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Social psychologist Roy F. Baumeister has been studying willpower for years. Among his findings is that people have a lot of desires and, no surprise, eating was the most frequently reported desire. Dr. Baumeister also found that willpower and our ability to make decisions is subject to fatigue. What this means is that the more decisions we have to make, or the more times we have to exercise our “willpower,” the less we have of it as the day goes by. Trying to heal food issues with willpower won’t work. Mindful eating does not demand willpower. All it asks for is your attention. Think about all the food-related decisions you have to make in a day if you are not mindful. It can be a constant struggle. When you can rely on your Inner Wisdom and Outer Guidance to choose your food, you don’t have to rely on willpower. Willpower become part of the process when you are trying to obey the artificial sanctions of a diet. Decision-making about what to eat becomes a chore when you are not tuned into your body and its needs. Adapted from Mindful Bites – Joyful Life: 365 Days of Mindful Eating. Available in bookstores everywhere.

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