Did you know that a plan is better than will power? Scientists have proven this to be true.In fact, if you battle for control over eating and especially find you are unable to control yourself when it comes to eating certain foods, you are likely to have tried will power, but who won? The food! I am sure you told yourself time and time again you will not give in to the candy bar, the foods served at the food court or even the cookies you see at a coffee shop on your way home. Or, what about the times when you are out at a social gathering and there are all sorts of incredibly appealing foods laid out? You probably told yourself in all the above scenarios you won’t over eat or you will just have a slice of cake, or a little of the main course etc. The result is you do end up over eating!
The other way in which will power works against you has to do with those of you who practice a lot of will power when out in a social setting. Once you get to the privacy of your home that is when will power fails you: you end up over eating!
So, why do I think a plan is better than will power? clearly, for the millions of people struggling with control over food/eating and their weights they are proof that sheer will power just does not work. The other evidence against will power is a plan. Having a plan before you get into the situation of temptation will better help you manage your choices. Here is how to use a plan to avoid over eating: 1. Plan to eat your regular meals throughout the day– don’t save yourself for any event- I mean any, not even a wedding or any large gathering. By eating your regular meals in a timely way, you will not experience physical hunger and should be able to eat just enough to satisfy without over indulging. 2. Plan what you will eat at the gathering. Tell yourself in advance you will have 2 small slices of the dessert of the evening. Or you will have 2 drinks, or 1 medium size helping of the main course. 3. Plan to entertain yourself in advance, nervousness/shyness etc can cause many people to overeat. If you don’t know anyone at the function, plan to nurse a glass of water, lemon juice and ice. 4. If you operate from a place of scarcity and see large amounts of foods as a way to stock up– tell yourself in advance, you are someone with great abundance in your life and you don’t need to eat to fill any void as you don’t have any!
Planning works because it actually creates new neural pathways which, if you stick to the plan for 3-weeks ,will become a new habit! Will power does not do this. By re-wiring your brain to think in a different way about food and eating, you will start making different choices and of course, if your choices are different, you will get different results. Only this time the results will be in favour of your health not against.
Try these 4 strategies for a week and feel the difference. For more information on solutions for eating your way to health, see my book, Solutions for Health at http://www.UltimatePotentials.com.
Your weekly coach, Phyllis Reid-Jarvis, RD,CDE