Willpower versus habits

Share This Post:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

If you’ve been struggling with your weight for a long time, you’ve probably been relying on willpower instead of addressing your habits around food, fitness, and mindset 

If this is how you’ve been approaching weight loss, is it any wonder you’ve been struggling to lose weight for good. 

Despite what the diet industry has told you, willpower just doesn’t work for weight loss. In fact, it will only make things worse because when you rely on willpower you have to work so much harder to get results. In fact, when you rely on willpower, you use 90% effort to achieve 10% results. Compared to using 10% effort to achieve 90% of results that comes with addressing our habits.

This explains why diets don’t work because they are designed to rely on willpower. It also explains why you have to keep working harder and harder when you go on a diet, yet you see little to no results. You can read more about this in our blog Running for weight loss: Why it doesn’t work.

Willpower is like a party friend who is good for an all-weekend bender. But you know you can’t rely on them to pick you up from the airport.

In this blog, we’re going to look at the common things that people do when they want to lose weight — focus on food, increase exercise, upping their steps, and cutting back on alcohol. We’re going to show you what relying on willpower looks like, explain why it doesn’t work, and show you why addressing your habits will always beat relying on willpower every time. 

We’ll also show you why addressing your habits is the only way to lose weight for good, and get the body, lifestyle, and confidence you want.

What relying on willpower looks like in regards to food and nutrition

When people set out to lose weight, one of the first things they do is focus on their food. This often means removing all ‘bad’ foods from their kitchen, eating clean, doing a detox or cleanse, restricting foods, especially carbs, following meal plans, ordering ready-made ‘diet’ meals or going on a diet.

But getting rid of the food you deem bad (the food you binge on/emotional eat) by eating clean, doing a detox or cleanse, restricting foods, especially carbs, following meal plans, ordering ready-made ‘diet’ meals or going on a diet does not address the real reason why you struggle with binge/ emotional eating.

Why this approach doesn’t work

Relying on willpower does not work because it avoids the problem instead of eradicating it. Eliminating the food you deem bad (the food you binge on/emotionally eat) does not eliminate or address the problem of why you struggle with your food. It’s like an alcoholic hoping to solve their alcoholism by not buying alcohol or not going to the pub (avoiding the problem) instead of addressing why they struggle with alcohol.

Unless they address why they struggle with alcohol this behaviour will always show up when they are out of control or run out of willpower, for example when they are invited to a BBQ or social event where there is alcohol.

The truth is that your eating behaviours are just a reflection of your keystone habits. Therefore, the answer is in addressing why you struggle with food, why you binge /emotionally eat (your habits).

What does addressing your habits look like?

Instead of eliminating the food, you binge on or emotionally eat, you need to ask yourself why you binge eat and emotionally eat. 

The reason people binge eat is because they’re hungry and the reason they’re hungry is because they restrict food.

People don’t eat enough food for two reasons — they’re either time poor and don’t have time to eat well, or they’re dieting.

When people binge, they usually get upset with themselves, and then turn to emotional eating to feel better.

So people emotionally eat, to deal with their emotions.

But then they feel guilty about their overeating and decide to restrict food by intentionally cutting their calories to offset the extra food they consumed.

And this starts the whole cycle again because when you restrict food (whether you’re dieting or because you’re too busy to eat well), you only end up being hungry, which is the reason you binge eat in the first place.

There are two reasons why people restrict food:

  1. They are time-poor
  2. They have a diet mindset

Why are people time poor?

Because they don’t put themselves first.

They don’t put themselves first because they are people pleasers who are afraid to say ‘no’ to other people. Therefore, they are always busy doing everything for everyone else but themselves.

Why are they afraid to say ‘no’?

Because they are scared of rejection and abandonment.

Why are they scared of rejection even when they are doing what’s best for them?

Because their self-worth relies on being liked and other people’s approval.

Why does their self-worth rely on being liked and other people’s approval?

Because they lack self-worth.

You can read more about self-worth in our blog How low self-worth affects your weight.

Feeling the need to restrict food is a reflection of your beliefs around food, which is part of the diet mindset. Read our blog Change your mindset to lose weight fast, to learn more about this.

Whether you restrict food because you’re time-poor, or because you have a diet mindset, it will always lead to binge eating, which is closely linked with emotional eating.

Addressing your habits is not about solving the what (the binge and emotional eating) but why you do it, which in this case is lack of self-worth.

And to address this, you need a system that helps you build your self-worth (habits), instead of focusing on food (willpower).

We explain this in more detail in our blog Why eating better won’t help you lose weight.

