200 East Southampton Drive (Lower Level), Columbia, Missouri 65203

Understanding This Distinction Makes Weight Loss Easier

Request More Information

Request More Information

By providing your number you consent to receive marketing/promotional/notification messages from Evolved Personal Training. Opt-out anytime by replying STOP. Msg & Data rates may apply.

Request More Information

Weight loss can be hard.


Fortunately, there are a few key distinctions that when you understand them about yourself,


you can dramatically reduce your frustration and make your weight loss journey easier.  


This article and the infographic below cover one such distinction, the difference between abstainers and moderators.


Once you understand where you tend toward on the spectrum between abstainer and moderator, you’ll see a dramatic increase in your compliance and success on your weight loss journey.



Abstainers vs. Moderators




After reading through the infographic, you can probably identify your tendencies toward one of these camps depending on different environments and options.


To start with, it’s important to understand that neither of these are good nor bad.


Neither is better than the other.


Being an abstainer or being a moderator both come with their respective strengths and challenges.


Understanding these distinctions can set you up for success on your weight loss journey.




As the infographic shows, abstainers get decision fatigue with “sometimes.”


If you lean towards the abstainer side, it is literally easier for you to cut something out altogether than to moderate that behavior.


It’s more like being a light switch than a dimmer knob.


If you find yourself identifying as an abstainer, it is far better to shape your environment to omit certain foods or behaviors from your immediate access if the goal is to limit or reduce that particular temptation.


And on the flip side of that same coin, it is a good idea to include easy access to the foods and behaviors you want to continue or introduce.  


If, for example, the focus to is reduce the usual nightly pint of ice cream, abstainers are better served not having ice cream in the freezer.


Even if in best of the intentions you attempt to have just a few spoonfuls of delicious, delicious ice cream, as an abstainer you’ll find it hard to stop once you get started.


Abstainers stop when the pint is gone.


It would be better if your freezer was devoid of ice cream (or whatever your particular temptation is).


Abstainers benefit from the lack of access to the targeted behavior.


Now, there is still room for treats for abstainers, so don’t lose hope. You don’t need to live like a monk.


Abstainers should have a planned indulgence when appropriate, but those planned indulgences should be structured to be done outside their immediate environment and viewed as an isolated, defined experience.


In short, abstainers are the proverbial light switch. It’s either on or off.


Now, at Evolved we repeatedly preach the motto of “Consistency over intensity” so you might ask:


“Isn’t having an abstainer like me completely remove or eliminate a temptation

fall on the intensity side of that motto?”


And while at first glance it might seem that way, the answer is no.


If you’re an abstainer, you are far more able to be consistent with “none” than with “a little.”


You’ll find having a temptation within arm’s reach and trying to moderate that behavior is exhausting if you’re an abstainer. So, what may initially seem like a contradiction, having an abstainer completely remove an unhealthy temptation from their immediate environment actually aligns with the motto of consistency over intensity.


On to moderators.




Moderators, as their name implies, do much better with, well, moderating their behavior.


If you’re a moderator, you can have just a few spoonfuls of ice cream without eating the whole pint or a square of chocolate without eating the whole bar.


Keeping minor indulgences in the rotation supports a moderator’s compliance.


Moderators may initially seem like an easier group to get weight loss, but if you find yourself tending toward the moderator side of the continuum, you’ll often need some guidance on defining what a minor indulgence or “a little” is.


Now, to be clear, these distinctions are contextual.


Maybe you have no problem resisting the tortilla chips but the cookies call your name nonstop. Or vice versa.


You embody both an abstainer and a moderator, the context and the environment are key.  


Whether you lean toward the moderator or the abstainer side of things, the knowledge is power.


It is important to understand where you fall within these categories and under what context.


Okay, so how do you apply this information?


With a bit of thought, it’s not hard to discover what you are in relation to a particular food or habit. Just ask yourself. “Can you have just a little bit of my favorite treat?”


You can probably easily identify which camp you fall in and then you can shape your environment to support your natural tendencies.


Whether a moderator or an abstainer, shaping the environment appropriately will dramatically improve your compliance and consistency with healthier behaviors.



To sum it up…The Summary:


  • Abstainers benefit from shaping their environment to omit their indulgences.
  • Moderators feel trapped by a lack of access to their particular indulgences and see consistency increase with their inclusion.
  • Everyone embodies a bit of both but with tendencies toward one or the other depending on environments and options.
  • These distinctions are contextual so revisit the distinction between moderators and abstainers when tackling different behaviors.



    One sentence takeaway:


    While moderators can keep their indulgences in their immediate environment and remain consistent with their plan, abstainers benefit from a lack of access to their unhealthier temptations.




Give Us A Try For Free

Fill out your information to get started