Willpower – The No 1 Excuse
Willpower is probably the number one reason many people give for
saying that their weight loss plan has failed which is such a shame because
actually there are so many things they could do to improve it, which in turn would help them achieve their weight loss goal but it’s easier to give in and say they have no willpower than to make the effort to improve it.
Statistics show, time and time again that if you have some kind of
support or support system when trying to lose weight and if you actually ‘use’ that support that’s on offer to you, your chances of succeeding are increased very dramatically. So it amazes me why so many people still feel that they are better off doing their own thing and going it alone! Why I don’t know, because it’s crazy really, if you think about it for a moment it’s like asking someone to sit down and take an exam before they’ve been taught the curriculum and these days there are so many different theories about weight loss on the market that it is actually quite confusing for many people and so the use of a coach or some kind of support system is absolutely essential to a) keep them on track and b) to help them stay motivated and on top of their weak willpower moments.
Willpower is only available in short bursts and we never know when we are going to have bucket loads and when we aren’t so we have to harness
those outbursts and make the most of them.
7 TopTips On Keeping Your Willpower Levels Topped Up Whilst Dieting
Stress is another excuse that many people use for falling off a weight loss programme but it’s just another excuse for not doing what they are supposed to do to get the results that they want and then for some reason by saying that they are ‘stressed’ it seems to make people feel that it was ok for them to have cheated! They feel it’s some kind of acceptable excuse.
In reality, yes there is a lot of stress around in pretty much everyone’s lives these days either at home, at work, fear of job losses, money worries and so the list goes on and being stressed can lead to emotional eating which if not nipped in the bud can drop into a horrible cycle of stress = emotional eating = guilt = more stress = more emotional eating = more guilt = weight gain and so the cycle goes on but it’s also so avoidable.
More often than not eating through stress is caused by simply being unprepared or disorganised, not having the right foods in the cupboard to
prepare a nice yet healthy meal that you can enjoy when you come in from work so people end up buying food on the move or calling into their local supermarket and grabbing whatever they fancy at the time and being tired, stressed and hungry probably means anything that’s unhealthy and typically the wrong kind of foods that doesn’t provide their body with any kind of goodness it requires and this too then has an addon effect on their body and it’s ability to cope with the list of things that life will be throwing at it the following day and so they become even more stressed!
The good news for those suffering with stress and who are trying to use it as an excuse for not sticking to their weight loss programme is that there are
oodles of things that can be done to alleviate stress and pretty much all of them start with a bit of ‘YOU Time’.
It doesn’t have to be hours of time on your own, it can be just a quick 10 minutes in the morning or 20 minutes last thing at night, but you should always try to find a little spot for some ‘YOU Time’ each day where you can get away from everyone and everything and just relax. I appreciate it’s not possible for everyone to go to the gym for an hour each day but try instead to do one or two of the following for just 10, 20 or 30 minutes each day:
- Go for a walk or do some kind of exercise
- Have a bath and take a good book with you
- Curl up on the settee and read a book
- Go for a swim or a massage
- Sit in a room with quiet relaxing music playing
- Try your hand at yoga or meditation. Meditation has become so popular these days with stress levels on the increase and this is a great way to help you switch
off from the day and have a good nights sleep which in itself helps to rejuvenate the body and mind and helps it prepare for the day ahead and the mass of decisions it has to make
- Or even take a look in the mirror and do some self
motivating self affirmations
Any of the above will help you unwind, relax and enjoy life a little more and help to control your stress levels and that in turn will help you make more sensible decisions, including your food choices – thus keeping your willpower at the forefront.
2] The Dreaded Before & After Photographs!
I know, I know, I can hear the cries from here … everybody hates themselves on photographs especially if you know or feel you are overweight but by goodness it doesn’t half bring home the truth about what you look like and if you don’t like what you see then there is no better way of providing you with that necessary willpower than looking at a horrible picture several times each day of yourself pinned up all over the house – yuk!
Stick a copy to the biscuit tin, the fridge door, the cake tin, even on your computer screen saver if you dare or wherever you can and make sure you look at it before you take out the food that you think you fancy eating. Also keep a copy of it with you at ALL TIMES and when you feel your losing your willpower take it out and look at it and you’ll soon find your motivation coming back, believe me!
It sounds really silly I know, even somewhat childish, but honestly it really does work and don’t forget to update the picture regularly so you can see and benefit from the changes – but don’t throw away the original, oh no, keep that one up too and make sure you keep looking at it when you need added willpower!
3] Portion Control
Yes, I know I always harp on about this one too but honestly this really is the key to weight loss. Eating smaller high protein meals throughout the day will keep you fuller for longer and thus more in control of your hunger and ultimately in less need of additional willpower help. Eating off a smaller plate each meal time will also help as a full smaller plate looks far more appetising than a larger empty plate. And remember that over the years our plate sizes have increased enormously so a smaller plate is actually what was a normal size plate before.
Research shows that having less than 6 hours of sleep can decrease decision-making abilities in any area of life which can of course impact tremendously on your ability to choose the right types of food when trying to lose weight meaning the control of your willpower can deplete as the day wears on if you aren’t benefiting from sufficient sleep.
5] Low Willpower Times
Why is it that some days our will power is stronger than others? It’s true some days we are strong and more motivated than others and if you can, try and work out the triggers that set off those low weak willpower days and then be ready with a plan of attack. Having a plan and being ready for those weak will moments is another key factor in your success. See my previous post ‘Have you got willpower and if not how do you get it?’
Having plenty of nice yet healthy food in your cupboards is a great way to start so that when you have a weak moment you can actually satisfy your want with something you like but yet something healthy.
If the desire is too strong and that doesn’t work then allow yourself to have something that you are craving BUT make sure it’s only in moderation, don’t eat it in excess just allow yourself a taste to appease the craving.
Write down what you think triggered the willpower lapse and also what you did to address it then you can review this next time you feel it happening and be more prepared for it.
No article about weight loss would be complete without the suggestion of including some kind of exercise but do remember that weight loss is 80% diet and just 20% exercise. Get your diet right and the exercise is simply the icing on the cake and there is no need to go out and sign up for a gym membership or take to the pavement and run a 10k race, no, a brisk 30 minute walk preferably 3 times a week or more is enough to begin with and will make a huge difference.
7] Eat Small Meals & Often
My clients already know that they need to eat 5 times each day on the weight loss programmes I provide, 3 meals plus 2 snacks which are of course high in protein.
Not only are the meals high in protein but the snacks are protein packed too as this is the key to staying full throughout the whole day. Snacks should contain at the very least 5g of protein per snack but preferrably 10g of protein where possible. Keep these everywhere in your bag, in your desk, your car, your coat pocket don’t ever let yourself get so hungry you can’t make sensible food choices. By keeping your blood sugars stable, you’ll be better able to resist overeating — and other impulsive activities — later on.
So there you have it, 7 great tips to help you keep control of your willpower when trying to lose weight. If you have any great tips please share them with us by leaving a comment below or click the ‘share’ buttons at the top of this post.
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Contact Rachel Moore, Weight Loss – Made Simple, Kent Road, Harrogate, 01423 529 708 for further information on weight loss, wellness or willpower