The Power and Limits of Willpower

imageWillpower is, well, powerful. Some would argue that it is the most powerful force that a human being can assert. Yet, it is not limited. And when we say it is not limited, we don’t only mean that it can’t overcome certain temptations, we mean that you have a certain amount of will power at a given moment and when you utilize it, you deplete it. When people are asked what their particular strengths are, willpower almost always comes last. And when they are asked what strength they wish most to cultivate, willpower comes first.

Think of willpower as a muscle. This analogy works in several ways:

1. Even a very powerful muscle gets fatigued. When we are constantly exercising willpower we weaken and deplete our temporary ability to use our willpower. This can be slowed by focusing on one area of challenge at a time.

2. Glucose fuels willpower and hastens recovery from willpower depletion. Eating foods with a low glycemic index work best in this regard.

3. Rest, particularly sleep works to restore willpower.

One of the interesting findings of recent studies is what has been called The Oprah Paradox; even people with very strong willpower have difficulty dieting.

We will soon be releasing the Brevedy 3 Minute Diet. In the interim here are some tips for exercising your willpower muscle in the area of dieting:
1. When you are tempted to eat something unhealthy, tell yourself you can have some of it later if you still want it
2. Precommitment works, that means making the choice now not to buy unhealthy food instead of challenging yourself to refrain when it’s in front of you.
3. Brushing your teeth earlier, because most people don’t want to eat after they have already brushed.

Willpower is a component of healthy eating, but it is limited. Take the steps necessary to build and maintain your willpower muscle and reap the benefits.

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