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Everything in moderation, including moderation

Women and men dancing in carnival costumes

There are many benefits to moderation. Eating in moderation keeps the body well and the same holds true for many other things in life: drinking, sex, being productive, etc. Too much of anything is usually not a good thing.

But sometimes you need to have moderation on moderation. Periodically it’s good to have a bit too much or too little. It gives perspective and makes it easier to be content with day-to-day moderation.

Sometimes having too much

Many traditional cultures have traditions of seasonal feasting. During these times, it is okay to eat too much, drink too much, and not have moderation. Having periodic feasts may be helpful to let go of tension and be able to keep a more moderate lifestyle for the remainder of the year — without feeling deprived.

The Vikings believed that life should generally be in moderation. The Youtube channel Heathen Hearth explains how the Vikings would eat moderately with only two meals a day, and more were considered “scornful”. However, every now and then, they would also have a big feast and then all the rules would fly out the window — it was okay to eat until you were sick, or drink way too much.

Similarly, in medieval Estonia, they would have traditions of yearly carnivals where people could use face masks (1). Wearing a mask allowed people to be able to let loose from time to time, without feeling shame, to then go back to regular, modest life for the remainder of the year.

Sometimes having too little

Many traditional cultures also have traditions of seasonal fasting. There are many health benefits (2) of depriving your body from time to time. It might also be helpful to live with less occasionally to make it easier to be grateful for what you normally have.

Some cultures also have the tradition of limiting yourself from other physical pleasures during the fast, such as sex and alcohol.

Then back to moderation

But after having too little or too much: it’s probably time to go back to moderation. Living modestly is better for the body and soul. Living within your means provides more freedom. Reducing desires makes them easier to fulfill. But every now and then, you need to let go of moderation and have a bit too much cake 😉

What do you think? Should moderation be in moderation?


  1. Dissonant Heritages and Memories in Contemporary Europe. By Iris van Huis, Luisa Passerini, and Sigrid Kaasik-Krogerus.
  2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/fasting-benefits. July 9th 2021.

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