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Monday, 23 March 2015 11:27

Developing Willpower – Part 1

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Many dieters come into our clinic saying they just have no willpower, like it's something they are born with. News flash! Willpower is not a characteristic you are born with, it's a set of skills that you develop. Whether you are dieting solo, using a lap-band or using a specified medical diet plan you need to develop a skill set for willpower. Here are a few important thoughts on the subject to help you develop that seemingly illusive quality.

As cliché as it sounds willpower is really about behavior change and gaining the skills around it. It's how you learn to live in a different way every day. This should not come as a complete surprise to you. Here are some things to think about when you are looking at willpower:

  1. You can't change behaviors if you don't acknowledge them first. This means having the ability to really know what your dieting weaknesses actually are and then to admit them to yourself. Don't pretend they simply don't exist. You really do know better. Anyone who has ever dieted a few times in the past knows exactly what their weaknesses are. How can you have willpower if you don't own up to what your own specific dieting challenges are?
  2. Once you acknowledge your particular weakness you need to set up a strategies and plans to overcome them. What is your defined plan of action to get you through the tough spots? Willpower is about learning strategies you can put into place on what to do when temptation strikes. This will give you the edge you need in developing discipline over your food intake.
  3. This might seem obvious but it's still an important aspect when developing willpower: Remove temptation when you can! No one can resist temptation if it's constantly in your face. It only takes a minute to be tempted and cave in. So removing temptation should your first line of defense whenever you can. If your weakness is ice cream don't have it in the house. If your work environment is full of tempting items bring your own healthy snacks or have some Chocolate Delites or even a Quest Bar.

In a few days I'll finish up on this topic of willpower dealing with some other aspects of learning willpower.

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