abstainer-or-moderator

“Everything in moderation.” Terrible advice or the best way to beat cravings?

abstainer-or-moderator

“Everything in moderation” isn’t always good advice. And sometimes indulging is the worst thing you can do.

Because if you’re not using the right strategy, giving in won’t make your cravings disappear…

…it’ll send them into overdrive!

So if you feel out of control around certain foods…

There’s something you need to know.

The problem isn’t you. And it’s not about willpower.

The problem is your strategy.

And how you deal with indulgences can mean the difference between fighting cravings or freeing yourself from them.

So today, I’m going to give you a quiz.

And how you answer will reveal the right strategy — for you.

I emphasize “for you” because beating cravings isn’t a one-size-fits-all game.

And what works for your sister or friend or s/o might not work for you.

But that sure doesn’t stop them from saying…

“Um. You know you’re not supposed to eat that, right?”

Well, they’re wrong.

And I have over a decade of coaching to back that up.

Mindset Psychology and Habits

You see, there are two strategies you can use to master temptations.

Are you an Abstainer or Moderator?

In her terrific book Better Than Before, Gretchen Rubin introduces the idea of Abstainers and Moderators.

Abstainers are those that do better with boundaries.

They say things like…

“No chocolate for me.”

And once they’ve decided something is off the table, it’s easier for them to skip the temptation altogether.

Because they know if they give in, it’s game over. So it’s easier for them to have none rather than some. It’s easier to avoid the dragon than it is to slay it.

Take me, for example:

I can’t have just one cookie. If I do, I’ll turn into a cookie monster eating one after another.

Because my cravings are never satisfied with “just one.” It always wants more.

So I’m an Abstainer.

If there aren’t any cookies around, they’re not a problem.

No stress. No worry. No willpower required.

But if the thought of going without cookies puts you into a panic…

…the chances are you’re a Moderator.

How do you know if you’re a Moderator?

It’s easy for a moderator to have ONE cookie or ONE slice of cake and walk away without giving it a second thought.

But the idea they *can’t* or *shouldn’t* have a certain food makes them feel deprived, like they’re missing out.

Sure, they can skip certain foods for a few days or weeks, but eventually…

…the thought of having the foods they’re restricting starts to control them.

Now they want to dive in more than ever.

So they do.

Because too much restriction will send them into full-blown rebellion mode.

So is it better to abstain or moderate?

There is no best way.

It’s all about choosing what works for you.

And that means:

You can finally stop listening to everyone else telling you what you *should* do. Use the strategy that works for you — not them.

So if you’re not sure which you are, here’s a test.

Picture this:

There’s a bowl of chocolates in the kitchen.

Can you have one and walk away?

— Abstainers will say that feels like absolute torture. If they have one, they’ll spend all day fighting the urge to not have another.

— But a Moderator won’t think it’s a big deal. And they’re perfectly fine having one and leaving the rest behind.

But what about you? Is it easier to have none or some?

There’s no right or wrong answer.

The problem comes in when you’re a Moderator trying to abstain, or an Abstainer trying to moderate.

When you have your strategy backward…

— You’ll feel like something’s wrong.

— Like you have no willpower.

— Like you’re fighting an uphill battle Every. Single. Day.

But there’s nothing wrong. You don’t need willpower.

In fact, you can make it easy.

All you need to do is switch your strategy.

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