Behavioral research conducted as early as 1960s and 1970s by Walter Mischel, psychologist at Stanford University, found that the innate ability of four-year-old children to delay gratification for reward predicted success later in life across many areas of life.
Psychologists determined that glucose level has an important influence over one’s ability to display will power. Specifically, lab experiments showed that some factors associated with will power such as attention, emotional regulation and suppression – mimic the low level of glucose.
In the context of dieting, the connection between will power and glucose suggests that fluctuations in blood glucose resulting from dietary restrictions both in calories and carbohydrates may have a direct impact on how one is able to express will power.
Recently though, these findings were challenged after researchers, also from Stanford University, showed that our own beliefs about our own ability to express will power do in fact impact our ability to impose self-control and focus.
The study was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Researches found that people who have a strong belief in their will power ability did not need the extra sugar to complete several tasks compared with participants who believed they had a limited will power, and did well on the task only after they had a sugary drink. The results suggest that our own perception of our own will power is a important factor needing attention when a person is doubtful of their will power.
Here are some suggestion when you feel your will power is lagging behind.
1) Slow down
Those who eat too quickly leaves use open to overeating and poor decisions, especially for individuals who want self-gratification without any consideration for the consequences. Taking time to consider the options for eating and drinking and then consuming the food and drink over a longer periods of time naturally helps one practice self-control.
2) Keep your blood glucose levels stable
Avoid eating when you are excessively hungry, or do not wait until you feel famished to eat, because that puts us in a position to make poor decisions. Instead, having regular meals every three to four hours will provide both carbohydrates and proteins for optimal blood glucose.
3) Build your beliefs
According to recent research, when we think we can do something, we will likely achieve the goal. The reverse is also true in the sense that if one thinks additional sugars are needed to succeed than that person will eat junk food. It is important to practice natural patterns, focus on what you can achieve and how you are going to reach the goals rather than looking for reasons why not.