I talk a lot about moderation and still being able to enjoy yourself whether you’re maintaining your weight or trying to drop fat. But it would be dishonest of me to paint the process as easy. Moderation still takes work; there’s a balance to figure out. Obviously you are not going to be able to lose weight if you’re constantly stuffing yourself, but deprivation is not a sustainable option either. There’s a sweet spot that we need to dig a bit to find.
Moderation has many different forms. It exists on a continuum and is unique to each person and their goals. The process looks different for someone who has a lot of fat to lose versus someone who’s down to their last 10 lbs. The former will have more leniency with their moderation versus the latter. I created this nifty little thing to give you a visual.
We all know someone who is in the No Fucks Given zone, and we have probably been there ourselves. It is a place of hedonism, pleasure, and instant gratification. Rich, fatty foods are eaten without discretion and portion control depends on how far your stomach can stretch. Here you will likely see no progress in terms of fat loss or performance (except maybe for powerlifters), and you will probably see weight gain over time.
Past the No Fucks Given Zone, each stop on the spectrum involves some form of buckling down, your belt getting tighter with the more fucks you give.
The middle zone is where most of us will find our sweet spot. It’s a place where we have a comfortable amount of give and take. We’ve given up a lot of not-helpful habits while still treating ourselves enough to stay sane. However, to stay in the Moderate Fucks Given zone we still have to make some sacrifices. Buckling down here means no longer giving into whims and impulses. It means controlling portions, turning down breakroom snacks, and occasionally declining an invitation to go out drinking.
The good thing is that those who masterfully give a moderate amount fucks see that those “sacrifices” have big payoffs, like feeling healthy, energized, and fit. Those benefits outweigh instant gratification in the long run. But someone who is in the No Fucks Given zone might still see those as big sacrifices. They are not yet ready to buckle down and move to the next level.
The All The Fucks Given zone is the opposite extreme to No Fucks Given. Here we see an obsession with perfection and extremely rigid diet and exercise habits. For most people this zone is not sustainable for the long term and can lead you back to the No Fucks Given zone. In fact, the spectrum is more like a loop but I had already drawn it as a line and didn’t feel like revising it.
Also note that on a given day, week, or month we can go up and down the spectrum. The amount of fucks we have to give ebbs and flows just like anything else.
I wrote this because I wanted to make it clear that although fat loss doesn’t have to be a tortuous experience, you are going to have to exert some effort in controlling your habits. The smaller you get, the more work it’s going to be. The trick is to find a way to make it work for you. As you get closer to your goal and have to tighten things up, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking this shit sucks. But the most successful people find workarounds for that. I’ll be talking more about that in an upcoming article.
If you’ve been struggling to make progress, ask yourself how many fucks you give, lol. If you want to progress, are you willing to buckle down?