Since I teach healthy eating classes and do personal training I learn about a lot of barriers that get in the way of people eating and living healthy. One of the barriers that is constantly popping up is the inability to keep resisting temptation. For those trying to lose weight, they will resist the 3:00pm Cookie Break Time smell coming from the cafeteria only to go home and binge eat on the candy they had in their pantry. This is not only an issue with those who are overweight, but most other people as well! I know if I keep telling myself to not eat the candy, I will usually give in to the next temptaion that comes my way. This behavior does not only apply to food. I just came across this article from my employer, The Cooper Institute and the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.
I will sum this article up below.
It says that if you resisted the candy next to your office all day, you are more likely to come home and eat half the chocolate cake sitting on the counter.
- We can only use our self control for so long before we lose it-called the Strength Model of Self Control.
Tests have been done proving that if you resist something earlier in the day you are more likely to give in later.
- To exercise your self control you can start with something small for 2 weeks, like remembering to sit up straight all day at work and this will help you to resist temptations after a hard day at work.
Research has found that participants who take part in self-control activities showed a significant drop of sugar in their blood.
- This might be why people find it harder to resist temptations after resisting them earlier in the day.
They then tempted participants, gave them lemonade sweetened with a bit of sugar and tempted them again later and they were able to resist the temptation vs people who were replenished with lemonade sweetened with fake sugar.
- So if you are using your self control muscle (staying awake in a boring class, resisting that tempting cookie) you might be using up your blood sugar.
This is why having smaller meals throughout the day which help keep your blood sugar levels even will help prevent you from pigging out on candy later in the day.
This does not mean that after you resist something you need a candy bar, a good example would be nuts with berries or an apple with peanut butter.
Having well balanced snacks can keep your blood sugar even throughout the day and help you resist eating half of that chocolate cake when you get home from a long day of work.So the next time you have been resisting something all day and then get tempted by something again, have a small healthy snack to replenish your sugar levels and exercise that self-control muscle!