When Too Much Of A Good Thing Is A Bad Thing

You’ve heard from your mother that too much of a good thing can be bad for you. Maybe it was put that everything should happen in moderation.

Honestly, it’s a good mantra to follow. Don’t you agree?

During the summer months, I find it’s much easier for me to eat healthy. Why? I’m not tempted by my second favorite treats… The holiday Reese’s peanut butter cups.

Reese’s releases special peanut butter cups to commemorate special holidays throughout the year. There’s the Reese’s peanut butter eggs, the Reese’s peanut butter hearts, the Reese’s peanut butter pumpkins, and the Reese’s peanut butter Christmas trees.

If you haven’t seen these things, you should. They’re amazing. Once you’ve seen them, you need to eat one or two… Or in my case 20.

There’s nothing wrong with these treats. They’re tasty and they’re fun.

As long as you moderate your consumption of this junk food.

Moderation Is Hard

So many people struggle with moderation. Whether it’s eating in moderation, drinking in moderation, or working in moderation.

Moderation requires a lot of energy. To have successful moderation, one must:

Have self-control

Know when to say enough

Be able to move on

Instead, we’re often taught that we need more of everything. We deserve it and we should have it.

When we think along these lines, moderation gets thrown out the window. And we over-indulge.

That’s why we see so many overweight, workaholic, or alcoholic people. They’re giving into their primal urge to indulge. And that makes moderation hard.

Learn Moderation

While moderation is difficult, it’s not impossible to achieve.

You can go to the bar and have a single drink. No one is forcing you to take the next drink.

You can go to Meijer and buy a bag of Reese’s peanut butter eggs and only eat one. No one is shoving number 2 or 3 down your throat.

You can go to McDonald’s or Burger King and eat a single burger. No one is demanding you purchase the extra large value meal.

You can watch a single episode of the new Sherlock Holmes show Elementary. No one is forcing you to binge watch an entire season.

This type of moderation doesn’t come easy. You have to work at it.

Learning moderation means denying yourself what you want when you want it. Learning moderation means knowing when to quit. Learning moderation means getting away from the things that you want.

But how do you do this? I’ve found these steps to be helpful in maintaining moderation in my life:

Get accountability: The many times I’ve struggled in my life have been the times I’ve lacked accountability. Whether it was with another person or through an app that tracked my progress, having something there to hold me accountable made me more aware of my lack of moderation.

Your accountability partner can hold you to the standard you know you can. He’ll tell you to shape up. He’ll tell you that you’re doing a good job. He’ll even tell you it’s okay when you screw up.

But he won’t let you quit. That’s the great thing about an accountability partner. He’s there to hold you to your standard!

Get away: No, you don’t take a vacation to find moderation. But you do need to get away from the things you’re tempted to over-consume.

You might need to get up and away from your desk after 8 hours of work. Maybe it’s putting your tasty treats in an out of the way location. Or could it be you need to set a timer for the TV and shut it off once it goes off?

Setting boundaries and sticking to them will help you moderate the tasks you struggle with.

Get another interest: Sometimes we over-indulge and fail to moderate because we don’t have any other interests or hobbies.

Discovering something that sparks your passions can make moderating other bad habits easy. You’re replacing something bad with something good.

However, don’t let your new interests become so engrossing you have trouble moderating it as well.

Moderation is hard. But it’s worth it in the end.

Moderation allows you to enjoy good things without hurting yourself. Don’t be scared of moderation, embrace it.

Question: How do you moderate things in your life? Share your secrets in the comment section below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • I can completely relate! This is something I struggle with every day. I have a tendency to immerse myself into health and unhealthy things. I binge on projects, work, learning, food, TV, etc. to the point I get burned out and don’t enjoy it anymore. I completely agree with your three steps! These are the three I have been using lately and they are certainly making a difference.

    Those Reeses are no joke! My fiancèe and I will split a bag during Easter.

    • Only a bag Derek? My wife and I will go through multiple bags. Only reason we don’t have a stockpile in the house is because they don’t last that long (-;

  • Shing Degano

    Learning moderation is like coming to grips in your fifties. Embracing it is a must. It’s a doctor’s religious prescribed medication–to do everything in moderation including exercise. Moderation necessitates self-control and once you get the natural wisdom that goes with knowing its wholesome rewards make it easier for us not to carry another baggage… Appreciate a good post.

    • I like how you put moderation Shing. You’ve made it even easier to understand!

  • First of all, I think Reeses are cousin to the devil himself. Ugh. I am very proud when I actually manage to force myself to take the paper off first! (Joking, but still. sigh)
    LOL, Moderation is certainly not easy for many of us. I am OCD and have a highly addictive personality. I do know. I was born an alcoholic and have not had one drink in over nine years now. But. I know I am fighting work much of the time. I work right from my own cabin and it is really hard to stop working when there is always so much more to do (and learn). All three of your tips are great- and I especially love the “Get away” one as that is what I force myself to do- take a ride or walk with my little girl- get away from the work, house, people- all wanting (and waiting) for more from me. It really does help.
    All I can add, Joe, is since I began my Bible study, I have found I am stronger when it comes to just about everything, but for me, this seems to have helped here as well. I know it doesn’t really fit into the general Leadership training crowd, but I spent way too many years caring too much about what others might think of my love for our Father in heaven- to allow anyone else to fall into that pit after me without warning. The truth is, when ever I find myself battling myself, I call on Him and He is always there to help me stay on the Path.

    • They’re that doubled-edged sword. Sometimes I think they’re a gift from God. Then they’re the devil’s cousin, like you said. They switch sides so quickly.

  • random trick – I decided to use a coffee cup at home that was half the size of my old coffee cup. That’s made it a lot harder, somehow, to overdrink. Maybe it’s just mind games with myself, but I generally end up drinking just one cup – and even when I drink two, I’m still back where I began with one big cup.

    • That’s awesome Ed! I’ve heard of using smaller plates but never heard of using smaller cups.

  • I have a horrible sweet tooth Joe, really bad. As you know I’ve lost 165 pounds which meant staying away from the sweets! The way I’ve found to moderate is having a cheat day (which is Sunday for me). You teach your brain that if you’re good all week you’ll get a treat at the end of the week. It works surprising well. Even on Sunday I don’t pig out. One piece of sweet is usually good for me.

    • Thanks for the advice Kimanzi. I’ve heard of the cheat day while dieting before. It works but it can also be hard to do!

  • Great post Joe! You said it best:

    Moderation is hard. But it’s worth it in the end.

    Thanks for the wisdom!

  • For me one key to moderation is remembering the “why”. I ask myself, “Why am I doing this?” and “What will the results be?”

    • Love those Caleb. Those questions get to the heart of the matter.