Will Power to Lose Weight: Overcoming Moments of Weakness.

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Will power is defined as “control exerted to do something or restrain impulses.” Will power is often required when it comes to making changes in our life that we know are good for us in the long term, but feel difficult in the short term.

We’ve all heard that saying ‘Failing to plan, is planning to fail’ right?  Well this is so true when it comes to being CONSISTENT with your diet and building your will power, as you go about making changes.

We all know those moments when we fall off the diet wagon – the tempting moments!  That Friday night G&T, a Saturday pizza, eating chocolate in the afternoon to get over the 2pm energy slump, finishing off the kids’ fish fingers, or snacking in front of the TV.  You know the sort of stuff I mean.  The temptations in life that make it feel impossible to stay on track with your diet! 

The downside is that habits are tough to break! The great thing about us humans is that we are creatures of habit, so it makes us kind of predictable. You can use this predictability to prepare for your cravings and start to work on solutions in advance for these moments.

Identifying Your Moments of Weakness

So when is it that you cave? When are the times you fall off the wagon? Once you start to look into this it’s amazing how much you can actually pinpoint the places, times, people and situations that start off a chain of events that lead you to justify giving up on your goals.

Identifying what these moments of weakness are in advance, can be one of your greatest tools when it comes to remaining consistent with your diet (or any goal for that matter).  If you can recognise in advance when you are likely to feel really tempted and have a potential moment of weakness, you can plan to overcome it!

When I first did this exercise myself I couldn’t believe how accurate my list was. I knew exactly when it was I used to want to give up on my nutrition and eat something I knew would NOT help me towards my health goals.

  • “I forgot to defrost chicken before I left for work…I can’t think what to cook. Let’s get takeaway.”
  • “I’ve had a bad day, my energy is drained so let’s order a takeaway.”
  • “I was tired and couldn’t be bothered to cook (or think of what to cook!)”
  • “Lunch never happened because I was busy in work, then I was starving hungry so picked when I got home on anything I could get my hands on! Then I wasn’t hungry for dinner.”
  • “After lunch I always want something sweet, especially if I’m working from home.”
  • “When the kids leave food e.g. chicken nuggets on their plates, I pick at the leftovers.”
  • “It’s Friday, and I can’t wait to get home, and have a glass of wine whilst I cook dinner.”

This was my list BEFORE I started The Best Self Project and implemented my own health and body strategies for vibrancy, which included giving up alcohol.

Get Ahead of the Game

You can see from my list straight away that when I didn’t plan, and I was tired (this happened a lot) it seemed to ‘make sense’ that we got a takeaway. Not only did this end up wasting food in the fridge, and costing more money, I felt terrible afterwards. Friday was always a trigger, as was after lunch time especially if I was working from home.

So I got to work on strategies and designing our day to day life in a way that would support me avoiding or getting through the triggers.

Our solution to this to get us going on a good track was to use a pre-prepared ingredients and recipe meal box delivery each week. One such as Gousto (which was the service we used) or Mindful Chef, or Box Fresh.

This meant that each weekend we chose our meals for the week, and we did this based on our nutritional goals. We then didn’t have to worry about getting all the ingredients, and it helped us to develop good habits every night. We knew what we were having and had all the ingredients. It even got Simon in to cooking! He enjoyed creating the recipes and I enjoyed not having to cook!

We had much less waste and stuck closely to our meal plan, and the new recipes each week kept it interesting and the recipes were so delicious, I enjoyed them more than a takeaway so I was more satisfied.

I made sure that we agreed Simon would cook on a Friday and collect the girls from school, so that when I walked in I could sit down with my family and eat, and waiting on the table was a nice non-alcoholic low calorie cocktail. I found that my craving for a glass of wine was very much limited to the moments I walked in the house on a Friday… once that initial moment had passed, the craving dissipated, so I just needed to get ‘over the line’ and then I no longer wanted a glass.

Just with these small adjustments, it transformed how the week went when it came to sticking to my nutrition plan.

However to begin with I also I made sure I planned in a treat meal, as I don’t believe in depriving yourself of all and every joy in life. However discipline around your goals produces entirely different results.

creating positive associations with healthy habits
Positive Associations with Health

So, here are my Top 10 Tips on How to Achieve More Consistency with your Will Power.


Make sure you run the week.  Don’t let the week run you!  Plan your meals in advance every Saturday / Sunday.  Look through your healthy recipe books and plan each evening meal, making sure you have the correct ingredients. It does take a bit of extra work and planning, but when you stick to it, and start to see the results of more controlled, plan meals – you’ll feel it was well worth the time.

Doing this planning process every weekend really gets you in to a positive mindset – you’re taking control over your week!  This week will be a winner – you will succeed!  You will therefore be less tempted to put loads of rubbish in to your shopping basket that will encourage moments of weakness later.


