foods.
This moderation habit is perhaps the most dangerous but also truly helpful for the times we are on vacation or just know the day will be tough to find the foods we need in order to keep our nutrition habit.
If you go 4 days in a row of being 100% consistent with your nutrition habit, then you can take the 5th day to be more relaxed the whole day.
Now, much like the idea of having a “cheat meal” you can’t think of this entire day as a free-for-all. You still care about what you’re eating, and being mindful where you can (and let’s face it, when you begin to eat the NBE way, you WILL actually CRAVE the nutritious foods more than you think.)
So, these full days are things to plan for ahead of time and only use them when you know you truly need a full day of flexibility. Then then next day, you’re back on to your habit with the 80% moderation plan in place!
What’s the key to moderation success?
Having a plan in place before the week begins and having some sort of accountability in place to ensure you are being 80% consistent.
This can come in a variety of forms, such as writing it down, doing it with a friend, or both!
For my NBE program, I have created the tracking form to help you do just that along with some group accountability!
The program comes with a printable NBE Habit Formula Tracker that allows you to list your habit, place a check mark on the meals per day that you accomplished you habit, and then determine at the end of the week if you were about 80% consistent!
Not only that, all purchasers will be added to a private Facebook page where you can post your goal with the other ladies in the program and help hold yourself accountable that way as well!
Grab Your Free Nutrient Guide Today!
The NBE officially becomes available for purchase and will be offered at a discounted price for my email subscribers ONLY the week of February 27. If you want to get on that waitlist, you can sign-up HERE and get a copy of my FREE Nutrient Workbook of the “Top 10 Most Common Nutrient Deficiencies And Where To Find Them For Less Calories.”
I’d love to hear your comments below of what you think about this “moderation” approach to eating? Does it sound feasible? What difficulties do you see with some of these approaches? What are some of the possible solutions?