Willpower is probably one of weight loss most misunderstood components. From high-calorie eating and a couch-potato life, many expect that the couch will be replaced by the treadmill, the high-fat diet by a low-fat one, desserts will be effortlessly refused and cocktails will be painlessly brushed aside for a glass of water. The truth is that willpower is a muscle. And the more you use this muscle, the stronger it becomes:

SPEED BUMPS ALONG THE WAY

When starting a new diet or exercise regime, expect to face difficulties. Expect to find it hard to refuse that last cupcake. Expect to find it hard to wake up in time for exercise. Try not to have an all-or-nothing approach where one blip on a diet means you’ll be eating unhealthily for the rest of the day. If you slip and you will dust off your mistake, and reset your diet.

MAKE IT EASIER

You can also do things that don’t test your willpower. Eat at home before parties to avoid bingeing  on food, stay away from people who encourage you to break your diet and visualise yourself enjoying social occasions by focusing on the conversation, not the food. You can also take a healthy salad/dish with you to parties if your host permits and slowly partake of that, eating less of the others. And cut all junk food from the house. You won’t need to resist temptation if there is no temptation to resist.

LIGHT AT THE OTHER END

After building your willpower, you will find it is easier to say no. Over time, you will realise that you don’t miss the foods that you had worked so hard to avoid. This may take weeks, or even months for some, but once your on the other side, chances are you find it as difficult to get back to your old lifestyle as you had found adjusting to your new one.

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