When you start a diet, willpower can be your best friend. It keeps you feeling strong and in control, no matter the temptations you face each day. But how do you get that strong, rock-solid willpower that will keep you on track until you reach your weight loss goal, and beyond? It’s actually very easy to strengthen your diet willpower, but it does require a little bit of practice.
Start with these three strategies:
Diet Willpower Strategy #1 – Need vs. Want
The first step in strengthening your willpower is to recognize the difference between needs and wants. You may want that chocolate brownie, but do you really NEED to have it? Will it kill you to say “no thanks”? Most of the time, just acknowledging that you don’t really need to eat certain foods makes you feel empowered enough to bypass them. You may need to practice this technique several times before you feel really confident with it, but it does get easier the more you do it.
Diet Willpower Strategy #2 – Substitution
That gooey ice cream sundae looks so delicious and refreshing on a hot day – but you would probably enjoy a fruit sorbet just as much. Think about what you really want when a craving strikes. What about the sundae is so enticing? You want something sweet? Fruit is sweet. You want something cold and refreshing? Sorbet is cold and refreshing. Most of the time, if you simply start thinking about possible substitutions that are lower in calories, you’ll be able to enjoy one of them without feeling deprived.
Diet Willpower Strategy #3 – Wait 15 Minutes
Another great way to strengthen your diet willpower is to make it a habit of waiting 15 minutes before eating anything. When you get a craving, wait 15 minutes before deciding whether to eat it, or choose a healthier substitution. Routinely wait 15 minutes longer before eating meals and snacks, just because you can. When you do this regularly, you start to develop a sense of empowerment over food. You realize that food can’t control you; YOU decide when to eat, and YOU decide what to eat.
Remember that cravings are just feelings, and they cannot make you eat anything you don’t want to eat. Keep reminding yourself that you are the one with all the power.