Is Willpower Alone Enough to Lose Weight?

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Actually no, you should not depend too heavily on willpower as your weight loss strategies.

Studies demonstrate that efforts to break away from habits such as smoking, alcohol or eating too much require more that willpower, and that those who believe willpower may have the greatest impact on weight loss actually have the least will power. 

One of the most powerful things you can do to assist yourself in breaking free from one of these habits is to avoid tempting circumstances.

For instance, portion control is an important aspect of weight management but it may not be too successful if they prepare for themselves some form of high-carbohydrate foods (potatoes, corn rice or pasta) every evening for dinner.  The better weight loss strategy would be to start by not even including the high-carbohydrate item on the menu altogether.  If it’s not on the table, you can’t eat too much of it.

Another example is to simply not purchase the high-carbohydrate snack foods to begin with.  Buying a large bag of cookies almost guarantees that you will eventually eat the entire bag.  Whether you eat an entire bag of cookies over 1 week or 1 month doesn’t matter – you’ll still consumed these extra carbohydrates and calories that you could of done without and will carrying it around in the form of excess body fat.

If you want a cookie, just buy 1 or 2 from the bakery section as an occasional treat – it may cost more money this way, but you’ll lose weight and be healthier.  The same thinking goes for ice cream – just buy a cone when you’re out instead of a quart that sits in the freezer at home just waiting to be devoured.

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Patrick Nemechek, D.O.

Patrick Nemechek, D.O.

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