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  • Writer's pictureDieting From The Inside Out

Tactical Tips to Learn Moderation Around Food | DFIO Ep.278




About Today’s Episode:

Welcome back to the show! Today we are going to get into some seriously tactical stuff. We’re going to talk about how to tactically learn to have moderation around food and not spiral out of control.


I know that doesn't sound very sexy, however, the truth is that when it comes to having control over yourself, your food, and not spiraling out of control, most people have zero moderation around food.


We hear all the time, “You can have whatever you want in moderation”—I say it all the time too—but what even is moderation? And what if I can't?


What if I start on a pack of Oreos and I literally can't put it down?


How do I fix that?


If you’ve been listening to the show for a while you know that one of my biggest pet peeves is when coaches don’t give tactical, tangible advice. Like when someone says, “Just be more mindful.”


What does that even mean?


I find a lot of people need more definition around what moderation is, what that looks like, and how to have a tactical plan around it.


This is one of those episodes that is going to sound very philosophically tactical, because, yes, being more mindful and learning moderation are more philosophical things, but I'm going to break it down in the most tactical way where you're going to be able to run with this and change your life.


So, if you can't control yourself around food, struggle with binge eating, or just don’t have a good idea of what moderation around food even is, this episode is for you.


We are going to get into all of those things and how to create a tactical plan so you can become bulletproof around food.


Let’s dive in!


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Transcript (click to expand)

Nothing is Inherently Bad:

Most people avoid certain foods because they think they are inherently bad or unhealthy—but nothing is inherently bad in and of itself.


It’s the dose that makes poison lethal.


You can take anything great and have too much of it—and you can take anything bad and have small enough doses that it doesn't do any harm.


I made a post recently, where I said, “The fact that it's almost 2024 and people still think certain foods are bad is mind-boggling to me. No food is bad. You can still eat literally whatever you want and lose weight if it's in moderation and not eaten like an asshole. Take that ‘sugar is bad’ shit back to the 1950s.”


You can eat sugar in moderation and lose weight, feel better, live longer, and your health markers will improve.


I’m not suggesting that people go and eat nothing but sugar, nothing but processed foods, just because they fit in your calories.


I’m saying we need to make this practical.


A diet of zero sugar, zero processed foods, and zero refined foods may be “optimal,” but it’s not practical.


If optimal is not practical, it’s no longer optimal.


You don’t need to be black or white and cut out all these foods. It’s not practical and it's not needed.


People often default to extremism when they have control issues because each end of the spectrum takes the least amount of effort.


For example, people will say they can’t just have 2 Oreos—they either eat them all or cut them out completely.


Well, it takes the least amount of effort and thought process in the moment to go, “No, I can't ever have these ever again,” and cut them out of your life.


But that's not practical.


On the other hand, it takes literally zero effort to go and smash the whole pack.


It takes a lot of discipline, self-control, and thoughtfulness to have 2 and then put the package back.


People go to the extremism mentality when they are trying to validate bad decisions, weaknesses, or struggles.


This is why you have to diet from the inside out.


Could you lose weight by being really rigid?


Sure, but what happens when you can’t take it anymore?


You spiral out of control and gain your weight back.


Being really rigid isn’t going to help you.


You can literally eat anything you want and still lose weight, assuming it's within your calorie deficit and all the other things are equal.


If you're still strength training, your protein is equated, and you're in a calorie deficit, you will lose weight.



What Causes Weight Gain:

Overeating.


At the end of the day, eating more calories than what your body is burning causes you to gain weight.


This is why you will see people follow every type of diet and gain weight.


If you think about it, every diet has its antagonist, like vegan and carnivore, or keto and “If It Fits Your Macros”.


All of these diets can work, but all of these diets have people who follow the rules and don’t lose any weight.


Let’s take keto, for example: there are a lot of people who eat keto but don’t lose any weight because they are eating like 4000 calories a day.


You could be eating all organic, no processed food, but it doesn’t matter if you are eating only “healthy” foods if you’re eating way too much of it.


Now, the majority of your calories should be coming from higher quality, nutrient-dense, real foods.


BUT


Just because that’s the majority doesn’t mean you can’t have things outside of that—the more processed sugary foods, things like that.



