Guest Author - Stephanie Watson
Many people claim that it takes willpower to continue on a weight loss plan. Of course, that doesn't explain naturally thin people who eat unnaturally large amounts of food. Or, overweight people who eat like birds. Certainly, something else is at work when it comes to body weight and weight loss. What exactly is willpower, and why exactly do we need so much of it to do something that is completely natural? According to Wikipedia, "willpower refers to self-discipline, training and the control of self." Put simply, exercising willpower is exercising power over your own will.
Wikipedia says that "Will is the faculty by which a person decides on and initiates action." I don't know about you, but this doesn't really explain what "will" is to me. So, I'll attempt to explain what I think "will" is. When you do something according to your own will, it is voluntary. You were given knowledge to make a choice, and with your will you made the choice. It might not be what you wanted to do, but you do it because it is your will (or choice) based upon the information you were provided. Often referred to as "will power". Conversely, you may choose to do something, because it is your will, that is also the wrong choice. Often referred to as "willful" which is considered derogatory. It's something you choose to do, regardless of the evidence that it's a bad choice.
When it comes to weight loss, why do we say we need will power? Maybe we need will power to do things we think are right, but we don't want to do because we are not properly educated on a subject. The problem is, most of us are either badly educated about proper nutrition and how that affects weight loss. There is so much contradictory information out there. So, sometimes the choices we make go against our basic instincts, so they require will. For instance, it requires will to stay hungry in spite of our natural urge to eat.
How many times did you eat certain foods because you thought they were healthy, denying your desires, and then later discovered that item wasn't even healthy to start with? Was that really willpower or was that really something you did that was against your will due to poor information? This will power thing can be confusing! If you have all the information will you continue to need will power to avoid certain foods? Or, will you simply follow your will and eat what you know is good for you without any issues? Considering this idea, it seems that education may be the answer to the question of whether or not you need will power for weight loss.
Good nutrition does not require will power, at least when it comes to hunger. You don't have to be hungry. You don't have to go without. You can eat your entire plate of food until you're satisfied. You can even eat snacks, if you're hungry. If you've made the right food choices to start with, you do not have to live in deprivation. Don't worry, your taste buds change over time and you start to prefer the right choices when they are full of natural foods that were intended for you to eat. When you live a life of abundance, weight loss will come naturally. No will power needed.