I recently read a great post: "Are you a Moderator or an Abstainer, When Trying to Give Something Up?" over at Gretchen Rubin - The Happiness Project.
Reading the post made me think about the implications on your weight loss efforts and how important it is to know yourself to be successful.
According to the post, you're a moderatorif you:
- find that occasional indulgence heightens your pleasure — and strengthens your resolve
- get panicky at the thought of "never" getting or doing something
And you're an abstainer if you:
- have trouble stopping something once you've started
- aren't tempted by things that you've decided are off-limits
Most conventional diet wisdom preaches moderation. The underlying belief being that if you deny yourself completely, you'll eventually binge.
Because I'm a moderator this advice resonates with me. I get nervous when I'm told that I "can't" have something. My approach is to tell myself I can have whatever I want. In my mind nothing is off limits.
It makes me happy to be in charge and get to choose to eat what I want when I want it.
And because this is the approach that works best for me, I promote it a lot here on Simple Nourished Living.
But if this strategy doesn't work for you, you may be an abstainer, like Samuel Johnson who said, "Abstinence is as easy to me as temperance would be difficult."
Do you find it easier to give up something completely, than to figure out how to indulge moderately? Does eating a serving of chips lead to devouring the bag? If you have a piece of cake, do you want another, and another, and another?
Is so, maybe abstinence is the best approach for you. Giving up certain things cold turkey may be the strategy you need to set yourself free and achieve the weight loss success you desire.
People will try to sell you on the approach that works best for them and convince you otherwise, but the truth is that there's no one way. There's no right way. There's just the way that is best for you.
Which brings us back to knowing yourself, trusting yourself, and giving yourself permission to do what is best for you.
So, are you identify as an abstainer or a moderator? Can you see how knowing can help you be more successful with weight loss and maintenance?
Inspiration for this post came from reading "Are you a Moderator or an Abstainer, When Trying to Give Something Up?" over at Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project.
Other posts you might be interested in…
- Today Take Action for Weight Loss Success
- Ten Habits That Mess Up a Woman's Diet
- Identify Your Trigger Foods for Weight Loss Success
- How to Curb Your Food Cravings
- Busting Diet Myths - Eating Late Will Not Make You Fat
Martha is the founder and main content writer for Simple-Nourished-Living.
A longtime lifetime WW at goal, she is committed to balancing her love of food and desire to stay slim while savoring life and helping others do the same.
She is the author of the Smart Start 28-Day Weight Loss Challenge.
A huge fan of the slow cooker and confessed cookbook addict, when she's not experimenting in the kitchen, you're likely to find Martha on her yoga mat.
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This post got me thinking... I use to be an abstainer. To me if I had one I had to have the whole box. It took me a long time to get to the position where I could be a moderator. Lot of positive self talk, trial and lots error and learning my trigger foods that I have a harder time with. The longer I maintain my weight the more self confidence I gain allowing me to be more of true moderator everyday.
Thanks for sharing Kelli! I too feel like I've developed my moderator muscles with time and practice. I'm still amazed when I discover crystallized ice cream in the freezer and stale chips in the pantry. Your so right about it being trickier with the trigger foods!!