As you go through the recipes write down what you will need for each meal.  Some recipes will require the same ingredients which makes life a lot simpler.  If you’re eating relatively cleanly (making things from scratch which is what I highly recommend) you’ll realise that to follow a healthy and varied diet isn’t that hard at all.   You just buy fresh protein, fresh veg, fruit, herbs and spices, fat free greek yoghurt, coconut oil and maybe some other bits and bobs along the way.  The rest are cupboard staples like brown rice, straight to wok noodles, a bit of pasta, sweet potatoes and quinoa but you won’t have to buy these every week.

Cross reference your ‘shopping list’ with what you already have in the fridge and cupboards, and just double check that everything will be in date, and that you have enough. If you have any foods that may need using up, maybe rearrange your meal plan so those foods get used up early on in the week.

3 / PREP

It can be a great idea to prepare food and meal portions in you have time at the weekend. If you pre-prepare snacks and meals, it means you are less likely to be ‘caught short’ in any way, always knowing you can reach in to the fridge and choose a better option.

Do some food prep on the Sunday evening when cooking your evening meal.  Prep some salads for lunches, chop up and portion some fruit and nuts for snacks, boil some eggs to keep as healthy snacks, and I always cook some chicken and salmon in the oven so I know at the very worst, I have some nice healthy protein I can eat if my week goes sideways.  If you can, batch cook some dinners you can freeze and lift out in the week.  This is ideal for busy women whose moments of weakness come after a long, tiring day when the last thing they want to do is cook.  A bit of well-spent time on Sunday will keep you on track.


Think about your diary – what do you have on this week?  Do you have any meals out with work or friends?  A parent’s evening at school?  Workouts booked in the diary?  All of these components should be considered.  For example, if you know you get in late every Tuesday from work, then make sure dinner is something fast (if not pre-prepared! e.g. prepare a clean cottage pie and freeze it in portions to lift out in the morning)

If you’re going to be working out on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings, plan some good complex carbs in to your meal plan with good quality protein and veggies.  On the days that you’re not training so much, reduce your carb intake, and up the proteins and good fats for example.


Try to have something for your sweet tooth to take the edge off in the early days until you master more control over your cravings. Sugar is notoriously hard to quit, because the nature of having it actually encourages your body to have more and more of it. When you try to give it up, the body screams louder for it!

I keep sweet boiled sugar free sweets in cupboard, and rather than trying to fight the craving (which uses a lot of energy) I pop a boiled sweet in my mouth, which completely removes the craving, with out going overboard on calories or sugar. It has to be something that gives you the feeling of a treat, without actually piling on the calories.


If you know you’re eating out, take a look at the menu in advance and try to decide what you will have to eat and drink.  Alternatively totally let your hair down, give yourself permission to have whatever you want and ENJOY EVERY MOUTHFUL 🙂  As long as you’re in control you’ll feel good about it and it feels like you have made an informed, active decision. It’s usually only when we promise ourselves we’ll do one thing, then we do another, that we feel frustrated. Treats are fine! Treats are what life is about! Just make sure you’re in charge.


Order your shop online for Sunday evening at the latest so you are all set for the week.  If I know one thing for sure, it’s that if Monday starts off on a bad note when it comes to a woman’s diet, she then usually waits until ‘next Monday’ to make positive changes.  So make Mondays really count!


Commit to your plan.  Have your meal plan up on the wall, and tell your partner if you live with someone.  That way, hopefully they can help keep you track too.

Accept at times it will feel challenging, but get clear in your mind WHY you are doing it. Have little reminders up around the house, motivational quotes or pictures of people who inspire you, so that when you are tempted you see them and think “What would that person choose to do right now?”


Mums tell me that they can’t stick to a diet because their kids are picky eaters.  They have many temptations and moments of weakness because they’re cooking yummy kids teas every night (and eating the leftovers!)  I totally understand this having two kids myself.

If you have little ones (fussy little ones, like I do!), plan their meals as well, and make sure they coincide with yours as much as possible.  For example, everyone in our house likes Spag Bol, so that’s an easy one.  It’s also one I can cook in volume and freeze.  Happy days.  If 3 out of the 4 people in our household will eat it, it’s a good choice that often re-occurs on our weekly menu.


If you still experience moments of weakness or cravings, try to bring your focus on making a positive decision about your long term goals for the next 5 minutes e.g. I won’t have it for 5 minutes, and see if I can just ride the craving out.

It’s surprising how if you make yourself busy during those 5 minutes, often the craving subsides. So have a list of “Wait It Out” activities on hand for moments of weakness. Do your nails, play a game with your child, do a puzzle or crossword, message a friend or catch up on emails, clean up the dishes, take the dog out… anything to pass time whilst you ride the craving out. You’ll be surprised if you have the list of things to do ready, your body is more like to cooperatively switch to doing one of them whilst you wait the craving out.

So instead of just planning WHAT to are going to do ‘perfectly’ when life goes exactly as you hoped and planned it would. Try planning for the difficult days, the stressful situations and the moments of weakness and watch your will power soar.

Do you struggle with will power? Comment below and share your ‘Moments of Weakness’ list and how you are going to try and combat those moments. You got this. Remember – there is no greater journey than the one towards the best version of yourself.

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