What relying on willpower looks like in regards to exercise

Along with controlling food, ramping up exercise is another thing people do to lose weight because they believe that burning more calories (to create a calorie deficit) is the answer. This often means signing up to boot camps, committing to exercising every day (usually cardio exercise), and upping their steps to 10,000 steps a day. 

Why this approach doesn’t work

When introducing exercise, people very rarely start out slowly and progress their workouts. Instead, they go from 0 to 100. That means that someone who has been sitting on the couch for the past 12 months doing no exercise at all, set themselves a goal to exercise every day without addressing why they’ve been inconsistent in the past.

This too much, too quick approach is overwhelming and increases the likelihood of injury, which then leads to stopping regular exercise and only doing it when you feel like it, or when you have time — which is relying on willpower.

Walking every day and getting 10,000 steps is the same. People decide that they will walk every day, no matter what, which requires willpower.

What does addressing your habits look like?

To address your habit of inconsistency with exercise you need to ask yourself why you struggle to be consistent? 

It can be any number of things including:

  • doing too much too quickly which leads to injury and burnout
  • not being able to get out of bed in the morning because you don’t prioritise your sleep
  • working long hours because pleasing habits mean you need to keep your boss happy
  • not being able to put yourself first.

Working on your habits means working on eliminating the barriers that are preventing you from turning up to your exercise sessions — whether that be people-pleasing, not putting yourself first, or lack of self-worth.

Addressing this requires you to follow a system and work with a coach who can help you prioritise yourself, build your self-worth and provide the structure and the accountability around exercise.

You can read more about this in our blog Why you need a weight loss coach.

You can read more about the best approach to exercise in our blogs How to prevent sports injuries and burnout and How to exercise for weight loss after 40.

Walking

Many people rely on willpower by upping their steps to 10,000 steps a day every day. But this approach usually fails because habits always beat intentions; life always gets in the way and you eventually run out of willpower.

Instead of relying on willpower that comes and goes, you need to address why you are inconsistent with your walks — whether it’s people pleasing, not putting yourself first, or distracting yourself with work/ being a workaholic.

Only then, will you be able to achieve consistency with your walks.

What relying on willpower looks like in regards to alcohol

There’s no doubt that alcohol impacts your weight. You can read how in our blog Alcohol and weight gain: 9 ways drinking affects your body shape. So it’s no surprise that cutting out alcohol is something many people do when they’re trying to lose weight. This usually means they get rid of any alcohol they have in the house, stop buying alcohol, and avoid situations where they could drink alcohol.

Why this approach doesn’t work

The two most common reasons people drink are to relieve stress and to feel more confident and less like an imposter. However, simply removing alcohol from the equation doesn’t address the reasons you’re stressed or the reasons why you lack confidence.

So the solution lies in working out why you feel this way (addressing your habits) instead of removing alcohol from the equation (relying on willpower).

What does addressing your habits look like?

Addressing your habits is not trying to solve the what (the drinking) but why you drink. For example:

Do you drink because you’re stressed?

Are you stressed because you’re too busy, doing too much, or feel overwhelmed?

Are you overwhelmed because you don’t know how to put yourself first?

Do you struggle to put yourself first because you don’t know how to say ‘no’?

Do you struggle to say ‘no’ because you’re a people pleaser?

Are you a people pleaser because you’re scared of offending people?

Are you scared of offending people because you’re scared of rejection and abandonment, even when you do nothing wrong?

And why are you scared of rejection and abandonment?

Because your self-worth relies on being liked and other people’s approval.

Why does your self-worth rely on being liked and other people’s approval?

Because you lack self-worth. 

If you drink to feel more confident, ask yourself:

Why you lack confidence.

The answer is the same.

Because you lack self-worth.

Notice how it all points back to your habits?

You struggle with food, exercise, walking, or alcohol because you rely on willpower instead of addressing your habits.

Habits trump willpower every time

If you feel like everything is overwhelming and an uphill battle, you’re relying on willpower and when you rely on willpower, you have to work so much harder. In fact, you have to put in 90% effort for 10% or less results. This is compared to using 10% effort to achieve 90% results that comes with addressing our habits.

A lot of people who set out to lose weight talk about willpower, as if it’s the secret key that will unlock their results. But it’s not. 

As you become fatigued with the pressure to stay in control by using willpower, you end up lapsing into old habits, which don’t support your weight loss. This explains why so many people fall off the wagon when trying to lose weight — because they’re using willpower to get results.

The more you rely on willpower the bigger and deeper the hole you dig for yourself. Addressing your habits is the only way to get the body, confidence, and lifestyle you want — no matter what anyone else tells you.

When it comes to weight loss, creating a calorie deficit by restricting food and increasing exercise does not address the reason you became overweight, just like avoiding alcohol doesn’t address the reasons you drink.

