Motivation Can’t And Willpower Won’t. The Dark Side of Weight Loss and Fitness (and Fitbits)

motivation live in body

EET has said it since 2008. Wrote about it here in 2011 and here in 2012. Requiring motivation through competitions of any sort as part of your weight loss and fitness plan all but guarantees weight gain and worse fitness over time. Finally, we are not alone out there:

For those interested in how a plan succeeds without motivation, today we’ll share a specific example of how The EET Fitness Plan works.

STEP 1 Identify a Weight Loss or Fitness Challenge Keeping You From Your Goals

Example:  How can I build an effective, lasting exercise program?

motivation crossfit

STEP 2 Review Your History of Behavior Related To This Challenge

What results have you achieved as of today?  Not the results a plan might have helped you achieve years ago, but where did these efforts lead to right this minute.

Example (from actual EET case study):

“Oh I love Crossfit! I did it a few years ago and lost 20 pounds and was in the best shape of my life. But the workouts were just too hard and I got too busy to keep going. I’ve re-gained all the weight plus 5 more pounds and am way out of shape.” 

Crossfit results as of today? 5 pound weight GAIN and loss of fitness. In this case, Crossfit is a big part of the problem and clearly not the solution for this client’s challenge.

STEP 3 Find the EET Guideline(s) That Offer Solutions For Future Efforts

Just memorize and focus on the exact words of each Guideline. Constant reinforcement thinking these simple precepts will help your brain form new pathways that can ultimately become automatic behaviors. At the same time do your best to eliminate all other thoughts you thought you needed to succeed.

Example: (from same case study)

  • Rules for Exercise: Consistency and Injury Free
  • Where Do You Want To Be In 5 Years?
  • Motivation Can’t and Willpower Won’t

All the answers you’ll need to for a successful lasting exercise program will come from these simple thoughts.

brain neurons firing

BONUS STEP  Learn All You Can About How EET’s Guidelines Evolved

It’s truly enough to just remember the catchy phrases above. If you can automatically remember “Motivation Can’t and Willpower Won’t” at the right times every day you’ll remember there’s no sense getting fired up about exercise if you can’t sustain the program.

However, for those that want faster results, they can adopt EET’s new way of thinking more quickly by learning some details. That’s where EET’s Book, It’s Not What You Eat It’s WHEN You Eat It Comes In.  Here’s the complete details of  Motivation Can’t and Willpower Won’t. Learn the details if you like. Keep reinforcing them. See what happens….

cover art ice cream on side (2)

Motivation Can’t and Willpower Won’t

If my weight loss and fitness success depends on motivation and willpower, what happens to my plan when they’re not available?  I’m building a lifetime plan.  Who can stay motivated or have willpower forever?  Therefore, motivation and willpower are useless for long-term success.

The End.  Thanks for reading!   Do I really need to say more?    No, but I will anyway.

The Biggest Loser:  Motivating Yo-yo Dieting

The Biggest Loser is a TV show based entirely on motivation and willpower.  The premise is the person who loses the most weight the fastest is the winner.  The public clearly buys it.  This show has run for years and is so popular there’s now a home video game.  Employers sponsor and encourage Biggest Loser competitions in the office, thinking the competition might help create healthy employees and a healthier workplace.  Science and my experience says they are gravely mistaken.

The Biggest Loser’s approach is a classic example of painful Competitive Timing that has no place in my long-term weight loss and fitness plan.  To pursue goals this way requires high levels of motivation and willpower because “biggest losers” are in for some serious pain and suffering.  They’re also in for some serious yo-yo dieting and exercise.

Am I really going to crank out an hour on the treadmill every day for the rest of my life even with Jillian Michaels motivating me with her screams of how my family is proud of me, or worse, ashamed of me?  This approach is exactly what the hundreds of studies and especially the NEJM 2009 Study [21] have conclusively proven a complete failure.  EET is built on an entirely different foundation.  I don’t need motivation or willpower to go to a playoff football game or a great movie or do anything I truly enjoy.  That’s how I strive to feel about my EET plan.   Once you accept just how useless motivation and willpower are long term, you can see why I say they are far more likely to cause obesity than cure it.

Did I Mention I Love My Diet?

This Guideline should help you understand why most of EET’s Guidelines focus on enjoying your diet, even loving it, and dieting should be Pain Free.   We need motivation and willpower to suffer through short term pain, but they simply can’t be relied upon for the long haul.   I have decided to choose happiness over pain and suffering and my EET is built to support that decision at all times.  It’s been an incredible decision for over 5 years and has me believing more strongly than ever that when it comes to long term success, Motivation Can’t and Willpower Won’t.        

A Lifestyle of Misery?  I’ll Pass

 The next time you watch The Biggest Loser, The Crossfit Games [139], infomercials that promote insane workouts, or any “proven” deprivation diet plan that tells you “C’mon, you can do it.!” stop and think.  Instead of getting fired up for a short time by the testimonials and the pumped up music, ask yourself:  “How long can this motivation and willpower I’m feeling possibly last?  How has this approach worked out for me in the past?” Maybe then you’ll see what I see:  These are harmful programs promoting an unsustainable, miserable lifestyle that I could never enjoy at any weight.


If I’m Feeling Pain, I’m Doing EET Wrong!

Most diet and exercise plans try to convince you a to stay motivated by presenting painful diet and exercise plans as fun.  I say “That Emperor has no clothes!”  Once I found out I didn’t need pain to succeed I definitely didn’t find it fun any more.  Therefore, EET teaches the opposite:

If I’m EVER in pain on my EET Plan, whether physical or psychological, I’m doing EET wrong.  I stop whatever I’m doing, and find a way to enjoy my EET plan immediately so I can be excited about staying with it!

photo credit: crossfitpaleodietfitnessclasses

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disclaimer oct 2012


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