One of my friends always describes herself as having “the breaking strain of a KitKat” when it comes to resisting unhealthy food. But weight-loss shouldn’t be about having wrought-iron willpower. It should be about wanting the healthy option because you understand what you’re eating and how it affects you.
Sure, in the beginning there needs to be an element of self-discipline, but rest assured, that doesn’t have to last forever. If you have big changes to make, then early on you will have steel yourself to stay away from the biscuit tin, but over time it will become easier. You might be wondering why that should be and how you are going to develop this magical power of resisting temptation without effort?
The answer lies in the difference between temporary dieting and permanent healthy living. Think of it this way, if you’re dieting, it’s usually a measure designed for you to lose weight for a specific occasion, such as a wedding or a summer holiday. Even if your weight loss journey is successful, after the event, you’ll go back to eating how you did before. Whereas, if you live healthily, it’s how you eat all the time and you wouldn’t want to change it. You’re happy with it because you know it makes you feel better.
When you are dieting, you’re living with a sense of deprivation. You’re constantly thinking about the things you can’t have and so you’re constantly using up your mental energy just resisting the ‘bad stuff’.
But when you live healthily, you truly understand the harm that unhealthy foods do to your body and how bad they make you feel. Once you know that, there’s no going back to putting the bad stuff in your body, and so resisting it doesn’t take willpower, it just takes a different mindset.
By Samantha Bentall