Oh how I hate that old chestnut.
Theoretically, “everything in moderation” makes perfect sense. But in reality, it sends some very unhelpful, unhealthy signals.
Moderation implies that you are a moderator. That line of thinking:
- Puts you on the slippery slope of arbitrary counting (“I can eat 10 gummy bears every day….actually though wouldn’t 9 be better? Well wouldn’t 8 be even better than that?” etc etc).
- Piles on feelings of guilt when you don’t eat “right.”
- Suggests that you should be able to control the force within you that makes you binge, if only you just tried hard enough.
- Sets up “everything in moderation” plans like Weight Watchers and Beach Body to swoop in like a hero.
- Redirects attention away from the disastrous effects that past or present calorie restriction has had on your brain.
- Places 100% of blame on your conscious self.
- Ignores the source of the binge and indicts the symptom.
Feeling out of control around food is a byproduct of the human body’s primal starvation mode misfiring in a diet-driven culture. And the answer to feeling out of control is not to exert more control. If you’re feeling lost, try something different this time around: give yourself the gift of letting go.