If only I could resist temptation.

The offending home-made muffins and cookies – staring at Narelle in the tearoom.

I recently saw this picture on Facebook from one of the girls in our ICE community. She was frustrated as someone had left these yummy home-made goods in the tearoom. How could she possibly say no to them when they were sitting there all afternoon? She knows they are full of sugar and fat and won’t help her endeavour to lose the wobbly bits, but they looked so tastie! She couldn’t resist.

She asked me for some tips.

We would all succeed with our health and fitness goals if we could JUST SAY NO!

Why is it so difficult?

Why can’t I just show a little bit of willpower?

Firstly, don’t beat yourself up over one biscuit. But if you are like me and can’t stop at just one biscuit, or piece of cake, or chocolate slice – then perhaps you will benefit from some of the following hot tips to strengthen your willpower:

What exactly is willpower? 

It is determination, drive, self-discipline, self-control and the ability to resist temptation!

Willpower is also:

– the ability to resist short-term temptation in order to meet long-term goals

– the capacity to override an unwanted impulse

– the ability to employ a “cool” rationale, rather than a “hot” emotional response (eg. “I don’t really NEED that piece of cake” versus “I want it cos it will taste sooooo good!”

That all sounds well and good, but let’s put it into practice.

For a start, find motivation for change! Find a clear reason WHY you should say no to those tasty temptations.

For example: what if I offered you $100 right now, or I could hold onto it for three months and it would become $300. Would you take it now and spend it? Could you resist a short-term temptation in order to meet a long-term goal? That is what it is like saying no to a packet of muffins or Tim Tams. Resist the temptation now, and enjoy the reward later!

Here are some simple exercises that will help you out along the way:

  1. Purge and Pillage! Remove all the temptations from your environment. Clean out the fridge, cupboards and your desk at work so there is nothing there to take control of that little devil on your shoulder. You know, the one that says “just one won’t hurt!” when you know that once you open the packet, there won’t be a crumb left by the time the family get home and the packet is burnt in the fire!
  2. Replace the tempting food in your cupboards and fridge with healthy options.
  3. Consistently have good choices on hand. This means replenishing on a regular basis, the healthy food when it is eaten.
  4. Eat every 3-4 hours so you never get hungry. You are much more inclined to “just have one” if you are hungry.
  5. Take something healthy that you would like to eat for morning-tea/bbq/social function.
  6. Practice saying NO and practise saying your goal to yourself; eg, “I will fit into my white shorts for summer by eating nutritious food.”
  7. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, especially at social functions.
  8. Walk away from the tempting food on the table. Turn your back on the food and talk to people. Practise “out of sight, out of mind”.

Let me know if any of these tips help you the next time you have to resist temptation.