The Moderation Spectrum

“I struggle with picking the right carbs.”

There’s no denying that keeping your protein high and your carbohydrates and fats in line w/ your training and unique metabolism is the ticket to getting/keeping a lean body composition.

However, the mentality that we must attach a right/wrong or good/bad mentality to one food or macro nutrient is becoming more and more outdated. I want people to stop thinking of their food and their meals in altimatums.  “If you eat this, you will look like that.”  “If you don’t eat this, you won’t look like that.”

It’s time to starting thinking of our nutritional choices as fitting into a spectrum.


I am sure we can all agree that deprivation and bingeing are physically and mentally unhealthy states we are to avoid.  Where all of us should be is actually a broad area, not a small pin point, where there is daily nutritional wiggle room for you to enjoy food, achieve strength gains or fat loss, and be healthy as well.

There will be days and even periods of time where your choices may veer slightly to the left or right depending on your training, work schedule, social demands, and just plain wants.  That FLEXIBILITY is key to making peace with your body and food once and for all!!

In other words, because there is no perfect meal plan to strictly follow daily, you detach feelings of success and failure to what and how you eat.  The Moderation Spectrum also demands that you listen to and value your wants as well.  Thinking of fat loss, strength gains, or maintenance in terms of a continuum allows for the adaptations needed to balance out nutritional needs with enjoyment of your meals so that you avoid the extremes of deprivation and binges and still achieve your goals.

The reality of this is that some days are easy and your wants match exactly what our idea of “perfect” nutrition looks like.  Other days it’s more important to slightly veer to the right and allow a bit more indulgence so you take the edge off a craving and avoid stepping out of the moderation spectrum later in the day.  Don’t forget you can also guiltlessly choose to eat a more indulgent meal because you may be celebrating with friends and family.  On the flip side, during recovery periods, sickness, fatigue, being over scheduled, or after indulging a bit for a few days etc., you may move more towards the left because hunger and/or activity levels are reduced as well.

Stop looking for the bull’s-eye of perfection in your meals.  Listen to those wants and balance them out based on the situations at hand.  Stop believing that only home runs win the game.