Willpower and Food

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"I have tried everything; I failed. Look, after every diet I gained it all back and then some. I just don't have the willpower to stick to it."

In the fog of major efforts, false hopes, and frustration, this has been the conclusion of many dieters, and perhaps yours too.

If so, you are wrong. You didn't fail. You succeeded, at least for a while, and you demonstrated a tremendous willpower.

You were fighting three draconian enemies:
1) Your own body sensing that you are starving and acting as your friend, activating multiple systems to retain every calorie that you are trying to lose; [1]
2) The modern scourge of rapidly-absorbed refined carbohydrates, which have been shown to be addictive, not unlike illicit drugs. [2] [3]
3) The omnipresence of refined carbs, beckoning in breakrooms, coffee shops, and even from the private screen of your own phone.   

You were up against monstrous forces, and proved that you had an incredible willpower.

If you are one of those who never even tried, assuming that you simply didn't have the self-control, know this: You were born with it.[4]

According to Eisenberg etal.[5], humans exhibit self-control from early childhood. Studies show that almost every preschooler can delay gratification and reject sweets in return for a future bonus (in this case the promised bonus was a larger portion of sweets, but it could be anything that is appreciated, like good health). What varied widely was the length of time before breaking down and taking the smaller portion.[6] [7]

So if we innately have the willpower (some more than others) how is it that we fail to lose weight?

The answer is: For lack of tools and technics, and lack of focus on the more important question: How can I become healthier?

The purpose of this blog is to arm you with the knowledge to succeed. Our focus won't be weight loss for its own sake, but rather on a healthy lifestyle, which in turn often produces weight loss and many other benefits, like a better mood, sharper thinking, longevity, and more. 

Our products are just part of the toolbox. We will detail multiple techniques that can change your life.  

For more information, sign up here for our newsletter.

Footnotes

[1] Rosenbaum M, Leibel RL. Adaptive thermogenesis in humans. Int J Obes (Lond). 2010;34 Suppl 1(0 1):S47-S55. doi:10.1038/ijo.2010.184

[2] Schulte EM, Avena NM, Gearhardt AN. Which foods may be addictive? The roles of processing, fat content, and glycemic load. PLoS One. 2015;10(2):e0117959. Published 2015 Feb 18. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0117959

[3] DiNicolantonio JJ, O'Keefe JH, Wilson WL. Sugar addiction: is it real? A narrative review. Br J Sports Med. 2018 Jul;52(14):910-913. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2017-097971. Epub 2017 Aug 23. PMID: 28835408.

[4]  We assume that no underlying psychological or physical condition prevents the reader from reaching goals like regular exercise and culinary self-control. 

[5]  Eisenberg, N., Smith, C. L., & Spinrad, T. L. (2011). Effortful control: Relations with emotion regulation, adjustment, and socialization in childhood. In K. D. Vohs & R. F. Baumeister (Eds.), Handbook of self-regulation: Research, theory, and applications (pp. 263–283). New York, NY: Guilford Press

[6] Duckworth, A. L., Tsukayama, E., & Kirby, T. A. (2013). Is it really self-control? Examining the predictive power of the delay of gratification task. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 39, 843–855.

[7] Mischel, W., Shoda, Y., & Rodriguez, M. L. (1989). Delay of gratification in children. Science, 244, 933–938. doi:10.1126/science.2658056


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