4

votes

Can you do moderation?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 25, 2011 at 5:30 PM

As I have moved to paleo, which can be seen as extreme by non-Paleos, people keep banging on about all things in moderation. You know, "live a little" "everything in moderation" etc.

It's only taken me 34 years but I realise I cannot do moderation - even when I was following SAD. Plus my recent epic sugar binge just proves it.

Robb wolf covered it in his most recent podcast (81)

so can you do moderation?

6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on March 10, 2012
at 11:13 PM

Quoting Samuel Clemens on PH, cool.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on May 26, 2011
at 03:59 AM

I very much identify with your descriptions of certain foods as just being sort of not even food now, to me. There are certain things, such as anyting that contains grain or sugar/processed stuff, that may as well be blocks of cement. My brain just doesn't even go there. I think it is very hard for people to understand who have never made a dramatic and longterm change in eating. This takes no "will power" for me now and hasn't for years. In the beginning, yes. But it's all just a bunch of cement or mold or sand now...

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on May 26, 2011
at 03:54 AM

I am a total believer in the idea of "trigger" foods for some of us.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 25, 2011
at 10:51 PM

same here. .

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on May 25, 2011
at 07:35 PM

I'm similar to you...depends on the food.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 25, 2011
at 05:47 PM

I think it's really important to know this about yourself. Otherwise, a person will spend years beating themselves up for "failing," when really they just need to recognize their all-or-nothing nature, and proceed accordingly.

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19 Answers

3
1d9af5db8833413037be3ac48964714f

on May 25, 2011
at 07:05 PM

"Take big bites. Anything worth doing is worth overdoing." --Robert Heinlein

3
4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on May 25, 2011
at 06:45 PM

With food - yes. Wine - don't go there!

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 25, 2011
at 10:51 PM

same here. .

2
E7dc4f2e3998906dd3213973a3c10d50

on May 25, 2011
at 11:14 PM

"Moderation in all things. Including moderation."

2
74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on May 25, 2011
at 08:05 PM

I used to not be able to do moderation. However, I've had to learn moderation. It's the only way I managed to overcome my binge-eating disorder. I'm going to have to face food every. single. day. for the rest of my life; I can't simply pretend that chocolate or bananas do not exist.

I love eating, and I love eating delicious food. If I even hint at restriction, I'll binge. So for me, it's the other way around: I have to "permit" myself to eat anything I want, and only then can I decide if I want to eat it or not. I have to eat a banana and chocolate every day. Even if I don't eat them, I promise myself I can have them at any time. Some days I don't even wind up eating my daily allotment because I gave myself permission to have it and instead elected to eat something else.

That said, sometimes my brain chemistry gets wonky by the chemicals in certain foods or fluctuating hormones (ice cream + PMS = disaster), resulting in me circling said certain food like a shark, wringing my hands with anxiety, to pick it up and sniff it then put it away again only to pull it out again and pick tiny crumbs off it. Even then, I don't binge on the food, though I do become somewhat obsessed with it until it's gone. Yay for having OCD! xD

(Fortunately, I don't regard things like gluten or dairy or other poisons as "food" so they're not triggers for me. Cakes and cookies can sit in the house and I'll ignore them because they're as much food to me as the plastic they're covered with.)

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on May 26, 2011
at 03:59 AM

I very much identify with your descriptions of certain foods as just being sort of not even food now, to me. There are certain things, such as anyting that contains grain or sugar/processed stuff, that may as well be blocks of cement. My brain just doesn't even go there. I think it is very hard for people to understand who have never made a dramatic and longterm change in eating. This takes no "will power" for me now and hasn't for years. In the beginning, yes. But it's all just a bunch of cement or mold or sand now...

2
98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

on May 25, 2011
at 05:47 PM

It depends. I strive to be more moderate now that weight loss is not my primary goal but sometimes I fail miserably. A few weeks ago I decided to see if I could work bananas back into my diet as they are one of my favorite foods on the planet. I planned to eat them on WODs. I bought 3 to last the week. Ate one as planned but then the devil took a hold of my brain and the other two were gone within 10 minutes. No bananas for me at least no time soon.

It would appear that macadamia nuts are also an issue for me so those are about to exit my life at least for a while. Cheese had to go for the most part when I could not make a pound of it last more than a day or two. Darn.

I can, however, moderate certain foods like dark chocolate, potatoes and rice which used to be problematic and therefore completely off limits for me.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on May 25, 2011
at 07:35 PM

I'm similar to you...depends on the food.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on May 26, 2011
at 03:54 AM

I am a total believer in the idea of "trigger" foods for some of us.

2
60199d3a580a4e17969059609e48e678

on May 25, 2011
at 05:44 PM

Moderation is how I get by day to day haha. I grew up with the moderation lifestyle so for me it comes naturally. Its one of those things that takes severe determination if you haven't grown up around it.

I like my 1oz of chocolate at night :p

1
0aeded52de19408eecc55f69c31aa1d5

(115)

on June 09, 2011
at 08:36 PM

Nope. I'm either all in or I'm subsisting on coffee and scones in the morning and red wine and chocolate at night. It's really disappointing after 38 years of being alive and for several of those, at least theoretically, knowing better.

