One Simple Rule Science Says Will Help You Reach Your Weight-Loss Goals

And all your other goals, too.

This key is avoiding temptation | DustyPixel/

This key is avoiding temptation | DustyPixel/

I rant about needing to save more money a lot. Like, so often that the minute my friends hear the sound “muh“ start to come out of my mouth, I can see their eyes roll into the backs of their skulls as they devise an escape plan. I don’t blame them: Anything is better than talking about someone else’s budget. Especially when said person is talking about their diminishing bank account while clutching a $7 bottle of kombucha in one hand and picking at pieces of outrageously expensive granola with the other.

And this is pretty much what I am doing at all times. Shameless, I know.

See, my (and my bank account’s) problem is that I can’t not buy the $7 kombucha if I pass it in Whole Foods. “Treat yo’self,” I tell myself … every single week. Do you know what $7 times four is? I mean, of course you do, but I’ll tell you anyway: That’s nearly $30 a month spent on KOMBUCHA. And that’s if I only buy one per week which never actually happens.

So, how do I reach my goal of actually putting more money into savings? Well, as Science of Us reports, a new study to be published in Social Psychological and Personality Study suggests that I should just avoid Whole Foods — and anywhere else that slings overpriced kombucha and the other artisanal health food products that eat away at my funds — altogether. (Insert all the bawling emojis here.)

And if your goals have less to do with money and more to do with weight loss or upping your exercise game or learning how to speak French, the advice is the same: If you have a goal in mind, instead of trying to exert your willpower when you come across a temptation that could derail your mission in reaching that goal, simply avoid temptations in the first place.

The study looked at 160 participants, all of whom were trying to reach goals, from learning a new skill to exercising more. Long story short, at the end of the study, researchers found that those who’d encountered the least number of goal-crushing temptations throughout the study had made the most progress in reaching their goals. As the study author writes, “The lesson seems to be to accept that humans are weak-willed. The key to success therefore is to avoid temptation in the first place.” If you’ve ever gone to a happy hour while trying to lose weight and told yourself you’d just have one skinny margarita, only to find yourself three margaritas and plate of nachos deep a few hours later, you know this to be true.

So if you’re trying to ditch pounds and cupcakes are your weakness, don’t you dare keep any cupcake mix in your pantry — and while you’re at it, try avoiding all the other spots and activities (we’re lookin’ at you Mission Taqueria happy hour) that bleed goal-derailing temptations altogether, at least for a bit. I’ll just be over here trying to break free of my Whole Foods addiction. It’s not going to be easy, what with the new Whole Foods Mecca just a 10-minute walk away from my desk. May the force be with us all.

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