I just finished reading an article on CNBC about the new US dietary guidelines that limit added sugar and remove warnings about cholesterol (egg yolks are back, baby!).
In the article they quote a restaurant owner who, after discussing these new guidelines, says that ultimately “moderation is the key.”
Well, he’s right, but in the manner he’s implying…he’s dead wrong.
You see, he’s talking about moderation via willpower. He’s saying “you just need to eat a bit less of this, less of that, and drink Pinot Grigio because it’s low calorie.”
I get it. I’ve been hearing this stuff for a long time.
But I personally shudder whenever someone tells me to use willpower as an eating strategy.
As a life-long gourmand, the concept is impossible to me. Here’s what I think works:
Moderation via controlling urges. NOT moderation via willpower.
If you want to moderate your intake of sugar, instead of using willpower as a general strategy, I’d suggest 2 weeks of strict fasting and low carb eating.
Technically, those 2 weeks involve willpower, but it’s short enough to solve the problem just before the finite amount of willpower you have runs out.
If you’ve completed the 2 weeks properly, you’ve likely defeated a real and sinister addiction to sugar as a fuel source.
Now it’s simple to moderate, because the urge is no longer there.
Literally; the taste buds on your tongue recognize different tastes, cravings disappear, and you no longer have an energy crash every 3 hours.
Willpower as the main, long-term strategy will fail. You’ll be fighting a daily battle against a body that is screaming for foods it’s addicted to.
To be permanently successful, you must address compulsions that lurk beneath the surface.
Once they are solved, you will find moderation suddenly becomes the default setting.
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