Losing Weight....Willpower

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Losing Weight....Willpower

Post by TuttiFrutti » Sun Oct 10, 2010 4:01 pm

Im really could do with losing a stone, (I've been saying this for the last year,eek ) as I am a little overweight and my clothes are getting too snug for my liking. Thing is, all my life Ive been able to eat what I want because I exercised lots, and now due to travelling for AP posts I only manage exercising about 3 times a week. This means I need to adapt my eating habits pronto to compensate as now I've hit my mid twenties I can feel it creeping on bit by bit :shock: . Only problem is I have no willpower and am struggling to keep eating habits healthy...

Those of you that have lost weight in the past, how have you done it and do you have any tips/cognitive thinking strategies to help with willpower? :)

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Post by greendog » Sun Oct 10, 2010 4:43 pm

I have also struggled to keep my willpower up. I am currently trying to lose a few pounds and I have found what keeps me motivated is experiencing mild muscle fatigue. When I go to the gym instead of hitting the treadmill for hours I use a lot of the resistance machines going smaller sets of reps at a higher weight. I find that when DOMS (delayed onset mucle soreness) sets in the next morning I feel very motivated to eat healthily as my mildly aching muslces are a constant reminder that I am working towards a goal.

I also tend to plan what I am going to eat that day in the morning and try not to deviate too much from it. This includes being realistic in planning snacks even if I feel I would make more progress without the snacks. I think it is always best to consume more calories in some pre-planned snacks rather than try to go without and the reach for a choc bar.

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Post by KitKat » Sun Oct 10, 2010 5:18 pm

I find it really helps to go food shopping just after a meal and when you're still feeling full. When you're not hungry, you'll more likely buy less and choose more healthy foods. A few weeks ago, I went shopping when I was starving and ended up buying loads of crisps and cheese :lol:
I'd also suggest trying to find someone to eat healthily with you. I live with three girls and we've all recently decided to lose a bit of weight and do more exercise and I've found it so much easier to eat healthy meals myself when the other girls are too, rather than feeling really jealous of their curries/sausage and mash/chips and giving in.

I'll be keeping an eye on this thread for some tips myself! Good luck with your weight loss :D

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Post by beeny » Sun Oct 10, 2010 6:25 pm

I used a calorie counting app on my phone (also on internet http://www.myfitnesspal.com/) for a while- not so much to keep to strict calorie limits but more to get a better idea of what foods are more calorific.

Must say though, this may not be for everyone. Although you can look up different foods and exercise (as so don't technically have to calculate calories yourself) it can get a bit annoying (/addictive!) to keep having to log everything!

Not sure how accurate the calorie counts actually are but it definitely helped me stop over eating and pick healthier foods. You may get the same effect by keeping a food diary- I was pretty surprised to see how much junk I was getting through most days! Its hard to ignore when its all there in front of you!

Would also say eating small meals regularly helps and I second KitKat with getting some support from flatmates/other half/friends - helps with the willpower!

Good luck!

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Post by baa » Sun Oct 10, 2010 6:41 pm

I don't do diets, but on the exercise front I find it most useful to go to classes. I need someone at the front shouting at me, and don't want to shell out for a personal trainer. I think I work harder in classes as someone else comes up with the routine, doesn't let me have a break, keeps me going when I'd otherwise give up and the general shame of walking out halfway through means I actually get a decent amount of exercise :lol: I've also picked the two classes that hurt the most (one manic aerobics class and one body-pump ype weights class), I only have time/inclination for two classes a week, so may as well make them count.
At least I'm not as mad as that one!

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Post by Mexie » Sun Oct 10, 2010 8:54 pm

Food diary - I write this in my general diary, where there is potential for other people to glimpse it (though I'm sure no-one looks that closely) the potential shame of other people seeing things like 'donner meat and chips', 'domino's pizza', 'special fried rice', 'curry and chips' one after the other keeps my will power up. I also record alcohol by units.

