Sheer Willpower Doesn’t Work

My willpower lost and ice cream won. Yep, I ate a lot of ice cream last night. It was that wonderful Talenti Gelato Brand. Why is it that some days it is easier to say no than others?

We have over 200 thoughts per day regarding food choices. Researchers said these thoughts include whether you should have cereal or eggs, and doesn’t include how many eggs, should I have seconds, whether or not to finish the plate. The amount of time people spend on thinking about food can tire out your willpower capacity alone.

Also, our emotions can rationalize anything. For example, here is how my dialogue went with the Gelato. I will go exercise first then I can eat it, it was my birthday week after all, I haven’t had ice cream for a long time, it would be nice to buy it for my family (when it really was only about me:) I am not kidding, all of these were true thoughts. So, since I practice this for a living, I released all guilt, drank veggie juice prior, exercised, and took enzymes and drank cleansing tea after the 2 bowls I ate. As of today, I ate lighter and drank more veggie juice so this angelic gelato can leave my body with more ease.

Was my energy lower and self control tapped out? Yes. Did I enjoy the experience, HECK yes. When we are tired it is way tougher to force sheer will. Just like if a child keeps challenging you to play one more game, you give in and they never do:)

When your nervous system is sluggish and you are craving the “cool off” feeling that ice cream provides, it usually means you are dehydrated, (which I was, B-day libations:) emotions are charged (which was true:), and you just want to enjoy the experience. To learn more about how to add more physical support with ice cream cravings, check out our Why ice cream tastes so good blog.

The author of Slim by Design, Brian Wansink recommends to create a supportive environment for yourself. He says “If you tweak your environment, it “ends up being done once, and typically follows you for the rest of your life.”

Create a supportive environment for yourself, so your willpower can have a rest.  Try these tricks:

  1. Healthy Surroundings: Many of my clients often eat standing up or in a rush. There are times in reality where this may have to happen, but if you are addicted to this rush, you will do it even when you do not have to. Is this you? The author and his colleague conducted an experiment and changed half of a Hardees fast food restaurant into a fine-dining restaurant by dimming the lights and playing softer, slower music, and found that diners ate less, more slowly, and with more satisfaction.
  2. Healthy Food on Display: Put your fruit and other conscious snacks out so you can see it, and put your candy, sweets and other temptations in the pantry in dark colored containers where you can not see it.
  3. Mindfully Plate your Food: Use smaller plates with fun colors so you can enjoy the experience and stay connected. Researchers showed that if you ate white pasta and alfredo sauce on a white plate, people served themselves 22% more than people who had plates with contrast. Thank goodness, I used a cute little glass bowl because otherwise I may have had 3 servings.

I am not going to ever tell anyone they can never eat ice cream again. We all just keep evolving and observing how we think about food. Hopefully, the obsessive thinking lessens so your brain can obsess about other things. It isn’t about control and force anymore, it is about connection, consciousness and curiosity.

Stay Curious my Friends,

Heather Fleming, C.C.N

P.S. If you are wanting to learn more about how you think about food, please join us for the 3-Week RESET program. You do NOT need to do this perfectly and I promise you will take away one thing that will create more conscious change in your nutritional lifestyle.



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