What Moderation Is:

Moderation is context driven. There is no one size fits all.


People freak out about the calories in a single piece of pizza or some ice cream, but it’s context-driven.


Let’s put it in terms of money:


If you made $2,500 a day, would you worry about a $300 TV?


Probably not.


It’s the same with nutrition.


This is when we talk about 80/20 or 90/10 rules.

If you eat 80% of your calories from nutritious, real foods, then the other 20% can be whatever you want.


The numbers have to line up, though. If you are consistently overeating, you are not going to lose weight.


We tell our clients to have 300-500 calories of whatever they want.


Over-restriction is where a lot of people go wrong.


Instead of just having the two cookies they say, “No, I’m being good”—whatever that means—and then at the end of the week when they can’t stand the deprivation anymore they say, “I’m an all or nothing person,” eat the whole pack of Oreos, and start over Monday.


Lather, rinse, repeat.


If you just have the two cookies, your craving would be satisfied and it will go away.


I know some of you may be thinking that once you start, you can’t stop—but that’s a pattern you‘ve taught yourself.


You can undo that.


You need to put up boundaries.


If you have a food relationship issue, you just need to put certain boundaries into place. Then, you can heal that relationship.


Start with moderation like the 80/20 rule or having a Klondike Bar every single day—it could be a number of calories. Give yourself a number and a quantifiable plan.


A lot of coaches and people will go wrong here because they will say, “Get all the trigger foods out of the house.”


First, stop labeling foods like that.


Second, that’s fine as a first step, but what most people miss is that we have to reintegrate these foods.


Because what happens when you go out on date night or out to a barbeque? Well, you never fixed the relationship with that food.


You need to put control back in your hands.



The “Gas Station Method”

I like to teach clients what I call the “Gas Station Method.”


First, we clear all of the foods you’re struggling with out of the house. We are going to give your brain new exposure to the control it lacks.


Next, EVERY SINGLE DAY you go to the gas station and buy a single serving of whatever food it is you’re struggling with. This could be a single slice of pizza, the 170-calorie bag of chips, a two-pack of cookies, anything.


You can find whatever you want in a single serving. I saw these little, mini 200-calorie tubs of Ben & Jerry’s at the gas station the other day. They have literally everything available these days.


Now the important part: don’t eat it yet. Go home and eat it there.


You can’t binge on what’s not there.


Your brain will go, “How are we having this control?”


Your brain doesn’t know that you bought a single serving. It just knows that you ate one candy bar and not 5.


You’re going to do this every single day for a month and your brain is going to be exposed to this new level of control that you didn’t realize you had—and you’re going to lose weight because not binge eating is a hell of a calorie deficit.


Once you get this down, we will move on to getting a box of single-serving chips/chocolate bars/whatever—but you’re only allowed to have one. We are building on this.


If you “have to keep this stuff in the house” because you live with other people—you have a significant other and/or kids—well that’s their food. That’s their chips and their candy.


You have to go to the gas station and get your own snacks.


You can take a Sharpie and label their food if you need.


You don’t eat their snacks.


Most people give up their personal power because they struggle. They adopt this identity of helplessness or of a lost cause.


The more you avoid these foods, the more you restrict these foods, the more you’re going to binge on these foods, and the more you’re going to keep the fucked up relationship with these foods.


Every time you do this back-and-forth of gain weight, lose weight, gain weight, lose weight, you’re fucking up your metabolism and you’re making it harder to lose weight the next time because you’re ingraining that behavior into your subconscious.


When you are fixing your relationship with food, it’s going to be uncomfortable because you’re going against old conditioning.


Now, if you’re listening to this and you’re like, “Holy shit I cannot do that,” this is where we start in our coaching program.


The podcast is called Dieting From the Inside Out and the first stage of coaching is called Dieting From The Inside Out.


We literally walk our clients through this because if we aren’t addressing the inner game, if we aren’t building a good foundation—the results won’t be sustainable.


If I said all this and you're like, “Oh, that's so simple,” run with it and go crush it.


If you're like, “I don't think I can do that on my own. I don't think I have the self-control to even do that. I don't think I can do that without being an anxious mess,” then I would 100% say to apply for coaching so we can end this bullshit and in the struggle that you have right now.


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