SFH #72: Minimal vs In Moderation

A perspective shift suggestion

When I have conversations around health, I hear the phrase 'in moderation' thrown around freely. It's the go-to quantification that justifies a particular detrimental habit (or even vice). I'm guilty as charged. My use is more dubious because I say it internally to myself. It's okay if I have a few drinks or binge a show now and then--it's in the name of moderation. 😳

I contend that thinking in moderation is problematic. Here's a helpful study that helps define the term as it relates to consumption.1 The study found that while moderation messages may sound good, people are unlikely to reduce consumption to a healthy amount without specific quantification or qualification around the substance. In other words, we can't regulate ourselves with vague guidance.

I like the term minimal. I'm not talking about the movement to reduce your life to 100 possessions and cut out clutter Marie Kondo style. I like the simple effort of figuring out the minimal amount of something you need to do that will affect change. When it comes to testing and sampling habits, starting small is always helpful, whether they are + or - habits.

Courtesy of Grazia Magazine. And yes, we do our drawers KonMari style. 🤣


For a positive habit change, what's one small thing you could start tomorrow that takes less than 5 minutes of your day and has a significant impact? Is it writing out gratitude? Doing the serenity prayer? Flossing your teeth? Making your bed?

To reduce or remove a harmful habit, what's the minimal amount you can institute that will allow you some grace and peace of mind yet still positively affect your health? Is it 2 or 3 drinks a week? One serving of ice cream? Three (3) hours of TV after dinner? 20 Minutes of Instagram a day?

Whether you are looking to advance your health through increasing positive habits or decreasing negative ones take into consideration a ‘minimal’ approach to help with your momentum.

To close out this minimal entry today, I'm putting a spin on a phrase from Michael Pollan: "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants."

Embrace life, one small step at a time; take deep breaths. 😉

1

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26964691/