2 Weight Loss Strategies That Guarantee Failure Part 2

weight loss strategies

Relying on willpower is a weak weight loss strategy.

This is part 2 of my two-part series on weight loss strategies that guarantee failure. In part one I claimed skipping meals is the number one reason you will fail to lose weight.

The same can be said about trying to lose weight by relying on willpower.

Just imagine how ludicrous it would’ve been if Columbus had decided to step on a row boat one morning (without any provisions), convinced he’s going to land in India quite soon. We all know what happened – in reality Columbus planned his expedition for years, and even then his journey wasn’t quite successful. 🙂

Similarly, in weight loss, a decision to restrict your eating from now on is not going to take you very far.

The worst thing you can do is combine both strategies: skip meals and then hope your willpower is enough to keep you out of trouble. It might work for some time, but when you hit the next rough patch in your life, your house of cards is guaranteed to come down. Always.

Recent research has shown that self-control is a limited resource, so the best strategy is to avoid taxing it if it’s not necessary. And If you don’t go hungry in the first place, there’s no need to strain your willpower to a breaking point.

The point I’m trying to make is two-fold: 1) don’t go hungry even when dieting and 2) plan your weight loss, don’t just rely on willpower.


Even though successful weight loss is  often portrayed as something simple, the older I get the more I’m convinced it’s like an intricate puzzle with (possibly) hundreds of pieces. I guess I should be grateful that after 30 years of toiling I’ve already discovered two weight loss strategies that don’t “fit”! 🙂

I’ve heard women in their 70’s still ponder about going on a latest fad diet and hope to avoid that fate.

Well, some pieces are obviously missing from my puzzle because I’m still overweight.


  1. Satu, I’m guilty of both of these – though… less of the ‘starving myself’ now (because I get too hungry)! But I am an ‘all or nothing’ person and so find that I try to be too rigid / restrict my eating.

    I guess it’s good we can identify these issues, now we (I) just need to work on them!


  2. Marion says:

    Hi Satu! I have hardly any will power. I think that if a person has planned to have the right food around, that makes a big difference. When we only have muffins and crackers for snacks, I eat them. When bananas are also there, I eat those. I try to put the really high calorie snacks out of sight.

    🙂 Marion

  3. Jedha says:

    Thanks for the article Satu. Weight loss is definitely not easy. But women have been subjected to years of yo-yo dieting and chasing the next fad diet, many starting from when they were teenagers. I think we’ve been conditioned and the habit sticks! Will power is important and I believe it’s a learned skill, but again it’s not something that comes easy to most and motivation is also difficult. Definitely one of the best strategies for success is planning and then being consistent and persistent with positive action.

    • Satu says:

      I agree with you, Jedha! I think one important reason why weight loss is so difficult is because all the diets we’ve done from since we were teenagers eventually “does our head in”. 🙂 All the emphasis on very fast weight loss and hunger being an important part of weigh loss.

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