How to Have More Willpower to Lose Weight: 3 Tips Backed By Science
How to Have More Willpower to Lose Weight
Last Saturday, I had a long list of things to get done.
I had to go to the gym, I had to clean up my place, I had to vacuum, I had to go run errands, I had to take care of a parking ticket – and I realized that I had zero willpower to do any of it. Eventually, I ended up wasting my entire Saturday because I just couldn’t get myself to do anything.
Now since that Saturday, I’ve been wondering, “Why do I have willpower some days, and not others?” In this article, let’s talk about three research-backed concepts behind willpower.
Why You Just Don’t Have Any Willpower
The first concept is the idea of blood sugar, or that our willpower gets weaker progressively as the day goes on.
In addition, there was basically a linear correlation: earlier in the day, you had the highest chance of being granted parole, later in the day, the chances were almost zero.
There was a short spike after lunch where there was a break, where people had a chance to eat and regain some energy, but then afterwards it went back down to zero.
What this says for you in your own life is a couple things.
First of all, whatever is the hardest for you to do, as far as willpower goes, do it as early as you can in the day. So whether it is going to the gym, doing homework, or doing work, the closer to the beginning of the day where you have the most willpower, the better.
But the other thing is that it’s also linked to meal times, glucose, and having energy. So the least likely time to make a good choice is when you’re starving.
Now I know that doesn’t sound like rocket science, right?
But what you might be surprised about is just how easily you will make the right decision, and feel better, if you eat and then wait 30 minutes, and then make a decision you’re struggling with.
If you’re trying to figure out what’s the hardest project to work on first, for school, for work, or for going to the gym, schedule it within 30 to 60 minutes of having had your last meal, or having had some kind of snack.
Now in a series of these four experiments, researchers found that both undergraduate students and a sample of U.S. adults engaged in less unethical behavior, for example, less lying and less cheating, on tasks performed in the morning than on the same tasks performed in the afternoon.
What’s interesting is that this effect of the time of the day on the person’s unethical behavior, was found to be stronger for people who didn’t normally do unethical things.