I’m kinda buzzed and it’s all because. South Central does it like nobody does. To all my neighbors you got much flavor. Let’s flip the track, bring the old school back. This is how we do it.
-Montell Jordan. 1995.
You see the hood’s been good to me ever since I was a lower-case G But now I’m a big G. The girls see I got the money A hundred-dollar bills y’all. This is how we do it.
– Montell Jordan -Waspy Suburbanites 2019
To quote another great American wordsmith, Benjamin Franklin said, “Moderation in all things- including moderation.” Benjamin Franklin said that whilst liquored up on French Brandy and high on opium, in a brothel somewhere*. Benjamin Franklin knew the value in taking a break from the day to day routine and he rarely did things in moderation and neither should you. Just keep reading, I will explain.
I hear experts, nutritionists, and doctors tell people that it’s all about eating in moderation and portion control. They say that all calories are the same, so you can have soda, chips, and fast food but “don’t overdo it.” This is the mantra of soft drink companies, fast food chains, and big tobacco. Not only is that advice complete horseshit and devoid of any basis in science; it’s also judgy as hell. Nobody tells people to smoke crack in moderation. Why don’t they? Because crack is super addictive and terrible for you. The same can be said for processed food in America (checkout my processed foods manifesto The Processed Foods Manifesto (with memes)). I agree that serving sizes are way larger than they should be and that Americans eat way more than they should, but that is a symptom of a bigger problem. The problem is that we are eating the wrong foods, which then cause us to overeat. With regards to processed foods, the correct serving size per day is zero.
This guy to the right sprinkles little bits of meth into every batch of his chili-cheez-corn-chex mix. Evil food scientists have engineered modern processed foods to make it very hard to stop eating once you start and encourage you to keep eating long after you have consumed the proper amount of food. Remember the Lays slogan “I bet you can’t eat just one?” Lays is right, you can’t just eat one. So why try? Why set yourself up for failure by trying to eat the correct amount of Cheetos, chips, Oreos, or spicy cornholes on a daily basis?
If you are reading this, then it’s likely you have tried to eat the right amount of these foods in order to lose weight and it probably didn’t work very well. You blame yourself and think you lack willpower. Nobody thinks a crackhead lacks willpower. They just think that a poor soul tried crack and got hooked. So, when “experts” say that it’s all about portion control or moderation, they are peddling processed shitty foods for big business. They are lying to you when they are telling you that the products they sell are fine, but you just have to eat them in moderation. Also, they are being judgy assholes. They’re implying that the problem is that you just can’t control yourself. They are saying that they have self control and the rest of us do not. That’s complete BS. Screw those people.
I hear you thinking, but Dr. Jimmy, I really want to eat some nachos, krispy kreme’s, pizza rolls or Cinnabon sometimes. I know you do. Also, did you just get high? Don’t worry. I’ll feed you baby bird. So here’s the play, if you haven’t read the basic strategies of our eating plan, do so now. It’s short. I’ll wait. Here’s the link. The What (You Should Start Here).
Notice that rule number 10 says that you don’t have to eat perfectly all the time. You don’t. If we eat properly 80% of the time, and by that I mean following my advice. You will be better off than virtually everyone in the world. So what about the other 20% of the time? Meh. The other 20% keeps you going on the path, so you don’t give up entirely, but you can’t just indulge willy nilly. You have to have a plan. I’ll give you one.
Keep this in mind. The consistent diet you follow is way better than the perfect diet you quit. It’s far better to eat well 80% of the time for 50 years than to eat perfectly for five months. What’s so good about a perfect diet if nobody can follow it? So how do we break the rules without wrecking our health? Here are some ideas, strategies, and thoughts. The worst thing you can do is to eat a little bit of processed junk regularly because eating processed junk foods is a slippery slope. Two Oreos become a sleeve, five chips becomes a bag, and a bump of coke becomes a three day weekend that ends with you betting your pinky at a cock-fight with Charlie Sheen. Below are some strategies. Select the one that works best for your lifestyle.
