Willpower is Overrated

The people that have the most willpower use it the least.  It’s true.  Even the people that “have it all together” will falter from time to time.  Do you want to know their secret to success?  They create an environment that supports the way they want to live, eat, and perform. 

Looking to lose a few pounds?  Change your body composition?  Feel better about your nutrition?  If you answered yes to any of these, the answer is you need to change your foodscape… that is, the environment where you eat.  If your kitchen pantry, cupboards, and refrigerator are stocked with more unhealthy than healthy food options, you will have to rely on willpower all the time.  That is hard work. 

Make it easier on yourself.  Try making small swaps in your environment to get rid of constant temptations.  It can make staying on track with your nutrition so much easier.   

Think of it this way.  When you go to the grocery store and see a bag of your favorite chips or dessert, you may think “Should I indulge in these chips?”  If you say no, that is one decision.  If you say yes and buy the chips, you will need to answer the “Should I indulge in these chips?” every time you walk into the kitchen.  It’s easier to say no to the chips once than to say no 20 times.  If you REALLY want to indulge, try buying a snack size bag or single serving.  Satisfy your urge to indulge and then move on. 

Here are a few tips to change up your environment so you don’t always have to rely on willpower.

Tip #1: Invest in food storage containers so you can portion out meals and snacks ahead of time.   

Tip #2: Swap the soda in your fridge for other beverages: flavored seltzer, tea, or coffee.

Tip #3: Have easy access protein sources available like single serve cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, hard-boiled eggs, string cheese, or pre-made chicken, pork, or other meat. 

Tip #4: Buy the treats you love but buy them in single serving sizes. It’s torture to pass on the second serving but if it’s not there… you win.  Enjoy your treats in moderation.

Set yourself up for success.  Implementing these few tips can save you stress and frustration as you move toward a healthier you.