The Best Weight Loss Tip You Haven’t Heard
Have you been struggling with weight loss and healthy eating? Making this ONE change in your language can make a huge difference in your willpower when it comes to saying no to that last piece of red velvet cake.
When I look back on times I’ve actually stuck to a diet or a lifestyle change, I’ve noticed a pattern: that I have to really, truly care about what I’m doing.
Like, for instance, the time I was vegetarian. I lasted 5 years with almost no meat at all, even though I find meat incredibly tasty. (Being a Texas girl, I grew up on a steady diet of BBQ and burgers!) I know the only way I stuck to my guns for that long is because I felt so strongly about my choice and didn’t want to hurt animals. (Why I finally stopped being a vegetarian is a long story for another day!)
And once I heard about this research by Dr. Vanessa Patrick, Professor of Marketing at the University of Houston, it all made sense. She says that people who use the words “I don’t” versus “I can’t” are much more able to resist temptation.
The reasoning: Apparently saying “I can’t” makes you feel deprived, and saying “I don’t” empowers you and gives you a strong sense of determination and control.
I realized that I had been doing this unintentionally. I cared so much about being a vegetarian that when presented with a choice, even when the meat was a delicious option, my self-talk was along the lines of “I don’t eat ribeye steak” rather than “I can’t have that ribeye steak.”
I don’t know about you, but I find the psychology of this so incredibly fascinating! And imagine all the ways we can also apply it to other areas of our life. Like, “I don’t stay up past 12pm on weekdays” Or “I don’t watch trashy reality television shows.” Or how about “I don’t lose my temper even when my boyfriend is being really infuriating.”
Next time you’re struggling with your willpower, try using this language. “I don’t [insert subject of temptation here].” You can say it out loud, or you can keep it internal. Whatever works best for you! Both are incredibly powerful.
Do you think this method will help you eat better? I’d love to hear ideas on how you might use this little nugget in your day to day life, whether related to healthy eating or not. Leave me a comment below!