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Moderation - not deprivation - is the answer to successful long term weight loss

Thursday, July 18, 2013

I agree that moderation -- not deprivation -- is the answer to successful long term weight loss.

Deprivation - or abstinence - for me, has always led to a rebound - where I usually returned with a vengeance to the forbidden food(s), feeling that I was justified because of my long period of self-denial.

Deprivation reminds me of all those diets I was ON in years past - that I would soon go OFF of when I felt ... well.. DEPRIVED.

Abstinence to me has an 'all or nothing' feel to it. And for that reason it feels almost fragile, as if it could be broken - and that would be seen as a failure.

Moderation, on the other hand, has a more flexible feel to it. It is like the tree that bends in the wind, rather than the rigid tree that cracks and breaks.

What is moderation, anyway?

The dictionary defines moderation as avoiding extremes or observing reasonable limits.

And what are 'reasonable limits' when it comes to food?

I feel confident that regularly bingeing on food would not qualify as being within 'reasonable limits'...
..but what about an occasional binge?

Are the portion sizes being suggested here at SP considered to be 'reasonable'?

When I first began my weight loss journey here on SP (as PennyAn45) in 2010, I probably would have defined moderation with food differently than I do now.
When I was overeating, I had a skewed view of what an appropriate portion looked like; it was larger than what I am eating today.

In fact, I believe that many Americans are used to much larger portion sizes than those in other countries.

During the year that my husband and I lived in London, England, we noticed right away that the portion sizes in restaurants were considerably smaller than they are here.

Portion sizes also differ from family to family. Some families pile the food onto their plates, while others ration the food - in portion sizes that would be considered insulting to some.

I believe that moderation is something that we are learning here at SP.

It is one of the MOST IMPORTANT things we learn.

We learn to moderate our eating habits so they work best for us. And there's a lot of room for flexibility in how we do that.

And for me, flexibility is the key. It allows each of us to define what works. We can individualize our program to meet our own needs.

Each of us can define for ourselves what successful moderation is...within the broad guidelines set for us here at SP.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • KANOE10
    You are right. Being deprived leads you to feeling sorry for yourself. Moderation is the key and actually enjoying what you are eating.

    Great blog. emoticon
    1681 days ago
    Agreed - we can 'treat' ourselves in small portions to almost anything!
    1681 days ago
    1681 days ago
  • GRACE1054
    Great blog! Portion control and anything in moderation are sustainable goals for achieving a healthy lifestyle.

    1681 days ago
  • SKATER787
    Excellent. emoticon
    1681 days ago
    Wonderful Blog. Thank you.
    1681 days ago
    There are some foods that I cannot eat in moderation, and that is just a fact. So I don't have them around, or if they are around, I keep them out of sight and in my head, they're DH's food.
    I guess the occasional binge is going to happen, but I really want to discourage that.
    I,ve lost quite a few lbs so far, and I think that maintenance is the bigger task, so am looking ahead to how that is gong to happen for me. I think seeing food as fuel for my body is going to be the key for me.
    1681 days ago
  • ANDI571
    I agree with you whole heartily. You are bringing back with your blogs the reminder of how I lost my weight years ago. I ate all foods within the realms of hungry and full. I took time to see what my body was craving and then I would have it. Our bodies are pretty smart if we will just take the time to listen to it.

    Thanks for the reminder! emoticon
    1682 days ago
    Consistent, mindful moderation is key for me, too. Often I find that it's my mouth, as opposed to my stomach, that wants to eat. Determining whether I need to eat and then what and how much is my job these days to maintain only the pounds I want to keep.
    1682 days ago
    I have to combine moderation and abstinence. There is no way I can moderate Reeses or Cheetos, so I have to avoid them altogether. Fried chicken is once a year or so. In the greater scheme of diet, though, it's a very small piece, and the available options to moderate are a long list, indeed.
    1682 days ago
    Moderation is important but in my mind consistency is the key. The moderation must be sustained in order for it to produce results. Without consistency, we see little to no results, even if we are more moderate than we were in the past.
    1682 days ago
    Great post! Deprivation has never worked for me either.
    1682 days ago
  • SPARK921
    I agree!
    1682 days ago
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