Weight Loss is Not About Willpower
The weight loss industry is going through a massive shift.
Those who want to lose weight and who adapt to this new way of weight loss will thrive and achieve their goals.
Those who don’t adapt will continue to struggle with their weight.
If you haven’t been trying to lose weight for a while, then maybe you haven’t noticed this change. But I’m here to tell you, this new way of weight loss is different.
And “it’s a good thing”, as Martha Stewart would say.
More women in midlife are saying good-bye to restrictive calorie counting (not to be confused with a general healthy eating plan), boring diet food, and hours on the treadmill in an effort to lose weight.
They are realizing that more willpower is not the answer to solve their weight loss resistance.
These old, restrictive methods of weight loss do not work long-term.
A general healthy eating plan should include a balanced amount of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. I usually aim for 30% of calories from fat and protein and about 40% of calories from carbohydrates.
When you want to indulge on vacation or when you go out to dinner, go for it. With no regrets and no guilt. This is the new way.
The women who are losing weight successfully and keeping it off practice something that takes willpower almost completely out of the picture.
So, what are they doing?
They’re planning ahead what they’re going to eat.
The Benefits of Planning Ahead What to Eat
You see, when you pre-plan, you are allowing your higher level, executive functioning brain to make your food decisions ahead of time.
If your problem with weight loss resistance has to do with willpower and you lose your willpower everyday from around 4pm till 10pm, then planning ahead what you will eat the next day will make food choices much less stressful.
Plan it the night before. Write down what you plan to eat 24 hours ahead of time — my clients use a journal or a meal tracking app.
If you know you’re going to a party or out to dinner, plan what you’ll eat there. I know it sounds boring and “unfun” but not being at your goal weight for years is also “unfun.” Feeling bloated and heavy is also “unfun.”
So what do you do the next day when you say to yourself “I don’t feel like eating the food I planned to eat?”
You need to have an agreement with yourself. When you feel like not eating what you had planned to, you need to realize this feeling is irrelevant. If you’ve made a plan ahead of time of what you’ll be eating, then what you feel like in the moment the next day does not matter.
You uphold the agreement you made with yourself. You don’t let yourself down.
Everyone talks about how they want something — they want to lose weight, they want to learn how to paint, they want to start traveling — but then they don’t do what they need to in order to get there.
We’re surrounded by people saying they want one thing but then doing another thing. We think it’s normal.
How many people do you know who say they are starting their weight loss plan on Monday and then they never do? They have one excuse after another.
They don’t uphold their agreement with themselves. Then they wonder why they don’t get the results they want. They’re not showing up for themselves. They’re eroding their own relationship they have with themselves. They lose trust in themselves.
Your relationship with yourself has to be strong if you want to achieve permanent weight loss. You have to have your own back. Don’t keep letting yourself down all the time.
You need to work on your commitment to yourself now — not once you have lost the weight.
This way, when you lose the weight, you keep it off. You trust yourself.
You know if you start getting off track, you can get right back on.
You’ve got your own back.
There are a lot of crazy fad diets out there. I know because I see them too. I see the dangerous weight loss supplement promises. The unrealistic workout plans. The very-low-calorie plans.
That’s why I do what I do. I help busy women cut out the fluff and only implement what really works for permanent weight loss.
I know you have what it takes. You just have to plan. Nothing fancy. Give your willpower a much needed vacation.
Want to understand this more and learn how to fully implement successful strategies like this in your own life?
I can give you the direction you need to break through your weight loss resistance.
Having a plan and sticking to it still takes will power. Going to a restaurant or party and having a plan ahead of time, still takes will power to stick to that plan. So, I just don’t go. But part of being healthy is also being emotionally healthy. Thus, I need to socialize and I try and balance the emotionally healthy socializing with the physically healthy working out/eating healthy.
Yes, we have to find a balance. Not going out and socializing just so we can avoid eating foods we didn’t plan isn’t what I recommend. Having flexibility in life is super important — and that includes how we lose weight.
I help clients rely LESS on willpower and MORE on making decisions ahead of time to help them reach their goals.
Yes it takes some effort to follow a plan and the decisions we make when it comes time for eating, but the need for “oodles of willpower” to follow a very restrictive plan just isn’t there when you have a realistic plan — where you’ve given some thought to what it will take to reach your goals.
Before I discovered what I know now about realistic, sustainable weight loss — I relied A LOT on willpower to help me “avoid” certain “bad foods”. Ultimately there are no bad foods — all foods can fit on a healthy weight loss plan. Before I discovered this, I felt constantly deprived because I wasn’t “allowed” certain foods.
But now willpower doesn’t even really come into play — all foods are on the table, I set a goal for myself, and reached it based on eating foods that taste good and that I love.
Reaching my goals doesn’t take more willpower — it takes effort yes. It takes some forethought about what I want to achieve. But willpower? Not really.
Because I eat the foods I love and am satisfied eating what I eat AND I am at my goal weight.
And this is what I teach my clients.
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