Why "Everything In Moderation" Is Bad for Weight Loss Goals

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Minneapolis Personal Trainer hosting Weight Loss Challenge in January and February 2017

Ever heard someone say, “Everything in moderation…”?  I hate that saying.

As a fitness and nutrition coach, it is probably my least favorite saying.  EVERYTHING in moderation? How much cocaine should one ingest daily to achieve a moderate amount of intake? The correct answer is zero, of course. How much sleep is moderate? Five hours, eight hours, or maybe eleven hours? What about sugar? There is no recommended daily allowance of sugar suggestion in the United States. How are we supposed to know how much sugar one should consume? When it comes to health, we struggle to define what healthy moderation and balance should look like.

I believe the body gives us clues that help us to determine how to moderately consume our treats. For example, it takes the kidneys and liver about five days to make a doughnut binge or a night on the town “like it never happened.” Five days. If we want to balance our treats with healthy foods, we’d better execute five consecutive days of clean eating for every one gluttonous meal. 

The real reason I can’t handle “everything in moderation” is because it is worse than the truth. It sounds good, and maybe even sounds true. The most damaging part is that it really does is cast a long shadow on the truth, which makes the truth more difficult to see.   "Everything in moderation" makes it seem like we should celebrate with birthday cake a few times a week. We must look beyond the cake to find the truth!

 Even little Emma must learn how to achieve a  healthy balance with her treats!

Even little Emma must learn how to achieve a  healthy balance with her treats!

The Truth About Weight Loss

Here’s the truth: In health and in life, if we execute moderately well, we will achieve only moderate success. Think about that. Want to lose a tenth of a pound per week? Eat everything in moderation. For every bottle of water, consume a soft drink. Salad for lunch? You deserve a burger and fries for dinner. After all, you earned it, right? Eye roll.

Here’s more truth. In getting healthy (specifically with weight loss), there are two main phases: pursuit phase and maintenance phase. These two phases have dramatically different rules. 

The pursuit phase is strict for my clients. For the nutrition plan, we eat very clean for six-and-a-half days a week. Then, for half a day, my clients go to town with a bonus meal. I always say, “Go to town with your bonus meal, just don’t go to Vegas!”  

If the pursuit phase is strict, the maintenance phase is a bit more laid back. By maintenance phase, my clients have hit their goal weight, and are consistently and successfully maintaining their goal weight for a month or more. In addition to nutritional alignment, because of a successful execution of our fitness plan, my clients have their hormones on track. This results in a fired-up metabolism. Because of the weight stability, hormone stability, and metabolic strength, my clients in maintenance phase have more liberty on their bonus meals. Less rules, more fun.

Consider four of my clients from 2016 (three of my newest clients, and one who I worked with for all of 2016):

Client #1 started working with me in August of 2016. She has polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which means she has a chronic hormonal imbalance. Two main symptoms of PCOS are weight gain and extreme difficulty in losing weight. The primary care doctor for Client #1 told her: “I just don’t know what to do with you. I can’t wait until you are diabetic, because then I’ll know what to do.” 

How frustrating is that? Your doctor doesn’t have any hope. Why should you? And to that end, Client #1 was very frustrated with her body when I first met with her. Every time she tried to lose weight, she would gain weight.

Guess what? In five months of working with me, Client #1 is down 45 pounds!  Her hormones have regulated, and her health is improving rapidly!

 Client #2 started in mid-October of 2016. She doesn’t have a lot of weight to lose, but wanted to get toned up for a trip. Her goal was to lose thirty pounds in six months. As of this writing (January of 2017), she has lost twenty pounds in three months. Client #2 is much stronger and leaner, and is very happy with her progress.

Client #3 started working with me in mid-November of 2016. She is in her late forties, and has been stuck for awhile with her body. She is down thirteen pounds in two months, feels fantastic, and loves the way her clothes fit!

Client #4 worked with me for the vast majority of 2016. From our work in January (when she was 16 weeks postpartum) through December, she lost over 40 pounds! Client #4 now weighs less than she did before she got pregnant and is in great shape.

These four client snapshots are the tip of the iceberg for 2016. As I look back on the clients I worked with last year, we really had some unbelievable health wins! The reason why my clients succeeded so much in 2016 and in the early stages of 2017: we don’t abide by an “everything in moderation” philosophy. We crush our pursuit phase by executing our fitness and nutrition plan extraordinarily well, and therefore achieve extraordinary success.

How to Achieve Healthy Weight Loss in 2017

As you consider your health goals for 2017, I encourage you to scrap an “everything in moderation” mentality. You are in pursuit phase.  Crush pursuit phase. Execute at a high level to succeed at a high level.

If you would like help succeeding with your health goals, I would like to introduce three ways I may be able to partner with you…

For those who live near Plymouth, MN and can access this Minneapolis-area personal trainer :

1)      Healthy Obsession Team Challenge - This six-week weight loss challenge starts next week (the week of January 23rd) and is an intensive fitness and nutrition experience. We win as a team, and we win big!  It is cost effective and results oriented. Want more details, click here!

2)      Partner with me for 1-on-1 for your fitness and nutrition-I love helping people who are ready and willing to get to work on their health goals.  Give me two weeks.  We will win enough in two weeks for you to see the path to longer term success.  Contact me to start a conversation about starting NOW so you can look and feel your best faster than you imagined possible.

For those of you living outside of the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area:

3)      Virtual fitness and nutrition coaching-By leveraging the power of smart phones and social media live outlets, we are able to accomplish more with today’s technology in our virtual sessions. We can nail down a concrete meal plan and map out a successful fitness plan. If you are hungry to win now, contact me to start a conversation!

Whether I work with you or not in 2017, I hope you achieve health success this year. I hope you scrap the “everything in moderation” mentality and pursue your goal with a high-level of execution! 

To your health,

Adam