This is our last post on willpower in the series, “Transforming Your Habits to Transform Your Health.” We’ve focused heavily on this skill because it’s fundamental to you making the choices that support your best health.
Another important aspect of willpower is recognizing that whatever cravings you experience, they are just neurological pathways based on prior conditioning and habits. You want to depersonalize them. You no longer want to feel bad about yourself because you struggle with them. The neural networks that trigger these behaviors were established long ago and probably in a non-conscious way.
Frequently, when I’m seeing patients who have health issues that are strongly influenced by their eating behaviors, they will reflect how they just need more willpower so they can make the changes that will help them to be healthy. While it’s true that willpower is involved in any change, I think they’re misunderstanding how eating behaviors are actually regulated.
The modern American diet (MAD) consists mostly of foods that manipulate our eating behaviors and contribute to many of the chronic diseases that are plaguing our population. We have to restore our priority of eating food that truly nourishes us. If we don’t do this, we will not be able to become well.