What can we learn about self-control from successful dieters?


Keep a reward in mind to resist temptation and stick to your goals:

From Charles Duhigg’s excellent book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business:

When researchers affiliated with the National Weight Control Registry— a project involving more than six thousand people who have lost more than thirty pounds— looked at the habits of successful dieters, they found that 78 percent of them ate breakfast every morning, a meal cued by a time of day. But most of the successful dieters also envisioned a specific reward for sticking with their diet— a bikini they wanted to wear or the sense of pride they felt when they stepped on the scale each day— something they chose carefully and really wanted. They focused on the craving for that reward when temptations arose, cultivated the craving into a mild obsession. And their cravings for that reward, researchers found, crowded out the temptation to drop the diet. The craving drove the habit loop.

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