Willpower is Overrated

If you’ve been struggling to lose those last 5 or 10 pounds, don’t blame your lack of willpower. A recent paper by Rush University experts argues that focusing on self-control—or rather, the lack of it—can be disempowering, and ultimately backfire.

“The idea of ‘willpower’ refers to a man’s character, and no one likes their integrity to be diminished,” says psychologist Alexander Cohen, Ph.D., Department Chair of Sport and Exercise Psychology at Argosy University. “It’s not enough to say eat broccoli instead of that donut. Everyone knows the choices that are better for them.”

Your solution: Make a process goal—one that’s about your behaviors, not the outcome.

“Obviously long-term outcome goals—like losing weight to improve health—are important, but focusing on the process returns control,” Cohen says. “And the more perceived control you have, the more you’ll engage in or stick with a new behavior.”

Process goals work best when they’re short-term (daily or weekly, depending on what works best for you), specific (run 2 miles 5 days a week), and realistic. Here are more of Cohen’s tips:

Create a plan. “Decide what you’re going to do ahead of time, so you don’t have to test your willpower,” Cohen says. “That could mean packing a healthy lunch the night before work, or deciding what time you’re heading to your workout.”

Prepare for trouble. “This is perhaps the most underutilized yet important tactic: You’re going to experience setbacks, like working late or bad weather. Plan for these times, and know exactly how you’ll adjust and what you’ll do, so you can eliminate the opportunity for impulsive decisions.”

Remove personal obstacles. “Identifying your weight-loss obstacles is a simple first step. I had one client who wanted to lose weight, but was self-conscious about women looking at him. So we decided to have him run in the woods where no one could see him,” Cohen says. “It wasn’t about overcoming his anxiety. We just made it easier for him to exercise.”

From http://www.menshealth.com

About FitFreek202

Hi, thanks for stopping by at my website. This is my journey to achieve 202 pounds of lean body mass and 15% Body Fat. Let me explain. Weighing yourself with traditional scales is very important, but you also need to measure your body fat as well. You could go to the gym and weigh yourself before and after a long run. The second weigh in, you may well have lost two pounds – that is water from sweat, not body fat. So, my goal is to be 202 pounds LBM and 36 pounds of fat – a total of 238 pounds. When i’m there, my goal is to be 202 pounds LBM and 22 pounds of fat – a total of 224 pounds. This blog will chart my progress.

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