You might hear a lot about willpower, and some of you might believe that your ability (or inability) to stay away from bad food choices depends solely on how strong (or weak) your willpower is.
That, my friends, is bullshit.
While it’s true that some of us have more discipline than others, we are not superheroes. We are not buddhist monks. We are not masochists. Well, maybe some of you. But most of us are just people. And people are fallible. Real. We shouldn’t be expected to be on guard 24 hours a day without cracking at least a few times. And we shouldn’t feel badly about ourselves for doing so.
I’ve learned how to resist bad foods in short spurts. I can opt for the salad, instead of the fries most days. I can buy an apple instead of a chocolate bar. I know that when I’m tired, my cravings can take over, so I fill myself up with healthy on-the-go foods so I won’t cave in. But at 11pm, when my body wants something sweet, you best be padlocking the freezer if there’s ice cream in there.
It’s not just ice cream though. Bagels, butter, bacon, chocolate, chips etc. If those items are in my house, I will eat them. In fact, if they are there, they’re all I want to eat. My shiny apples look like crap next to them sometimes. That refreshing salad doesn’t feel nearly as right of a choice as it did when I made it. So I eat them. And eat them. Most ‘bad’ items don’t make it past a few days in my pantry: items, that if eaten in moderation should last me weeks.
So how do I stay away from processed, sugary, high calorie, low nutrition foods?
I keep them the hell away from my kitchen!
My secret is not willpower. It’s knowing myself and preparing myself. I don’t do well in environments where I have to deny myself: where I have to constantly choose healthy over unhealthy in the spur of the moment. I have limited amounts of willpower and it saps my energy. I do better when the ONLY choice is a healthy choice.
Studies show that putting ourselves in a cycle where we ‘feel’ deprived (where we feel as though we can’t have what’s within reach) is likely to lead to failure. We only have a certain amount of energy we can spend feeling deprived and having to make decisions. After that, we tend to go crazy, eating everything in sight. And, if you’re like most people, you feel guilty after. When you feel guilty, you feel off track. When you’re off track, it feels like your efforts have been in vain. When those efforts don’t ‘count’, eating those foods doesn’t feel so bad. You feel as though you’ve already failed, so what’s the harm in a complete sabotage?
We put too much pressure on ourselves to be perfect. We need to make life easier on ourselves instead.
READ THIS. It’s fantastic.
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