Category Archives: willpower

A Gift: Enjoy the Holidays without Sabotaging Your Health

I am beyond excited to announce a gift to you from me and N.E.W. Motivation Coaching. Because I am so unhappy with the Diet Culture / Weight Loss wheels turning as we come to the end of another year, I am giving away – yes free – both a video course and a booklet this year. 


Unfortunately, December is a month when many feel overwhelmed with stress and give up on their health goals believing they will return to healthy habits in January when they make their resolutions.

There is some good in this actually.

If you look at the research on willpower, it indicates that people are not as successful at white-knuckling it / sucking it up / using their willpower to [insert goal here: stick to their meal plan, exercise daily, go to sleep on time, etc] when they are either stressed or depressed.

The trick is to manage the stress or depression first and then re-focus on health goals. If you are stressed in December, then relaxing on your health goals may be 100% appropriate. 

Giving up entirely to eat like a jerk and couch surf for 4-6 weeks, however, can result in a pretty big back-slide on health complete with weight gain and loss of cardiovascular endurance and muscle mass/strength! Oh, and an increase in blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugars, and those other health concerns that are totally impacted by your daily food and activity choices.

So, what do we do?

I’ve got an idea: Find a way to both enjoy the holidays and keep some focus on your health goals. It is so very possible to do with a few tricks & tips up your sleeve!


The free course gives you 5 realistic tips to coast through the holidays while staying true to your health – and weight – goals as well as 3 worksheets and a health coach walks you through making your personal strategy in the videos so you can enjoy the holidays without sabotaging your health!

You also get tips for making traditional holiday foods healthier AND a list of which herbs and spices pair best with which foods so you can reduce fat and sodium without sacrificing flavor.

This course is designed for:

Dieters who are tired of the repeated cycles of weight loss and regain who want to find peace with food, activity, and themselves so they can improve health and weight

Adults with – or at risk for – chronic lifestyle diseases who want to find realistic and enjoyable ways to approach lifestyle changes so they can reduce their risk for chronic diseases and live a healthier life.

People who are confused or overwhelmed with all the conflicting rules and information about nutrition and exercise who want to sort it out so they can find a lasting, realistic plan that works in their unique lives.


I offered this information last year as an in-person class and just didn’t get to share it with enough people! So this year we are giving it away in order to get this good info into the hands of more people who need this type of support and guidance during the season.

Check it out – try some tips before the next big holiday meal in just a few short weeks – and share this with anyone you think may benefit from it! There is no limit on how many freebies we give away so share it as much as you would like to!

Here is the link text:

So you know, this is only 50% of the tips we share in our Love Yourself Healthy Plan. We will be sharing more on that soon!

Yes, you can eat the pecan pie AND be healthy.

Willpower – Psssshaw.

On average, I talk to about 30-40 people every week who are working on reaching their health goals using food and nutrition. Sure, we talk about food and calories and all that fun dietitian-stuff; but more often than not, the issue is not what or how to eat. Google yourself a nutrition question and you’ll get everything from solid evidence-based advice to some crazy woo-promoting ideas. Information on what or how to eat is everywhere.

The issue is putting that knowledge into practice. The issue is in the decision at 3:00 pm when your tummy rumbles and you frown at the bag of cucumbers and hummus you have packed for your snack and start thinking about that vending machine down the hall. The issue is in that coffee meeting when you really want that mocha frap with extra whip instead of a plain iced coffee. The issue is in having to work late and now it is 7pm and you feel like you’ve earned those drive-through fries even though you’ve got an already prepped dinner waiting on you at home.

How do you make the more healthful choice when you don’t want to?

You tell yourself – and you tell me – that you just have to make yourself do it.

Oh no. Do not rely on being able to MAKE yourself do something if you really want to success. It is ridiculous to use willpower for food choices.

Think about it. You see an amazing new whatever in the store and you want it. You rely on will power to walk by and then you’re done, you leave the store and it’s no longer easy to get that whatever. Now imagine that whatever is yummy food in your pantry and that store is your living room. You don’t get the benefit of leaving and having the decision be behind you. You have to make the decision to ignore that yummy food about, oh, every 60 seconds. I don’t think that many people could do that – okay, maybe for one night – but for every minute of every night? No way!

We know some things about willpower that can help us. Here is what the evidence reflects:

  1. Willpower is limited. You only get so much and then it’s gone.
  1. Willpower is used up over the day. We chip away at willpower with stress, emotions, and all those little decisions we make until there is none left to keep you away from that yummy food in the pantry by the end of the day.
  1. Willpower resets every night – great news! This is why you can wake up every morning and tell yourself: Self, today is THE day that I make it happen!

My advice is don’t set yourself up to have to rely on willpower. Instead do whatever you have to do to make the healthy choice the easier choice.

  • Modify your environment so you see the healthy choices more regularly
  • Plan and prepare for meals/snacks
  • Carry snacks with you when away from home
  • Have a plan for the gas station stop or a drive through or that day-long meeting
  • Plan any tempting situations for morning when you have the most willpower. Need to catch up with a friend? How about a breakfast date instead of happy hour?
  • Use mornings to plan, shop, exercise – do whatever it is that is the hardest thing for you in the mornings!

Just to be sure though, practice saying no to temptations and people just in case you have to draw on some of that limited willpower. My hope for you is that you don’t resort to “I just have to do it” and rely on willpower because then it’s a crap-shoot.

How will you change your environment or social situations so you can be successful without relying on will power?


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