Written by Jennie on January 31, 2014.
Do you believe it is a lack of willpower that stops you from losing weight? If you have tried countless diets and are still overweight, please know it is NOT because of your lack of willpower. In fact, it’s likely that your willpower is stronger than most people because you haven’t given up despite not having the success you desire, you keep on trying.
Diets don’t work. Some diets are, frankly, crazy and unhealthy. But any slimming diet that restricts what you eat and when is doomed to fail because life simply isn’t like that. Life is constantly changing and unfolding. No-one has a life where you can exactly eat ‘this’ food on ‘that’ day. So what happens on the day you can’t eat what you’ve been told to eat? Well, usually that is the day where everything goes pear-shaped.
Willpower (the power of the will) is something that is done consciously. Unfortunately the power of the conscious mind is tiny compared to the subconscious. According to Prof. Bruce Lipton (in his book Biology of Belief) the subconscious processes 20,000,000 environmental stimuli (i.e. bits of information about how your body is functioning and in your internal and physical environment) per second compared to just 40 stimuli per second by your conscious self. Trying to change your diet when you only use your conscious mind is going to be incredibly hard if not impossible.
How then do you lose weight? It’s not as hard as you might think. Although you need to make some changes to successfully lose your excess weight and then stay slim, try to do ONE thing differently and then consistently do it. Here are some ideas that can help you.
COMBATING A LACK OF WILLPOWER – ONE STEP AT A TIME…
Although taking just one step seems insignificant when you are trying to lose weight, when you change one bad habit for a good one, you can move on to the next habit and in this way, in a surprisingly short time, you will have made big changes. Following are some ideas:
- Choose to significantly increase your portion size of colour vegetables whilst diminishing the size of starchy/refined/sugary foods (such as potatoes/white rice/ food made with white flour). Make sure at the same time that you have a portion of protein too (eggs, meat, fish, beans, lentils). This helps you create balanced meals which are healthier for you as it increases your nutrient intake and decreases the foods that can lead to weight gain.
- Begin reading ALL food labels. If a food label has ingredients listed that you don’t recognise as a food (i.e. chemical names or E numbers) put it back on the shelf! Food additives have only been around for less than 100 years. The human body evolved over 50,000 years. These chemicals are not easily processed by your body: most have to be processed by your liver making it have to work harder than it needs to.
- Switch any bad-habit snacking foods for healthier options that include fruit, nuts, seeds, crudities with houmous or even a little nut butter (not though peanut butter).
- Next time you emotionally comfort eat, ask yourself what are you trying NOT to feel? What emotional hole are you trying to fill with food? Make a note. By constantly checking, you will usually find it is the same emotion. By being your own detective in this way, it helps you know what must change or be released so you no longer hide your emotions behind food.
- Start walking more! Exercise is a vitally important part of being healthy. Walking is so good for you and can be easily increased every day. Of course this also applies to any sport / fitness that you like. Make exercise an important part of your life.
- Breathe more deeply. Give yourself the precious gift of 15 minutes just to sit still and do nothing! If you are familiar with meditation, then great, increase your practice. But if you have never done this, just sitting still and consciously choosing not to attend to all that is going on, will help to relax and de-stress you. A lot of the overeating happens due to stress. Being more relaxed helps you make better choices.
Remember – choose just one habit to change at a time. Also consider if stress is at the root of what’s going on as stress induces chemical changes that throws all willpower out of the window. See my article: Are you */stressed!¿*% ? Please know that your eating habits many be down to emotional eating – see more on Emotional Eating. EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) is an easy-to-learn tapping therapy that you can do to begin to reprogramme your subconscious. I teach EFT on my weight-loss course, but you can find loads of demos on YouTube. Finally knowing, understanding and ‘getting’ that your body is not a robot. You needs and desires change on a day-to-day basis. It’s never what you eat on a single day that matters – it’s how you eat most of the time.
People who are naturally slim often really enjoy food. They don’t count, track, measure or restrict what they eat. They are more naturally in tune with their body. Once upon a time, even if that was only when you were a child, you were too. You can tune back in, you can reprogramme your default habit of overeating (and drinking) when stressed and/or emotional. So, please let go of the idea that it’s just a lack of willpower to lose weight – instead see that you can change your relationship with food and your body back to place of honouring and loving yourself. And in this way you can lose all of your excess weight and keep it off forever.
Eat Well—Be Well 🙂
I am always interested to hear your thoughts, views and ideas. Get in touch via the comments box below.