As a girl who prides herself with possessing the ability to say “no” when she yearns to scream “yes”, I’ll sink into the vulnerability hole and admit this: I’m currently sitting here wishing I had some Parmesan Garlic and Mango Haberno wings…but instead, am forcing myself to drink a 170 calorie protein powder meal replacement milk. (Yay…watch: I’ll probably be grabbing a few wings once I’m done writing this…).
We’re all in this together: losing weight is a challenge and we all struggle. Who’s been in that situation where you’re a healthy green god for the entire day but break down at 1 AM and drive to two fast food chains to get chicken nuggets and fries?! Guilty bee here!
Mastering the art of self-discipline requires skill. Don’t have much self-control? You’re not out of luck!
Rodale Wellness has listed four simple steps to mastering the art of self-discipline:
1) Space out your self-control
If you attempt to exert your self-control in too many areas at a given moment, it’s very difficult to succeed.
A study from Case Western Reserve University placed delicious cookies before two groups of participants, instructing one group to eat 2-3 cookies while the other group to eat radishes. The participants were then asked to solve an impossible puzzle. The ones who were told to resist the cookies (aka the ones who ate the radish) ended up giving up on the puzzle much quicker than those who were allowed the cookies.
“Willpower is like gas in your car,” says associate professor of consumer psychology, Kathleen D. Vohs. “When you resist something tempting, you use some up. The more you resist, the emptier your tank gets, until you run out of gas.”
2) Keep blood sugar steady
So many people are jumping onto the bandwagon and doing the whole “no carb” diet. Carbs are good for you! Carbs are your brain’s number one source of fuel and you need (complex) sugar to function in a healthy manner!
Those who skip meals lower their blood sugar and tend to overeat later on in the day. Nutritionists suggest eating about 5 small meals per day with a balance of: complex carbs, lean protein, greens and a cup of a diary product. If you’re constantly on the go and find it troubling to eat often, carry healthy snacks like: almonds, carrots, granola, etc. in your purse/car/backpack.
3) Don’t extreme diet
I’ve been guilty of this before and trust me, anything on the extreme level will almost ALWAYS backfire against you. Don’t work too hard. Set a realistic goal for yourself and achieve that in a healthy manner.
If you’re unsure of what diet/exercise routine to follow, you may utilize apps such as MyFitnessPal or utilize the web version here. There are various free apps/websites that will determine a healthy exercise and diet routing for you!
4) Don’t forfeit a healthy night’s sleep
Yesterday was an extremely hectic (but fun) Saturday. I got home at 3 AM and even then, I spent 2 hours answering emails aka I didn’t get enough sleep.
What happened today? My little sis was trying to update me but halfway through the convo, I abruptly cut her off; I nicely asked her to update me later because I seriously had difficulty concentrating normally.
Lesson? GET SLEEP! Sleep between 7-8 hours each night. Research shows that getting less than 6 hours of sleep decreases decision making and results in failures of self-control. One study showed that for adults who only got 4 hours of sleep within a 48 hour span, their appetite level increased by 28%!
What experiences/situations/things do you find it troubling to execute a level of adequate self-control? Is it studying? Is it losing weight? Share with us your experiences and your plan to increase you level of self-discipline!
Children capable of learning to control junk food cravings: study. (2014, September 9). Retrieved from http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/children-learn-control-junk-food-cravings-study-article-1.1933386
Gregoire, C. (2013, October 28). 10 psychological studies that will change what you think you know about yourself. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/18/20-psychological-studies-_n_4098779.html
Kalish, N. (2010, September 16). 4 secrets to impeccable self-control. Retrieved from http://www.rodalewellness.com/weight-loss/4-secrets-impeccable-self-control
Edited by: Zoe