Willpower and Weight Loss: Turning No into Yes
When it comes to weight loss, willpower usually plays a very large role. Without willpower, you find it all too easy to keep slipping back into old habits. Every little temptation translates into extra calories in your mouth, and extra fat on your hips, thighs and stomach.
Willpower is the inner strength that can help you move beyond old, destructive habits and begin forming healthy new habits. But how exactly do you do this? If you don’t yet have strong willpower, you may be wondering how to develop it.
The best way to start is by first being very clear on what you want to accomplish each day, as well as your long-term goals. Do you have a goal to lose a set number of pounds by a certain date? Have you set an action-based goal to exercise for a certain amount of time each day? Or to avoid unhealthy foods? Developing your willpower can help you stay on track with these new intentions.
When you are faced with a temptation that is contrary to your goals, you are faced with a difficult decision. For example, when your coworker or spouse says, “Let’s go out for burgers” you may want to go, but then you remember that you are trying to eat healthier and you have decided to stop eating so much fast food. Old habits are calling you forward, but you feel conflicted because you really don’t want to eat those burgers! This is where willpower comes in.
If you have strong enough willpower, it can soothe that inner conflict as you say firmly, “No thanks, not today.” If your willpower is weak, you feel almost compelled to eat the foods you don’t really want to eat.
Willpower is nothing more than the ability to make firm decisions that align with your goals, and then follow through with the actions that support your goals. However, here is the key to making willpower work for you. It must be a choice you make from a place of inner power. Rather than saying to yourself, “I can’t eat that”, turn it into an affirmation of your inner power and say, “I choose not to eat that”.
Feel the difference? One of those examples is based on fear, powerlessness and deprivation. The other is based on decisiveness and empowerment.
Developing your willpower takes a bit of practice, but the more you keep reminding yourself that you have the power to choose what goes into your mouth, the easier it becomes to say “no thanks” to temptations.