You Need to Know This About Yourself to Succeed with Diet Changes & Lifestyle Modification - Aspire Natural Health

You Need to Know This About Yourself to Succeed with Diet Changes & Lifestyle Modification

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One of the most ancient and famous pieces of advice from Ancient Greece that still rings jus as true for us today is …


In order to succeed at anything in life, whether it’s changing our diet, or achieving success, knowing ourselves – our strengths and weaknesses, is key to helping us succeed.




I got this idea of Abstainers and Moderators came from Gretchen Rubin.  If you haven’t read her books HERE and HERE, they’re definitely worth reading.


Us and Them

Generally speaking we can divide people into two categories: Abstainers and Moderators.



Abstainers are ‘all or nothing’ people.

They’re either in 100% or they’re out.

They don’t like baby steps, they like huge flying leaps.

To put this in health terms, they either don’t eat cookies at all or they’re going face down in a plate of them.



Moderators are the opposite. They like moderation and baby steps.

They’re turned off by ‘all or nothing’ thinking and can’t imagine never eating a cookie again.

Moderators are the type of people who CAN ‘eat just one’ and make a bag of cookies last weeks.


Know yourself & be true to yourself

The most important thing isn’t whether you’re an abstainer or a moderator but to know which you are.

The problem for most of us is that we’re one, and we try to be the other.

Personally, I’m an abstainer, though I hadn’t thought of myself that way until getting this concept. I do exceptionally well on strict, well-defined plans, and when I transition to a less strict, more moderate eating plans, things tend to go downhill for me.

My wife, in contrast, is a moderator. So she tends to get irritated by, and tired of the ‘hardcore’ plans that work best for me and urges more moderation in our health plans.

Rather than try and make her into an abstainer, or me into a moderator, we obviously need different versions of a plan that is tailored to each of us.



What are you? Create a lifestyle that works for you

If you’re a Moderator, it’s important that you don’t create feelings of hardship (caused by ‘I won’t eat this ever again’) because that’s probably the quickest way to kill your motivation and derail your attempts to get and stay healthy.

Don’t get sucked into the more dogmatic ‘all or nothing’ thinking.

If you can truly eat one cookie and put the pack away, and it makes you happy to have that cookie, then do it.

Harness your innate ability of self-control and use it to your advantage. Find compromises that work for your life and help you meet your health goals.

If you’re an abstainer, it’s important you realize that ‘everything in moderation’ is probably not going to work very well for you.

Harness your tremendous drive and set up your environment to limit binges. Don’t eat cookies, and when you decide you want to, set things up to limit or prevent things from getting too out of control. Buy a pack of cookies, take out what you’re going to eat and throw away the rest of the package before you get home.

Don’t get sucked into moderation, that works for other people, but probably not for you.

We need healthy habits to be healthy, some of us are going to need stricter rules around them than others. Neither is bad, what’s bad is trying to follow something that doesn’t work for you. Whether you’re an abstainer or a moderator, recognize that fact and design your life around it so you can have those healthy habits you need to get and stay healthy.


At Aspire Natural Health we are experts at helping people suffering with digestive issues and autoimmunity.

Are you looking for help?

Email us at or call us at 425-202-7849.

The first step of our process is to see if we’re a good fit for one another. If we are, we’ll talk about next steps. If not, that’s okay, and we’ll do our best to help you find the right person.

Everything is no-obligation and no-pressure, so you don’t have to worry. You have nothing to lose!

Call us at 425-202-7849 or email us now!


Photo attribution –

Another Interesting post:

Don’t be afraid of baby steps