What’s Willpower Got to Do with it? A Look to What Makes Weight-loss Success

How important is willpower really?

You hear the term “willpower” tossed around a lot in the weight-loss world. It’s mostly used when talking about food, especially if we categorize foods as good or bad. We all know that healthy decision making is important, but how much does willpower itself play a role in weight-loss?

Not the Only Factor

It’s a no brainer that consistency and willpower are important to health, but that’s not all to the puzzle. In fact, weight-loss is much more complex. It’s affected by many other factors including:

  • Stress – Due to worrying about weight, health, finances, work, relationships and more
  • Illness – Affected by weight, disease, genetics, the immune system and more
  • Hunger – Affected by weight-loss, disease or changes in behavior
  • Sleep – Affected by exercise, diet, weight and stress; contributes to daily performance
  • Emotions – Influenced by frustration, worry, guilty, stigma and mental health

Believe it or not, willpower isn’t everything! Weight-loss is more than a mental game. It’s easy to forget that our behavior is also influenced by our body. If we’re not excelling in other areas of our health, we can’t make the healthiest decisions for our weight. And when these barriers arise, our storage of willpower is often depleted. No wonder we feel bad about ourselves so much!

How to Replenish Willpower

Rest at ease. There are ways to restore your willpower and welcome positive messages into your journey with weight. Try some of these suggestions:

Minimize Stress: 

Find proactive ways to manage stress or reduce factors which bring it on. You will be healthier in mind but also in body, and you’ll find it easier to stick to your goals.

Set Short-term Goals:

Set goals you can achieve in the near future. This may boost your self-confidence and give you extra motivation! Make sure you write them down where you can see them.

Set Concrete Goals:

Establish permanent and bigger goals to give your actions a much greater purpose. You might feel more determined, more focused and clear-headed along the way.

Utilize Smarter Decision-making:

Make important decisions when you are fresh, alert and centered. Avoid making any kind of decision, especially for your health, when you are stressed, hungry, tired or overworked.

When we rely on willpower alone to conquer important goals such as weight-loss, we risk blaming ourselves if things get rocky. Though willpower is a component of mindfulness and a valuable skill to have, it isn’t your only weapon. Try to recognize other factors in your life that shape your weight, and then address those topics as well.

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