Strategy #1: Eat really well at home and relax your diet when you are out. This means that you don’t keep junk or processed food in your house and this requires some buy-in on the part of your family, roommates, cats, or cellmate. This is my personal strategy, BTW. There are a couple things I like about this plan, but there’s a caveat. In order for this to work, you should eat at home, or eat food you cooked at home (or food that fits with our eating plan) most of the time. You can’t keep good food at home and eat Smokey Big Bite’s from the 7-11 every night. Americans are eating out more than ever and that’s not a good thing for our health. Did you see rule number 8?
OK, back to the benefits of this strategy. When you go out to parties, on dates, or to other people’s houses for dinner you look super normal because you are pretty much eating what other people are eating. There’s no hassle of packing kale or inquiring to the server as to the number of grams of sugar in the vegetable lasagna as both of these habits scream “weirdo” and can cost you friends, business clients, second dates, and some over-the-clothes stuff with your server at a nearby bar later.
The other benefit is that it makes your recent weight loss, clearer skin, and decreased upper lip sweating look effortless. People will compliment how you look and your response can be a casual but heartfelt “thanks.” This response is way cooler than an hour long conversation about how you are tracking your macros, weighing your food, your cross-fit routine, or your meal replacement shakes that you happen to also sell from a company with a trapezoidal shaped (not a pyramid) business plan. Later you should subtly refer them to my site and suggest they subscribe to my newsletter which is coming soon, by the way.
This strategy works because when your house is a “healthy food only” zone and you get into a routine of always eating properly there, it becomes a habit and habits are powerful things. It also makes dining out more fun and you don’t have to get salads at McDonalds or whatever is healthy at Hooters. Also, this limits the burden that a new eating style will have on your social life, and by that I mean it won’t stop you from hooking up.
Alternative Strategy #2: Schedule one “cheat day” per week. On this day, you can eat whatever you want and as much as you want, wherever you want. This is effective because when you crave a food that is on the “Naughty List” Naughty and Nice List for my buddy Rich. , you can tell yourself that you will eat that food on Sunday or Saturday or whatever day your cheat day is and the temptation is squashed, or is it “quashed?”
A couple keys to success with this. First, you should schedule the cheat day in advance, otherwise, every day has the potential to become a cheat day. Second, if possible, try to get a big workout in before you start on your cheat day foods. Follow my workout advice here The Stoops easy, no Jogging, Workout plan. Ideally, you’d lift weights and ideally you’d target your lower body. This is because leg muscles are big and can act as a sponge for excess glucose after a workout because they have been robbed of their glucose storage (glycogen). When they steal excess glucose from the blood to fill up their reserves it keeps your blood glucose lower. This saves you from storing fat and limits any damage done on your cheat day. Third, be sure to be eating plenty of fat in addition to the naughty foods, as this will help fill you up and also decrease your glucose and insulin response. Also, filling up on brownies, pizza, or Coors Light every now and then helps curb cravings for the rest of the week and makes you miss those foods less. This helps prevent relapses and strengthens willpower. You shouldn’t eat in moderation on a cheat day either. You should eat until you don’t want to eat anymore.
If we try to eat these addictive processed foods all the time but only in moderation, we are doomed to fail. Instead, we should eat the correct and healthy foods 80% of the time and mindfully schedule some days or meals where we eat whatever and however much we want. In so doing, we enjoy ourselves, look normal and cool, but still reap the benefits of an amazing diet. So when someone tells you it’s all about portions and finding moderation just know that it’s just another way to keep you trapped in an unhealthy lifestyle, hooked on unhealthy food, and making evil assholes rich in the process. So in conclusion, f***** moderation.
In this article, I put ***** over the letters “orget” in “Forget” because I’ve found that when you put asterisks over letters, people keep reading.
*Counterfactual historical statement.