Why Pure Avoidance Might be the Best Form of “Willpower”


Everyone has “those foods”. The ones that no matter what, you just can’t eat one piece, one serving, or one bowl…

For myself, these include:

  • Tortilla chips and salsa
  • Trail mix
  • Chex mix
  • Cookies

No matter how strict I am feeling, I know that I struggle with portion control with these foods. This the first step to improvement – admitting the foods that you really struggle with.

What is step two? DON’T BUY THEM.

Yes, even with tracking calories, macros, and trying to make some occasional “junk” foods into my diet, these foods are just too easy for me to go crazy with – so we rarely buy them or have them in the house.

Everyone is different, and some people (my wife) have the willpower to only eat one cookie every third day, and some people (myself) will eat a cookie every time I walk by the cookie jar.

You MUST be honest with yourself as to which end of that spectrum you fall. Then you need to explain this to other people you live with, and find a middle ground to not have these foods around. A few options:

  • Ask them to bring the foods to work
  • Ask them to hide the food in an obscure place that you will never find (this sounds stupid, but it works, and you won’t even know what you’re missing out on)
  • Ask them if you both could figure out an alternative to buy

Here is the crazy thing; when we don’t have those foods in the house – I don’t crave them, or seek them out. It’s like they never existed.

When we go out, or are at a friend’s house, and those scary trigger foods are there – I will usually enjoy them. Because it’s not everyday that we go out, and you are limited to the time duration that you are there rather than having the foods around your home 24/7.

So yes, it is possible to eat nothing but ice cream and Twinkies and still lose weight, but if you can’t control your portions and control how often you eat them you likely won’t succeed (or feel good in the process either)

So be honest with yourself, because sometimes pure avoidance is better than trying to “willpower” through the cookies on the counter.




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Stay healthy my friends,

Published by Mike Gorski

Registered Dietitian and Fitness Coach OWNER OF MG FIT LIFE LLC