I recently read an article by Jennifer Cohen in Forbes Magazine. In it she explains that you must train and build your willpower if you want it to serve you in your weight loss journey. Studies have shown that the brain has limited power to make decisions, and that minor decisions add up throughout the day, eventually depleting your reserves and undermining your efforts. This can lead to stress-eating and other poor decisions. The advice is to make it easier on yourself by incrementally increasing your willpower strength by taking the following steps:
- Call in positive reinforcements.
Routine wins out 99% of the time, so build a consistent routine that will become a part of your life within 4 weeks. Eventually, these tasks of working out and eating right are enjoyable and you’ll feel weird if you go against them.
- Build Your Willpower
Write down everything. Self awareness is key to changing a habit. One study by Kaiser Permanente found that people who wrote down everything they ate doubled their weight loss. Avoid or limit alcohol and get plenty of rest to keep a keen level of self-awareness. If you are using Smart for Life products, this part is easy.
- Set realistic goals.
Don’t set yourself up for failure. Keep goals within reach. Set short and long term goals and build gradually toward a routine of good habits. According to Dr. Kevin Hall, a doctor at the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the gradual changes may be more effective than a sudden change.
- Relax. Stress depletes your willpower reserves.
Take the effort of decision out of your day by scheduling your routine and following it. Plan your meals, schedule workouts with a friend. When the decisions are already made, you won’t deplete your brain power.
Keep a positive attitude. Experiment and find out what works best for you to build your willpower. Stay tuned in to various sources for the latest in weight loss research…knowledge is key!