Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Dieting And Will Power- Strange Bed Fellow?

By Mark Kimathi

It is never clear to many whether they need will power to diet or not. Depending on your source of information, you will probably be either way. But for many, the lack of will power in a dieting endeavor could be the reason they are never able to lose weight. Yet the question remains is dieting and will power unrelated?

You likely have come across information like you cannot depend on will power to lose weight. The question to retort back would then be what then should you depend on?

Will power is the ability to control ones action, emotions and impulses. The famous American motivational speaker Phil McGraw refers to being overweight as "loss of control" And this rings true because you grow fat to the extent that you lose control of your food choices, food portions and similar calorie related decisions.

To tell you the truth, there is probably no thing as powerful as the backing of will-power to lose weight. And this will power exists in everyone. And like all other major achievements in life it is a central requirement in losing weight.

And just to prove this point in case of weight loss surgery where the individual doesn't comply or is not willing to take up the after weight loss surgery lifestyle; they will still regain the dramatic weight loss achieved by the surgery. This is inspite of the fact that their stomach is 5% its original size and the intestines are re-routed to reduce calorie intake.

Indeed the concept that permanent weight loss is a change of lifestyle is exactly about will power. Changing lifestyle means changing your everyday decisions to agree with the desire to have a healthy weight.

The real problem with will power is not that it does not exist in the individual, rather is that there is no good reason to use it. Will power when deployed is a major resource in the human arsenal of performance. But it needs a reason to get activated.

Take the case of the Governor of Arkansas who lost 100 pounds and has literally ripped muscles all without surgery. He had tried several other diets before becoming successful. But a realization that he was following on the path of a parent who had suffered greatly due to diabetes caused by obesity scared him skinny.

To deploy will power you need motivation and to get motives you need desires - strong desires like the desire not to die young.

You need to want to lose weight. You need to have a good reason deep down within you of why you need to lose weight. This desire will kick in the will power you need to make the lifestyle change. From there you can depend on plain old discipline and routine to reinforce your dietary and lifestyle habits for a permanent weight loss. Indeed dieting and will power are not strange bedfellow they are just a distance apart in the continuum of permanent weight loss.



Franco said...

I agree will power helps. Furthermore, value system is important. Some values are personally conscious. Some values the person might not even know and have to be elicited. A person might not deep down know what he or she wanted by dieting. Is it for health, is it for self-esteem, is it for happiness, is it because it's a trend, etc?? Until there is a full understanding of the deep-rooted value, effective dieting to achieve an objective might be a challenge as the person doesn't even understand why he or she is doing it and the "How" becomes disconnected. I invite feedback.

Warmest regards,


Franco said...

Hey..I did a link of your posting today to my blog, Thanks for sharing.



Tina said...

Thank you Franko, for the posting and for sharing your thoughts.
yes, will power, and especially motivation is the first thing for dieting. Actually for all we want to achieve.