Willpower and Maturity in Dieting
Maturity is most often associated with growing up. The naturally occurring shift from childhood to becoming an adult. When we think of it in this context we accept that mistakes are a normal part of growing up. That maturity and willpower are never fully developed from the start.
We’re actually maturing every day. We grow more and more into our jobs, hobbies, sports and relationships as we go. Our journey to improved nutrition, performance and body composition is no different.
Building new nutrition habits is challenging and too often we get down on ourselves over mistakes. Having the discipline to make a change, learning to implement it correctly and developing the endurance to practice it habitually takes time and practice.
Each time you come back from a mistake you gain maturity and build upon your willpower. These ‘setbacks’ are opportunities for growth and development. They are chances to reflect and come back stronger than you were before.
Identify Opportunities to Practice Willpower
Telling yourself that you’re “not supposed to eat that” isn’t always the most motivational thought.
Use your next opportunity to say “no” as a chance to build on your willpower. Next time you make a good food choice, the following three good food choices will become a lot easier. Your willpower will grow stronger each time until eventually making good choices takes very little effort at all!
Adopt the 20 Second Rule
Make every decision 20 seconds harder and you'll be less likely to make a bad one.
Before you make a post, eat that treat or say something take 20 seconds to think about it. Ask yourself, "Am I sure I want to do this?"
Don’t Make Your Willpower Work Overtime
Willpower is like a muscle and if you overwork it the wrong way, it will eventually break down.
Routine can be incredibly helpful for taking the stress off of your food choices. If it’s routine for you to prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner at home most days of the week then you’re not putting a strain on your willpower.
Make Decisions in Advance
If you’re going to dinner with friends, taking a vacation or just taking a trip to the mall, make your food decisions in advance. This way you can plan ahead, spend less time focusing on it and more time enjoying yourself, make the healthiest decision and take some pressure off of your willpower.
- Check out the food options ahead of time
- Pack some of your own snacks to avoid hunger
- Make a deal with yourself about what, and how much of it, you’re going to order in advance
- Read this WAG article about How to Stick to Your Macros When Eating at Restaurants
Think Happy Thoughts
Rather than thinking of things you “can’t” have, think of what you "can" have. Instead of saying I "have to" say I "get to" and instead of saying this is happening "to me" say this is happening "for me."
Grow and Move on
Negative thoughts and emotions lead the way to making more negative choices. As hard as it may feel, learning to get back on the horse as quickly as possible is the best practice for consistency and success.
The kinder you are to yourself and the more positive your mindset, the easier it is to make good choices that align with your goals now and in the future.
Have you noticed a change in your willpower and maturity towards food since you joined Team WAG? Use the #TeamWAG hashtag to share it with us, we would love to hear about it!
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Love what you learned but still want more guidance and support? Hire a 1:1 coach who will get to know you, your lifestyle and your unique needs and create results that you can sustain long-term. If you're not quite ready to go all-in on hiring a coach, check out our Macro Calculation Cheat Sheet & 18 Tracking Tips and Tricks for macro counting!