There’s More to a successful Diet than Willpower

<

We’re all taught that skinnier, healthier people have more willpower. That’s how they’re able to eat less, exercise more and be thinner. People struggling with their health are weak, gluttonously and lazy.

This concept is BS.  Willpower does exist, and it does matter. But the popular understanding of willpower is very very wrong.

Willpower is Finite.

That means it runs out. Every day, everyone starts off with a certain amount of willpower when they wake up in the morning. Do some people have more than others? Maybe. But what matters more is that fact that it’s always going to run out.  So how you spend, or waste, your willpower, makes all the difference.

Using up Your Willpower

Let me give you an example. Let’s look at Bob, and Jane. Bob is fit and healthy. Jane is overweight and has a myriad of health issues. Let’s break down their willpower usage for the day.

BOB:                                                                                   WILLPOWER

Wakes up a minute before his alarm.                                         100%

Does some quick stretches                                                          98% 

Jumps in shower                                                                          98%

Does 20 minutes of strength exercises                                        80%

Makes healthy breakfast and lunch for the day                            70%

Checks up on emails, responds to a few                                      65%

Short bike to work                                                                         60%

Makes some important decisions at work                                     40%

Eats his healthy lunch instead of at an unhealthy restaurant       30%

Sits through long boring meeting                                                  20%

Takes lovely walk outside during a break                                     30%

Bikes home                                                                                   25%

Reads health book                                                                        20%

Meditates  (uses some wp, but increases wp when done)           30%

Makes healthy dinner with Wife                                                   15%

Helps wife with dishes                                                                 10%   

Watching an hour of TV                                                               10%                                                        

Has sex                                                                                        10%

Goes to bed on time instead of looking at his phone/computer    0%

 

JANE:                                                                                   WILLPOWER

Exhausted hits snooze 3 times before waking up                        85%

Is late now, has to rush getting ready                                          80%

Skips breakfast, will buy lunch at work                                        75%

Notices mess from last night but no time to clean                       65%

Sits in Rush hour during long commute                                      55%

Stresses about being late to work                                              45%

Makes big decisions while feeling tired and crappy                   25%

Is starving, eats vending machine chips (temporary increase)  35%

Feelings horribly guilty after                                                       20%

Eats low-fat salad at lunch after feeling guilty                             0%

Is starving by afternoon                                                               0%

Eats candy  (temporary increase)                                                5%

Feels horribly guilty after                                                              0%

Sits through boring meeting, can’t pay attention                       -10%                           

Drives home in traffic jam for one hour                                     -20%

Beyond exhausted, flops on couch and watches tv.                 -20%

Orders pizza                                                                              -20% 

Feels restless, goes to bed too late after watching tv               -30%

Leaves dishes and mess for tomorrow                                     -30%

Are you Jane, or Bob?

Does Jane sound familiar? We’ve all been there. By the time she’s hitting the negatives, she is feeling horrible and has to use every ounce of every she has to merely exist. The reason Jane made those crappy decisions is that she was out of willpower by the time she got to them. Was it because she had less willpower than Bob, or somehow chose to ignore it? No. It’s because she was forced to spend her willpower on other things, and had none left. Bob was able to save his willpower on ways to keep him healthy.

Being Unhealthy Uses Tons of Willpower

Being unhealthy, tired, fat and sick is a CONSTANT drain on willpower. Let’s think of your willpower and your mental gas tank. Healthy people have a strong, leak-proof gas tank. Unhealthy people have a leaky gas tank that is constantly wasting willpower on just existing. So the unhealthier you are, the harder it is to GET healthy. It’s a catch 22. It does not mean you’re weaker or lazier. It means you have a constant disadvantage.

It Really Is Harder For Unhealthy People.

It feels harder for Jane to make smart choices than Bob because it IS harder. Finding ways to save your willpower for the things that will truly make you healthier will make all the difference between a successful diet and an unsuccessful one.

Keeping Your Willpower For What Matters

Unless you are a Buddhist monk sitting on a hill top all day, you probably have some pretty constant stressors that will always drain your willpower. If you’re worried about money, a messy home, drinking, fighting with your SO, social isolation, not getting enough sleep and/or driving a long commute – you are expending tons of extra willpower. Doing things like budgeting and keeping less stuff in your home to make it more organized will help keep you from wasting unnecessary willpower. Working out, meditating, taking walks, healthy relationships and spending time with friends will save and refresh your willpower. The more you’re able to take away those constant willpower drains, the more you can save your willpower on things like eating better, saying no to unhealthy temptations, and put more focus on becoming the person you dream of being.  

Good Choices Beget More Good Choices

This blog is designed to help you find the best places for you personally to save your willpower so you can start making more healthy choices. The more healthy choices you can make, the more willpower you have, the more healthy choices you can make. It’s about reversing that catch 22 and gaining constant healthy momentum.

We can all realize our full sexy potential. We are all capable. But we have to be smart about where we spend our willpower.

Further Reading:

http://www.wired.com/2012/10/mf-willpower/

 

 

.