What if you had to work hard, really hard day after day and week after week at controlling your eating so you don’t resort to your more familiar weight-gaining and weight-maintaining pattern of eating? What do you think will happen? If you guessed that you couldn’t keep this arduous regimen up, you’d probably be right.
Why is it that you can’t exercise such self-control over a long period of time? There is this theory with lots of research behind it that says your self-control is like a muscle. Keep exercising it and eventually it gets tired and won’t work again until you rest it. Makes good sense, don’t you think?
Only the muscle analogy doesn’t prove out under certain conditions. We are not talking about an actual muscle here, a body tissue made up of long cells that contract when stimulated and produce movement or maintain your body’s position. The muscle that gets depleted according to the muscle theory of self-control is a mental muscle, figuratively speaking.
Think, for example, about what happens when you reach your goal weight and are at that happy place where you don’t have to lose any more weight. At this point in your weight loss career you are in the enviable position of just having to maintain your weight. Think about it. Do you need a lot of mental muscle for weight loss maintenance? Isn’t one hallmark of weight loss maintenance the ease with which you are now able to eat this or that and still stay close to your goal weight?
What if you could eliminate the need for such mental muscle and it’s consequence of mental muscle fatigue while you were losing your unwanted weight too? Would you try for this? Of course you would. So take a page from the weight maintainer’s book. What she is doing is capitalizing on habit change and not muscle energy that is stretched to the limit so it gets depleted. Once new eating behavior is habitually in place there is no need for arduous self-control.
There are lots of ways of putting such habits in place faster and more securely during the weight loss process itself. For more information on how to do this, go to The Reading Room and the White Paper, both of which are in the left-hand column of this blog at MariasLastDiet.com and look up such topics as habit, changing/learning, self-control/lack of control, and psychology. Or, if you want to have an actual book or an e-book to read through and refer to, check out the weight-loss books for women section on the right-hand side of this blog.
If you need more specific help, email us at and we’ll point you in the right direction.