Monday, April 15, 2019 / Singapore

Beat temptation and boost self control

Temptation is everywhere

When we set off on our fat loss journey, we always have the best intentions and determination, but sometimes it can only take a little 'wobble' to distract us and throw us off track.  We have socials with friends.  We have family occasions and birthdays at work, where people bring cakes and other treats.  We hold out for so long and your friend says "go on, it's only 'a' beer".  Or, "just a slice won't hurt".  Then before you know it, that beer turns into six, the slice turns into a quarter.  It's not that you're 'weak' or have no discipline, it's just hard work concentrating for a long time and self control is a stress.

To take some stress off, here are four easy-peasy ways you can boost your self control:

#1: Have a plan 

Firstly know your diary.  Secondly use it.  Book in the gym.  Book in meal prep time (shopping, prepare and cooking).  These are the two 'big ones'.  Failing the motivation?  Book a personal trainer.  Failing shopping, preparing and cooking your own food?  Get a meal prep company to deliver.  Intentional Implementation is a strategy I use with clients, to help deal with incidences where they feel them might 'fold'.  It's as easy as X=Y or Y=X.  Right, if 'Y' is having a few beers on a Friday night, then that's cool.  But we know that's going to set us back in the short term.  To help combat the negative effects of the booze on our fat loss goal, we need to compensate.  That could be 'if I do Y,  I will go the gym in the morning and have smaller meals during the day' (X).  Or it could be, after I've had a few beers (Y), "I will go the gym the next day and eat 'clean' for the rest of the week" (X).

#2: Rethink temptation 

When faced with temptation or a craving, think about the particular vice in another way (in NLP, you would be changing the 'sub modalities').  For instance, look at the images below.  Which one looks for more appealing?  Hopeful you're saying the 3D-coloured image on the right.

Look at the images below.  Which one looks more appealing? Again hopefully you chose the image on the right.

By changing the image in our minds, we can start to disconnect and disasociate.  This can also be done with smell and taste.  Just recall a tase or smell you don't particularly like and associate it with the craving you have.*

*Sometimes it's not a simple as this and you may need a little bit more help, or the use of another strategy.

#3: Avoid-Avoid-Avoid

The best way to avoid temptation is too literally, avoid temptation.  For instance, if you walk past the same bakers everyday on the way to work and get you're pulled in and end up buying the same danish (which you know isn't going to help your weekly fat loss target), then take a different route to work.  Temptation diverted-mission success.


#4: Flex your self control muscle

With just like building muscle in the gym, you get bigger and stronger by completing repetition after repetition, the same also applies to strengthening self control. If you start resisting the smaller things the better you'll get at resisting the bigger things. In one of the first demonstrations of this idea, researchers asked volunteers to follow a two-week regimen to track their food intake, improve their moods or improve their posture. Compared to a control group, the participants who had exerted self-control by performing the assigned exercises were less vulnerable to willpower depletion in follow-up lab tests. In another study, the researchers also found that smokers who practiced self-control for two weeks by avoiding sweets or regularly squeezing a handgrip were more successful at quitting smoking than control subjects who performed two weeks of regular tasks that required no self-control, such as writing in a diary.

It's like this guys, ultimately temptation causes a conflict of interest-stress.  You want short term fulfilment ie the happiness gained from having a beer, which is fine; but the conflict comes when you want to hit your ultimate fat loss goal, ie long term fulfilment.  

So what will you choose, the 'smaller sooner' or 'larger later'?  Keep it real folks.


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