Humans have an incredible power to see only what they want to see and deny any information to the contrary. If all else fails, justify, justify, justify. We see it A LOT when talking to people about their desire to live a long, healthy life versus their desire to eat, drink and be merry (somehow there is a disconnect between eat healthy and be merry – but that’s a topic for a difference post).

One of the most common justifications we hear when someone admits that the choices they are making aren’t the healthiest of options:

“Well, everything in moderation, right?” followed by a shrug or a chuckle.

No. Not “everything” in moderation. That is ridiculous.

The problem with “moderation” is it doesn’t actually mean anything. Where is the line between moderation and excess? How would you know if you crossed it? How far across it do you have to be to realize you have crossed it? What are the short-term and long-term consequences of crossing it? What if, by the time you realized you had crossed it, it was too late to reverse the damage?

There are no answers to those questions because the definition of “moderation” is “without excess.” Whether something is in excess or not depends on personal opinion. There are not hard and fast rules.

When someone says they want to continue doing something “in moderation” we hear:

“I’m happy hitting myself with this hammer.”

“I want to continue this habit, even though I know it’s bad for me.”  

“I’m not as unhealthy as other people.”

“I’m okay with this level of unhealthy in my life.”

“The amount I do this unhealthy thing isn’t a big deal.”

“I’m going to do this at exactly the level I want. I don’t care about the facts about how unhealthy it is for me.”

“I’m good at justifying my unhealthy behavior.”

“I haven’t seen any consequences yet and I’m going to ignore that they are coming.”

“I don’t believe the consequences I have seen are a result of my current behavior.”

“My consequences are a result of bad luck and bad DNA, so there is no reason for me to change.” (For the record, only 2 - 5% of disease is DNA)

“I don’t wanna!” 

You would never accept your spouse cheating on you “in moderation.” We don’t tolerate someone stealing cars “in moderation.” Drug users die using “in moderation.” Why do we all nod in agreement when someone engages in unhealthy eating “in moderation?”

If you want to continue to engage in a behavior that is less than healthy, that is 100% your choice. But make that choice with your eyes wide open, recognizing and accepting the risks. Don’t turn a blind eye and lie to yourself that it’s perfectly fine because it’s “in moderation.”

In the very least, don’t lie to us. It makes Dr Robyn’s psychologist brain want to explode.

What Next?
Ready to stop lying to yourself and take control of your eating? Book a jump start consultation with Dr Robyn and sort out the stories you’re telling yourself that are causing you to fail.

Dr Robyn is a former competitive volleyball player turned psychologist with continuing education in nutrition. Russ is a former competitive bodybuilder and trainer on the Mr. Olympia Tour. They are the co-founders of Whole Food Muscle and the authors of How to Feed a Human The Whole Food Muscle Way. To work with them one on one to improve your health and fitness or to have them speak at your event or organization email them at