At the end of the day, long-term weight loss isn’t about food or exercise or even willpower. It comes down to your habits, or why you do what you do. Unless you address the habits that have led you to become overweight in the first place, you will always continue to struggle to lose weight and keep it off.

Most people who struggle with their weight usually have a few of the following habits:

The secret to successful weight loss is addressing the habits that have led you to where you are. When you master your habits and stop relying on willpower, you will be able to have the body, confidence, and lifestyle you want.

Because relying on habits makes everything much easier than relying on willpower.

How DATSTM Program helps 

The DATSTM Personal Coaching Program will help you address the habits that have led you to become overweight and show you how to overcome them. It will help you build your self-worth and confidence so you’ll be able to put yourself first. And that will mean you’ll no longer have to rely on willpower, which comes and goes, to lose weight for good.

Under the DATSTM Coaching Program, you will work with the world’s leading personal coaching in habit and mindset change, and permanent weight loss, to gain the knowledge, systems, tools, and skills to lose weight and keep it off — even on your worst days.

In summary…

  • When people set out to lose weight, they immediately try to create a calorie deficit by controlling their food, ramping up their exercise, and cutting back on alcohol.
  • Instead of addressing the habits that led them to become overweight in the first place, they use willpower to try to control food, exercise, and drinking.
  • Long-term weight loss is never about food and exercise — the things you need to rely on willpower for.
  • Long-term weight loss comes down to your habits, that either work for you or against you.
  • If you want to succeed in losing weight, you need to stop relying on willpower and start addressing your habits.
  • If you’re not addressing your habits, you are relying on willpower.
  • Our DATSTM Personal Coaching Program will help you identify and address the habits that are contributing to your weight, so you can finally ditch the willpower and lose weight for good.
  • Our DATSTM Program gives you the knowledge, systems, tools, and skills to help you lose weight and keep it off, even on your worst days.

Want to finally lose weight forever and feel confident?

Get on the DATS™️ program priority waiting list today to guarantee your spot.

On Tuesday, January 5th, 2021, we’re accepting a small number of new coaching clients to our Diet Antidote Transformation System (DATS™️ Program), The Not-Diet Diet for People Who Are Sick of diets and want more than a good body.

To give our clients the personal care and attention they deserve, we only open to new clients twice per year and enrolment is on a first-come, first-served basis. Don’t MISS YOUR CHANCE to change your life!

Join the free no-obligation priority waiting list now to guarantee your spot in our next intake. You’ll even get a chance to enroll early if a spot becomes available.

*Required. By providing your email, you agree to our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, and to receive email alerts from Imani Tribe Transformations. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Transform your life, not just your body!

What if you could finally lose the weight for good and get the body, confidence, and lifestyle you want?

 

Now you can! If there were ever a time to join us, it is now. And we can help.

 

Discover the Diet Antidote Transformation System (DATS™️ personal coaching Program) for people who want more than a good body, just like you.

 

A complete body and lifestyle transformation system that gives you everything – knowledge, systems, tools, and skills you need to finally lose weight for good, and get the Body, Confidence and Lifestyle you want — even on your worst days.

 

2021 2nd & Final intake is Now Open for a limited time.

 

Enrolment only opens twice per year for a limited time on a first-come, first-served basis due to high demand and limited spots, but most importantly to ensure we continue to deliver a high-quality program, and give our members the personal care and attention they deserve.

 

DON’T MISS YOUR CHANCE TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE!

 

Get the Body, Confidence & Lifestyle you want.

 

Start your journey today!

Share This Post:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Share This Post:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Recent Posts

Follow us

Our Programs

Get weight loss, confidence and fitness tips delivered right to your inbox weekly.

How can we help you right now?

Lose the weight for good and get the body, confidence, and lifestyle you want.

You’ve tried losing weight by yourself and dieting a million times before. None of them worked, in fact they all left you worse off than when you started. Now it’s time for something that works.

See if you qualify. Places are limited.

Discover why you self-sabotage your weight loss and how to finally stop

2021 DATS™️ coaching program FINAL intake is Now Open!

Lose weight for good, and get the Body, Confidence and Lifestyle you want

Enrolment only opens twice per year for a limited time on a first-come, first-served basis due to high demand and limited spots

DON’T MISS YOUR CHANCE TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE!

:
:
:

FREE Weight Loss eCourse

Discover how to finally lose weight forever and feel confident without dieting, even if nothing else has worked before.

Learn how to transform your life, not just your body. Start today by downloading this FREE eCourse

*Required. By providing your email, you agree to our Terms & ConditionsPrivacy Policy, and to receive email alerts from Imani Tribe Transformations. You can unsubscribe at any time.