Not enough willpower?

October 1, 2009

Recent research suggests that maybe you have too much!

To save you the trouble of reading it, I’ll summarise: They suggest the best way to deal with eating (drinking, smoking or other addictive behaviour you’re trying to stop) is to avoid situations that tempt you.

When I was helping smokers, many had difficulty when they went out for a drink with friends. The environment made it very difficult to resist the urge. While at other times, there was no urge to smoke. This holds with eating, and everything else.

If you think you have strong willpower, the research suggests that you overestimate your ability to resist the temptation. In short – stay away from tempting situations!

The article also goes onto to suggest that if you’re not hungry, you overestimate your ability to resist temptation. So again, avoid walking into the cake shop will vastly improve your chances when compared to using willpower to resist the cakes.

Of course, if you’ve joined the program, you’ll already know that I don’t believe we can change using willpower, anyway.

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TV dinners are a fantastic invention. It made the creation of dinner in a hectic lifestyle easy. It was a quick and easy way to create a somewhat healthy meal.

It did have a few unwanted side effects. One unwanted and usually unrecognized side effect of eating dinner in front of the TV (or internet), is that you’re not attending to what you’re eating.

What this means is you notice the messages from your body that you’re full much later. It means that you often shovel the food into your mouth, chew a few times then swallow, quickly filling your mouth again. You might have had the experience with a packet of chips while you watch a movie. Happily munching away only to suddenly notice the packet is empty.

If you’re part of the Butterfly Transformation Program you’ll know how to eat anything you want, as long as you make it a constant conscious choice.

One added side effect of doing this, is that you notice how the foods you eat actually taste, and your choice of foods changes naturally as a result.

I taught this method to a client last year. She was a big fan of a particular doughnut, eating several each day. She told me she was addicted, needing one in the morning, one after lunch, one before dinner and sometimes one before bed. She boldly told me once she smelled one, she had to have one.

Then I taught her how to eat consciously and got her to sit and eat one consciously. After two bites she was struggling and by halfway, she couldn’t finish it. “Way too sweet” was her comment.

One of the first steps of eating consciously is to not multi task. No eating unless your full attention is on the food; how it tastes, the texture and how every mouthful you swallow makes you feel.