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  • Kate

Moderator vs. Abstainer

I know you have heard the popular "diet" advice...Everything in moderation. Well, DUH that would work if you had "self-control," right?

What about the 80/20 rule...abstainers, roll your eyes with me!

Why is it that those dishing out "diet" advice only cater to moderators?

Which brings me to my point...

Are you a moderator or an abstainer?

One is NOT better than the other...they are just different. You'll be much happier with yourself if you figure out which one you are and start living that way asap.


Moderators are able to do just that, moderate themselves. They can have a little bit of a treat and feel satisfied and happy. They can live by the 80/20 rule (80% healthy and 20% treats). They actually feel quite panicky at the idea of "never" being allowed to have something they really would love to eat or do again.


Abstainers have a difficult time with the "everything in moderation" concept. They can't have that ice cream in the freezer only 2-3x a week...they will keep diving in until it is gone because they can't stop once they've started (and then probably feel bad that they couldn't just handle having it in moderation like they have been told to do...). They are much more successful when they give (insert item/activity) up cold turkey. They feel better knowing that the temptation is off the table and they "aren't allowed" to have said item.

Here is my experience (I always find it easier to relate to a story...)

How the Abstainer Became a Moderator...and Back Again

If my above tone didn't give you a hint that I feel for the abstainers, I'm not sure what would...but I can totally relate to them because I am a flip-flopper!

I used to beat myself up over this idea that I had no self-control. As I have heard SO MANY of my clients say to me, "I eat SO good all week and then I completely lose control over the weekend and eat everything in sight." Well, my friends, that is a result of restriction and not catering to your personality. You are trying to listen to those 80/20 rules when that is not who YOU are designed to be!

Deep down, I know I am an abstainer. This is why I do great with programs like The 21 Day Sugar gives me yes/no lists, there is no gray area. Since I'm Type A and I already make SO MANY decisions in a day, I like when the choices/decisions are taken away. Just tell me what I'm allowed and what I'm not...easy peasy.

However, once I finished my last 21 DSD and had much more balance in my life (stress, hormones, sleep, etc), I found that I was able to live more like a moderator. I could have a bite or two of a dessert and feel satisfied. It was a completely different world!

But as I started adding more to my plate and the stress increased, I slowly started to sink into the abstainer mindset again. It had to be off limits...or else that pan of brownies would be gone!

I've learned this about myself - it's directly tied to my emotions, my stress level, and what I feel I am able to control. I'm MUCH happier knowing this...and live a much more balanced and healthy life because of it!

So you tell me...are you an abstainer or a moderator?! Or a flip-flopper like myself?

Live Life Well,

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