I find it really motivating when other people know I'm trying to lose weight. If I slip, I feel like I'm kind of letting down more people than just myself, and I'll be embarrassed to check in on forums etc. and say 'I let it slip and lost no weight this week'.

I'm a bit of a yo-yo dieter really, I lose weight when I feel fat or for holidays/events, then put it back on, and I use external pressure (entirely perceived, not real) to keep me motivated, so my tips are more about short-term weight loss than maintaining a healthy weight, and only really useful if external pressure would motivate you. I've recently lost quite a bit though and am looking to maintain that, so I'll check back on this thread for tips. My partner eats really badly and that is a problem for me as I love rubbish food and get tempted into bad habits.

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Post by charley » Mon Oct 11, 2010 8:29 am

I've lost about half a stone in the past 3 weeks. I put it on due to an achilles injury last year and finding a really good beer drinking partner :D. i tried for ages cutting back a little each week but in reality i hadn't changed much about my eating (or drinking!). I exercise loads anyway so the eating was the problem. I've managed it by buying a set of weighing scales and for the first time in years weighing myself every week - keeps me on target. I know all the stuff about muscle is heavier than fat etc, and not being a slave to the scales but using my clothes to judge if i was losing some pounds wasn't working. The panic of having bought a new motorbike and fitting into motorbike leathers again also spurred me on (still a bit tight)!! I think i'm okay now i'm in the swing of things - only a stone to go!! :lol:

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Post by miriam » Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:49 pm

Someone asked me about the weight loss I mentioned in my signature line, so I thought I'd share my comments here. I should preface it by saying its not really such a great achievement, as I am a size 20 despite being 5'3" and have plenty of spare weight to lose! But I think I said on the 5 things I'm thinking thread somewhere that the main changes were:

1) I stopped drinking massive amounts of fruit juice, when I had been drinking a litre a day. That alone cut me 400 calories a day!
2) I started drinking a lot more, and making it water or lime squash, keeping a pint with me whenever I sit and do anything at home (eg read, watch telly, go on computer, work) because I don't drink tea or coffee and therefore can forget to drink for most of the day and get dehydrated. It also helped me separate hunger and thirst, as I did tend to nibble fruit when thirsty.
3) I cut out some of my most processed carbs, eg I would normally have had more pasta in my diet plus a day of sandwiches on french bread each week. So I try to buy brown seeded bread or make my own, and eat something with protein in it when I would normally have carbs.
4) I also tried to eat something for breakfast, or take with a box of shreddies to eat in the car during the day and/or ate something for lunch, so that I wasn't so hungry when I got home from work and realised I hadn't eaten for 18+ hours.

My weight has settled off, albeit 20lbs lighter, so I think if I want to lose a little more I should do another burst of higher protein and veg, and stop eating the unhealthy stuff that I eat when I'm working too hard and get overtired (I crave carbs, esp sweet things, when tired). However, I am a strong believer in never going into starvation mode, or denying yourself stuff entirely, as I don't think that is sustainable. Much better to just look at what is in your lifestyle and diet that you can improve, and see how it feels trying things for a while. Its been nice to chill out and eat pizza and cake now and again and know that I'm not going to suddenly put the whole lot back on, but when I am ready for another healthy blitz I know its within my power to drop another couple of pounds per week. I also want to increase my activity level a bit more, perhaps starting to swim again, as I miss that (although having babies has built up my muscles more than I expected). I think it would be cool to drop another 5lbs, as that would be my lowest weight since I was 18, and mean I'd lost more weight than my larger daughter currently weighs!

See my blog at http://clinpsyeye.wordpress.com

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Post by flutterbye » Thu Oct 21, 2010 8:14 pm

I find weight watchers great...I use it more to regulate my weight at the minute, but I lost a stone and a half on it last year. I never actually went to meetings (as I was a student and too cheap to pay), but my mum did and she had all the books, etc, so I did it that way. I also do it with mr. flutterbye, which is great because were both stubborn and keep each other motivated...however if one of us falls of the wagon we both do :) Its good too because you don't deny yourself, if u want a glass of wine or a slice of pizz u can, and you can carry left over points to the weekend for you treats :D Good luck with it, it is tough going!

