Why relying on discipline to diet is a recipe for disaster
I hear and see this all of the time...
"Ben, I start off full of motivation when I try to lose weight and then after a few weeks I lose discipline and interest. I stop making the helpful choices I was doing and gradually the bad decisions start to creep back in again. After another couple of weeks, I've put weight back on and I give up. I know it's my fault that I'm eating too much and not doing enough but I just can't change"
If this sounds like you, you are not alone.
But before we start, let me be blunt and absolutely clear: It is your fault
Why you shouldn't rely on discipline
Ok... it's your fault but there's a reason for it that I'm going to explain...
When it comes to losing weight and getting healthier, you have a choice to make.
You have two tools at your disposal that can make life easier or harder for you.
Tool 1: Your discipline
Tool 2: Intentional planning
This means that you can rely on your own discipline and hope that you opt for the salad at the all-you-can-eat works buffet.
Or ... you can intentionally plan out and prepare your food choices for the day so your discipline is not called into action.
The same applies to exercise.
Using discipline means hoping that you'll still feel motivated after your all-day meeting to go to the gym.
Or ... you use intentional planning and pre-pack your gym-gear and arrange to meet your accountability partner for your workout.
Why quick-fixes kill your discipline
As I've mentioned in previous blog posts, everyone wants quick and visible results.
Marketers and entrepreneurs are making a fortune off of people who are desperately searching for that quick-fix.
I can see why;
1 - Seeing fast progress on the scales reinforces our discipline to keep going
2 - You want whatever diet you choose, which is invariably very restrictive, to be over as quickly as possible
Except, when it comes to weight loss and your health, there is no such thing as a quick-fix.
Because the minute the scales don't show what you want to see (the body has a great way of doing the opposite of what you expect), a tiny piece of your discipline dies with it.
And next time you're faced with the choice of that secret stash of Ferrero Rochers over fruit, the decision gets a little harder
Sod it. I'll get back on my diet Monday.
And this is why even when people initially succeed using a diet plan, old habits die hard and over time the weight creeps back on, and the cycle keeps repeating itself.