1
26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

on May 25, 2011
at 10:50 PM

'Moderation' comes completely naturally to me. I'm a cautious person who thinks before acting. My appetite makes it impossible for me to binge on one food item (I will get nauseous after more than a couple servings of almost anything). I need variety in order to eat enough. Needless to say, I've always been thin. When I have to quit a habit, I almost always taper off once and am done. Everyone is different.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 25, 2011
at 07:26 PM

I can do moderation, but not when I'm banging on things.

1
Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on May 25, 2011
at 06:37 PM

I don't do moderation, but I sometimes feel a little envious of those who do...as Mark Twain so famously said,"All things in moderation, including moderation."

6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on March 10, 2012
at 11:13 PM

Quoting Samuel Clemens on PH, cool.

1
91c2e2a35e578e2e79ce7d631b753879

on May 25, 2011
at 05:47 PM

Sure - I can be moderate about eating paleo, because it's hard for me to binge on quality fat, protein, non-starchy vegetables and berries.

Everything else, though? Um...no.

1
3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 25, 2011
at 05:37 PM

No moderation ability here either, although InvisibleSpacePickle knows I've tried. When I wanted to quit smoking, I tried tapering off dozens of times. I quit cold turkey once, and that was that -- I was done.

One of the (several) reasons I'm zero-carb is that there's no such thing as a "little bit" with me. If I can have some, I can have it all. It's amazing to me how much of a lawyer I turn into when trying to define "allowed amounts" and the meaning of the word "today," lol.

I do think some people are good at moderation. My husband is (dang it!). But I also have to say I hear people describe themselves as being moderate, and yet they're not really able to do it at all. I work with a woman who wants to be Paleo -- read Robb Wolff and all that -- but says she needs to be "moderate" about it, which apparently includes three donuts every Thursday (donut day at our office) and daily sodas.

1
6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on May 25, 2011
at 05:31 PM

No. I can't a strike a balance or do anything in moderation. I'm all or nothing.

0
7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on June 10, 2011
at 02:19 AM

With food, yes. This was true even before paleo. Probably helps that I'm small and can't eat too much before I'm way too full. I cut out all sugar long before paleo and have never had soda in my life (I still think never giving us any soda is one of the smartest parenting decisions my mother ever made, as me and my brothers never developed a taste for sugary stuff.) once I stopped the sweets, it was super easy to moderate my food intake even when I still ate grains and stuff. I realise this is different to the experience of a lot of people on here. With a lot of other things though (especially exercise, coffee, and alcohol- great combination right?) I'm terrible at the whole moderation thing.

0
27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on June 09, 2011
at 08:56 PM

No. I don't have an "off" switch let alone "medium speed." I can eat a ton of protein when I eat Paleo, too. I can easily drink two cans of coconut milk a day and then dive for the guacamole.

When I did a Whole 50, I kept track of Zone blocks (with fat being triple the p/c dosages). That worked. When I did away with the Zone counting, I finished off entire pork tenderloins. I'm back keeping track of blocks.

0
669790861549f3c6d54d88a65296ed19

(452)

on May 25, 2011
at 09:02 PM

I sometimes wonder if the moderation problem's related towards denying yourself things and then feeling guilty if you ate too much of it in your own opinion. I think Kaz got a good point of allowing yourself something and then choosing to eat it or not. It's still a demon I'm battling myself since I've been 100% strict since beginning last year,due to medical reasons. I'm also afraid if I'll ever eat something bad like icecream,pizza or whatever I'm gonna go berserk on it!

I also found that sometimes bingeing on a certain something can mean that your body's missing certain nutrients. For instance,in the beginning when I reintroduced certain cheeses I'd eat them all at once,turned out my body was low in certain nutrients the cheese contained. (that...and the fact that I love cheese and hadn't had it for so long. Now I can eat it in moderation,bc I know I can have it any day I'd like too and my body doesn't seem to crave it that much anymore)

0
61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on May 25, 2011
at 07:46 PM

For the most part, I am an all-or-nothing person. I used to eat chips voraciously...I'd open a bag intending to just have a few and, before I knew it, the bag would be empty!

I cut out potato chips completely and now I can resist them easily. But if I let myself relax and "just have a few," I know I will fall right back into the trap (I've done it, ha).

Unfortunately--for me at least--if I let the temptation win, climbing back out of that trap seems to be twice as difficult.

0
Ea36147178112f8793341ec7a01c531d

(102)

on May 25, 2011
at 07:17 PM

Nope. All or nothing. I tried to eat 2 squares of dark chocolate one night. 2 squares ended up being the whole bar and it was one of the big ones.

0
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on May 25, 2011
at 06:22 PM

I have always been a "moderation is for monks" person and have never been able to show any. However, finally, in my 40's, having done a bunch of dumb things, I can finally show some sense of moderation in some things. Moderate moderation?

For example, I have learned the hard way that there is a big difference for me between one and two servings of caffeine in a day. Grabbing that second cup, and then making a habit of it, just needs to be avoided.

However, the "no moderation" thing is great for trying new diets. I am willing to just go cold turkey and try a new diet full bore for a few weeks. This is what got me into the Paleo diet and it has been great.

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