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Your Health - Women's Health - The Power of Won't

When it comes to eating chocolate cake, they say that willpower is very important. WILLPOWER is something you need in large quantities when you have decided you are going to do something really tough. The chocolate cake scenario actually involves won't power. I am convinced won't power is easier than willpower because all you need to do is just not do it. So don't eat it.

Impossible you say? Well, here's another idea. Why deny yourself the taste of chocolate cake if you like it? Have some just every now and then and instead of cutting yourself a huge piece, cut yourself a nice small slice.

Don't swallow it quickly. Savour it in your mouth because that's the only part of you that enjoys the cake. All the taste buds for sugar, fat and salt are on the front of your tongue.

There are no taste buds in your stomach and none in your elbows or your big toes. So eat little bits of your small slice and let the cake do its thing on your tongue before you swallow it. Don't eat the whole thing at once! And if you are desperate for more, a few crumbs will do the trick, not a huge serving.

Left you'll see a diagram of the parts of the human body related to food. Now and then your stomach feels empty and it sends a message up to your brain.

The brain box tells you that you are hungry and even when you are not hungry the sight or smell of food can trick your brain into thinking you are hungry.

Won't power is handy in this circumstance. The nose smells and the tongue tastes. Remember that if you have a head cold and a blocked nose (or even a peg on your nose!), you can't taste very well, so there may be a positive there! The next challenge is your stomach - how full does it need to be for you to feel satisfied?

The Japanese have a saying for this - hara hachi bu - basically translated as take it easy and eat only until you are 80% full.

Some Tips

1. Go to the market not the supermarket - it means you buy plant based foods and are not tempted on your way out to pile bonus foods (and by bonus I mean the bad ones - lollies, chocolate, biscuits - you know the drill). It's also easier with kids, because it doesn't matter if they really want more broccoli, but trying to fight a 3 year old over a Mars Bar can be tough.

2. Have some heart - visualise your small arteries, which supply you with life. Now visualise how the trans-fat from the super refined food / super high H.I. food you are eating is going to add another layer of gunk to your tiny, tiny arteries.

3. Discomfort eating - we are all under pressure from time to time and sometimes we all feel low or slightly depressed - this is a perfectly normal part of life. Reaching for comfort food will not solve your problems. It will only make it worse. Every time you feel like reaching for some high H.I. comfort foods take some deep breaths, think about your health goals and if you can take a walk around the block. There is conclusive evidence that even a little bit of activity is a great mood lifter - so go on - be the best you can be.