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Today’s radio show discussed the hot topic of Willpower: Friend or Foe with Weight Loss? Is willpower or the lack of, the true culprit behind weight gain? Is saying “No” to carbs or chocolate or restricting the foods we love truly healthy for us?
This show answered some questions on the true role of willpower in weight loss. Dr. John Sorrell, Ph.D. joined us in discussing the biological, psychological, and behavioral components behind our actions. Since our day to day needs are in an on-going competition for attention and we are in constant bombardment of both inner and outer environmental stimuli, there is very little we should leave up to willpower. Dr. Sorrell recommends focusing on our actions and our behaviors rather than on this “inner force” that may be pulled in various directions. Key suggestions are to become aware of our behaviors by writing it down or record keeping which may offer us an eye-opening and perhaps rewarding experience on our motivations and progress. Setting S.M.A.R.T goals (specific, manageable, action-oriented, rewarding and timely) guided by our values will also help us reach our goals rather than set ourselves up for failure.
Manuel also discussed the importance in telling the difference between physical and emotional hunger. Often times, clients come to him with supposed emotional eating habits that are “cured” simply be eating healthy, balanced, and consistently throughout the day. All of a sudden, the cookies that were originally an emotional binge are now unnecessary since a regular eating schedule has replaced the hunger hormone, Grehlin, and eased our binge animal within. Distinguishing between emotional and physical hunger emphasizes the need for distinction between willpower and action. Emotions may be confused, but actions are determined.
At Eating Free, we respect and love the foods that nourish and make us happy. For healthy food behaviors, the key is to arm yourself with skills, not willpower. Food choices should be made from well-planned and practiced goals and action and not from the various inner forces within. For instance, always have healthy food and snacks with you so you don’t find yourself starving and only a doughnut shop to feed you. Make your house a “trigger-free” zone. Eat before you go out to parties so as not to overeat or bring a dish that is healthy. As the holidays near, remember that there is no doubt that food may and should represent a sacred and emotional celebration in our lives, but in no way should our emotions or willpower determine our food choices
To listen the show visit: Willpower: Friend or Foe with Weight Loss?