Do you overeat with the promise of making up for it at a later time? Do you overeat after you have convinced yourself that you could run a half hour more on the treadmill? Have you ever kept your promises to your self? Some interesting research shows that you are very unlikely to keep to your promise.
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Researchers published a study in the Journal Appetite in 2010 where they examined how dieters dealt with temptations. The researchers found that dieters came up with justifications about why they should give in to a temptation. Some of the justifications that these 42 women participants came up with included, “I will skip dinner”, ” I will do more exercise” and “I will cut back later”.
The dieters came up with justifications that seems to be able to compensate for giving in to the temptations. These justifications allowed the dieters to eat the particular high calorie food without feeling guilty about it.
You Will Not Honour Your Promises
Researchers in the above study have found that it is very unlikely that these promises are kept. These people probably do not have the willpower or the discipline to keep these promises. In other times the promises that they make are unrealistic. Imagine someone who is already spending an hour on the treadmill making a promise to exercise more.
Don’t Make Promises That You Cannot Keep
According to the lead researcher Barbel Knauper, people should not form compensatory intentions because they lead to failure. “Refrain from indulging in compensatory intentions so that you may indulge, because it rarely balances out in the end as you had planned.” Dieting works best when you do not accept the compensating behaviour. Make a single decision early to resist temptations and keep to it. This way you do not have to keep battling with the question as it keeps arising.