Willpower-Free Zone

Jun 5, 2011

Willpower-Free Zone

Rather than depending on that fickle willpower, hoping that “your head will be in the right place,” why not try some of these strategies (painstakingly developed) by some seasoned veterans of the weight management wars to handle some of their greatest challenges:

Challenge: Night snacking that spirals out of control

Here’s what Lottie does: Takes a pre-portioned snack up to her bedroom earlier and leaves it on her bedside table.  She eats it only after she’s in bed in jammies, house closed up, kitchen lights off, face washed, etc.

Challenge: Eating leftovers “saved for others”

Here’s what Terry does: she finds out how much they really want to keep, then packages their leftovers in personally labeled portions, and stores them in the back of the refrigerator or in the freezer in opaque containers.

Challenge: Skipping lunch and then overeating in the late afternoon

Here’s what Michelle does: makes sure to prepare her lunch the night before, either when she makes her kid’s lunch or while preparing dinner.  Then, if she still skips lunch, whenever she does eventually want a snack, she eats her “late” lunch instead.

Challenge: Eating pizza co-workers had delivered for lunch

Here’s what Mark does: orders low-cal Chinese (steamed with sauce on the side) before they place their take-out order, reminding himself that he wouldn’t eat a food he doesn’t like (i.e., liver) if they ordered that.  Nancy has her secretary automatically order her low calorie luncheon salads early in the day every day.

Challenge: Losing control with desserts at social functions

Here’s what Holly does: bribes herself by stashing at home for later an individual portion of her favorite frozen yogurt from the yogurt store.

Challenge: Eating too much junk at a meeting

Here’s what Jeff does: waits until the end of the meeting and takes something when he leaves (and doesn’t have access to more).  If necessary, he puts whatever he especially wants aside so that he can stop negotiating with himself and pay attention to the meeting.

Challenge: Getting completely out of control on vacations

Here’s what Denise does: saves her favorite treats till the end of the trip, and has whatever she wants on the last day.  However, she has learned the hard way to make sure her home has been set up in advance to support being “on track” when she arrives home.

Challenge: Exercise routine grinding to a halt

Here’s what Matthew does: tries not to lose momentum by not missing more than three days in a row, puts on his workout clothes no matter what, doesn’t allow himself to shower till it’s done, and often makes a deal with himself to only do 10 minutes and then to renegotiate.

Challenge: Overeating at extended “Cocktail Hours”

Here’s what Emily does: makes a deal with herself to start out by eating nothing except raw veggies (and she must eat 1-2 cups) for some predetermined window of time.  For BBQ’s, she brings a bucket of lite popcorn, (big enough for everyone) to give her something “cheap” to munch on that can compete with chips.

Challenge: Incorporating special holiday foods

Here’s what Annie does: spreads out the special holiday recipes over the course of the week, preparing one item (i.e., Matzo ball soup) with each dinner.  Michael makes his secret family recipe individual kugels in muffin cups.

Challenge: Eating junk at Little League games during the dinner hour

Here’s what Charlene does: capitalizes on the fact that she’s a captive audience and actually makes this a “low calorie day” by bringing a portable lite dinner from home.

Challenge: “Eating dinner” while preparing dinner

Here’s what Audrey does: prepares her dinner salad first and eats that while preparing the rest of the meal.

Challenge: Managing the food at children’s parties

Here’s what Allison does: picks up her favorite “reasonable” take-out Chinese on the way over and eats that while everyone else is chowing down on pizza and cake.

Begin your final weight loss journey now…


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