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Post by h2eau » Thu Oct 21, 2010 8:49 pm

Personally, I'm not a diet fan because when I restrict myself, things that are banned just become way more appealing. A little bit of what you fancy works for me. I lost over 2 stone just by going vegetarian and switching a healthy, balanced low G.I. way of eating. So basically (apart from the meat!) I didn't really cut anything out, just ate less refined/sugary/processed/carby stuff and tried to eat more of a variety of other things. I only went veggie because the OH is and it just made a lot more sense.

I also eat little and often (I don't go more than about 3 hours without having a nibble of something) so I don't get hungry and because I feel rubbish when my blood sugar levels are low. When I get irritable or start feeling a bit tired, that's when I know I need to eat.

I try and have protein with every meal, again to stay satiated for longer. I have a packed lunch, plus a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack. These are usually plain yogurt (very cheap and less rubbish in it!) with chopped fruit and seeds or humous and carrot/pepper/celery sticks.

Drinking lots of water also does wonders because I'm sure I was told that your body sometimes mistakes thirst for hunger.
We deem those happy who from experience of life have learnt to bear its ills without being overcome by them ~ C.G. Jung

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Post by daisy » Thu Oct 21, 2010 10:35 pm

Diets (the one that you find in books, and clubs etc) don't work. Yes you may lose weight for a while, sometimes rapidly, but you invariably gain the weight again later on. There is plenty reserach to back this up I believe.

I have gradually lost a bit of weight just by adjusting my lifestyle and overall diet. I have discovered Zumba and got back into yoga and swimming. Noticed this is very good for my low moods too. Eating 3 meals a day and two snacks of fairly healthy choices, not banning any food, lots of water are what i aim for.

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Post by Toff » Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:09 pm

in terms of exercise, the best piece of advice I can give is find something you REALLY enjoy. I'm not one who struggles with my weight at all but I have played football religiously my entire life.

Also, I've recently started going to MMA (mixed martial arts) classes and I can honestly say I've never had a workout like it. I'm horribly achy after every session but because I enjoy it so much I will push myself that extra bit more.

In terms of the eating front, I'm not a fan of strict diets. I think if you stick to three meals a day that are cooked and prepared properly (ie: not chips thrown in the oven) with the odd snack in between you'll be fine if you exercise! Also, it's vital that you eat breakfast as that's what starts your metabolism every day.

EDIT: just seen daisy's post! So I agree with her!

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Post by noodle » Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:37 am

Thinking about health behaviour models, one of the best predictors of successful behaviour change is being able to get back on track when you've had a 'relapse'. So it's definitely not good to let one chocolate bar or cake or whatever make you feel guilty and then go off track for a week . Just accept and move on. I guess that's why weight watchers can be good as it allows you treats without the guilt!

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Post by TuttiFrutti » Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:35 pm


Some great tips here, I find it so hard saying no when it actually comes to the crunch..i.e if I say Im going to eat healthy but then am presented with some nice biscuits at work, How do people cope with these situations?

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Post by Ruthie » Sun Oct 24, 2010 7:33 pm

You could CBTerise yourself with the Beck diet solution! :lol:

I jest - but I own the book and I use some of the strategies.

I don't calorie count everything I eat when I'm trying to loose weight but I do cut out snacking and watch portion sizes. However I do bear in mind that to loose 1lb of fat in one week I need to eat 500 calories less in a day than I burn up. So my question to myself would be are the 300+ calories in a couple of biscuits worth it? Will they be worth it at the end of the week when I've not lost anything? Are they worth missing out on something else for?

Sometimes the answer to that question is yes - e.g. if I go out for a special meal as a one off celebration. But no-one's ever brought biscuits that good into my work!

Last edited by Ruthie on Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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