The Truth About Willpower
If you struggle with weight loss you may often feel like you lack will power.
But it's not that you lack it, it's more accurate to say you run out of it!
Research has shown that…
will power is actually a finite resource.
Meaning that you have a limited amount of it each day.
You are NOT a robot that can make perfect decisions regardless of your circumstances.
You can't use and abuse your will power and expect it to always be there for you!!!
Your will power is actually more like a muscle than a skill.
And just like the muscles in your body, the harder willpower has to work...
...the more tired it gets.
And the less of it there will be for you to use for other things.
Consider this: have you ever noticed how most people rarely overeat earlier in the day?
Emotional eating and overeating almost always occur at the end of a long, stressful day.
And there's psychological reasons for this!
Every day we:
Constantly make decisions (literally thousands of "microdecisions")
Face all kinds of annoyances, inconveniences and things that tax our patience
Try to resist the temptation to emotionally escape with food.
These things all accumulate so by the time the evening rolls around our mental energy and will power are flat out fatigued.
You want to do something after your kids go to bed...
and that thing requires willpower (like working out etc).
In order to keep this commitment you
MUST conserve your will power muscle earlier in the day!
If you use it up too early by saying "no" to the donuts at work...
...or doing tedious tasks like writing emails...
or calling the insurance company...
all without doing anything to recover or reduce your stress level
...your will power may be gone by the time the kids bedtime rolls around.
Research has CONCLUSIVELY proven that nothing undermines your mental energy like stress.
STRESS DRAINS WILL POWER
If you feel yourself wearing down--give yourself a break in a way that’s meaningful to you!!
It doesn’t have to be food, you can:
Take a walk
Read a book
Listen to some music
Watch a tv show
Sit down and sip your favorite drink
Listen to a podcast
Call a friend or relative
Hug someone you love (for 8+ seconds)
Have a dance party
Do some deep breathing
Move your body around
Take a nap
Take a bath
Find something to laugh about
Spend some time with a pet
Clean up or organize something
Light a candle or diffuse aromatherapy oils
Create some artwork
Pre-log a reasonable end of night treat so you have something to look forward to!
Figure out the macros on your favorite foods and/or treats and work them in a few times a week!
If you spend all day stewing about what you shouldn’t eat, or what you can't have...
if you focus primarily on your difficulties and challenges
...you’re bound to wear out your will power!
And your brain chemistry will actually reward you for giving in.
So change the conversation!!!
Reduce your resisting temptation & "decision fatigue" by:
Doing your important tasks first
Plan and prep ahead of time
Simplify your decisions
Stop saying yes to everything
Hire someone to help
Don't let yourself get too hungry
Make sure you're well rested
Schedule downtime during the day
The more stress we feel...
...the more likely we are to overeat, overspend, and do other things we regret.
If things that cause stress drain our will power...
...than it follows that anything we can do to reduce stress in our lives...
...and improve our mood--will also improve our self-control.