Motivation beats willpower when it comes to weight loss

Dr Terry Simpson weight loss surgeon

There is a difference between motivation and willpower – and I think willpower is sort of a weak place to work form. But it is Sunday, and up early as I am – my cup of coffee has this large hole in it- so I will have another cup. Did you know that coffee is an appetite suppressant? Sometimes people tell me that someone told them to stop drinking coffee if they want to lose weight – well, that is just more nonsense. In fact, I like it when the post operative weight loss surgery patients have a cup of coffee in the recovery room!

This week there were a lot of Lap-band surgery patients I had not seen in a while, who came back to the office and wanted a fresh start. It isn’t easy to come back in – but I think back to Alacia who I hadn’t seen in two years. The last I saw her she had wanted a fresh start- but then fell off the radar. Now she came back again – and so we started an exercise:

Every morning I asked her to write down what motivated her to lose weight. She had one time said it was the desire to play with her kids, but this time she said she didn’t like how she looked or felt about herself. So she said in the morning she would write down LG for “look good.” Once she wrote that (in that code in case her family found it) she would write down her plan for the day about what she was going to eat.

Hers was simple: mid morning a fruit, lunch one of several items – tuna, or salmon from the day before, or her new sous vide chicken. Mid day she was always hungry – another snack – this time one ounce of almonds (she weighed them out in the morning).

She had a number of items she would eat for dinner: salmon, sous vide chicken (dark meat her new favorite), always a vegetable, and she had a few others (she just discovered that sous vide steak was amazing).

That was six months ago. This week she came in – her weight loss in the last six months was 26 pounds – she was close to her goal of 150 pounds. It was slow, steady, and she daily made her choices and stuck by them well.

It wasn’t willpower that got her going – it was her motivation. Before writing her list she would look at herself in the mirror – and placed a mirror near her kitchen so if she was tempted she would force herself to look.

Then there was the potato. I wrote about that in my blog last week – the potato was considered by many to be bad. It isn’t. It is has a lot of fiber, and a simple boiled potato with some salt and pepper provides a lot of long-term satiety. That post is here. Too much bad information about this – but avoiding fried – and a lot of calories, this provides a great adjunct for weight loss (Atkins was wrong, and he isn’t arguing about it anymore).

Willpower – nope – find your motivation. Plan out what you will eat – know what you can do – and work it. Don’t rely on willpower to overcome hunger, or avoid the ice cream – remind yourself why you want to do this daily. Try it for a week.

Time to walk the dog – hope this helped you.

You can find me on Google plus and chat there if you like, and if you are a Lap-band or Gastric Sleeve surgery patient we have a group for you.

Oh fun page – on Facebook: Fork U.

Thanks for reading and have a good week.

 

—Terry