will power to lose weight

Why Using Will Power To Lose Weight Is Doomed to Failure

Relying on will power to lose weight is the worst plan going, yet it’s the one diets rely on.

If you’ve done loads of diets and failed every time because you didn’t have enough will power to stick to it – you’re in good company.

If you start the day with good intentions and end up over eating or reaching for the wine in the evening, saying “I’ll start again tomorrow” – you’re far from alone.

You are not ‘weak willed’, you are in fact normal!

What Is Will Power?

Will power is just a simple brain function and we use it far more than just resisting food temptations all day long.

You use will power all day:

  • to keep focused on something you’re working on rather than sit out in the sun
  • to stick to the speed limits rather than tearing up the road
  • to bite your tongue when confronted with the most annoying person you’ve ever met
  • to resist the temptation to slap an idiot at work
  • to be patient with your kids when they’re naughty and not lock them in the cellar

At the start of each day you only have a finite amount of will power, because it’s not an inexhaustible resource.

Modern life drains it away with everything that’s going on.

Will Power To Lose Weight – Foiled By Decision Fatigue

Because you only have so much will power on any given day – you risk running out of it on any given day.

You only have the mental energy to exert so much control each day, and every decision you make drains some of that energy.

Once the day’s resource is empty it stays empty until you recharge it.

When it’s empty you’ve reached ‘decision fatigue’.  Decision fatigue is real thing.

When you get to this point you feel incapable to making a decision about anything. This is when your good intentions evaporate and you reach for the glass of wine or the phone number to your favourite takeaway.

You soothe yourself by saying tomorrow will be different (even though yesterday was exactly the same).

This is why people who have kids and/or work commonly start the day well, only for it all to go to pot at the end of the day. This is nothing at all about being weak willed, you are totally normal. You’re just trying to tackle a problem with a screw driver rather than a hammer.

Recharging Will Power

Your will power will be recharged for another day after a good night’s sleep. So you can being well again.

Other things that give it a boost include:

  • Meditation
  • Prayer
  • Gratitude
  • Meaningful social connection

But you’ll never be able to recharge it enough to rely on will power to lose weight.

To lose weight and keep it off you need to eliminate the reliance on will power, which means ditching diets for good and tackling the real problem which lies in your mind and brain. It does not lie in a meal plan or exercise regime for more people.

Have you got what it takes to lose weight?

Take the quiz and find out!

Have a great week

Dr Julie

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