PJ's Fitness Blog

A blog about a fitter you. Come find out what is on the cutting edge of fitness science and be a part of the ongoing conversation.

Is it Your Willpower or Your Brain?

willpowerI got this message in an email from Michael Lovitch, Co founder of the Hypnosis Network . I found it so interesting, I just had to post it. I have told people over and over that willpower isn’t a matter of personal strength, but more an issue of how much re-wiring needs to be done in their brain. Michael offers a great explanation on how willpower plays into how the brain works.

Will Power is not a “Character” Issue

Most of us assume that a lack of will power is a personality defect, and that if we had a better constitution we would meet our resolutions (stop overeating, stop drinking too much, quit smoking, get more done, create and follow a budget, etc…)

But the research is now clear that our brains simply aren’t designed for willpower – because willpower is a limited resource.

A series of experiments has clearly demonstrated that the part of the brain responsible for self control, the prefrontal cortex, simply can’t maintain the act of self control for an extended period of time.

Baba Shiv, a marketing Professor at Stanford University, conducted a really interesting experiment that I think really drives the point home:

Cake or Salad?

Baba Shiv’s team assembled two groups. Group One was tasked with remembering a (more…)

How much weight can you lose in a week?

big-bellyI was recently asked about a current Biggest Loser TV episode, where a contestant lost 34 pounds in one week! Is this really possible?

A dietitian would calculate that someone would have to burn 119,000 more calories than they are eating to lose 34 pounds. To do this in one week, that would require burning 17,000 calories per day, or 708 calories per hour, if you stayed up for 24 hours and never went to bed the whole week. Oh yeah, and that’s just the burn rate above what you eat, so you would have to fast the whole week too.

To burn 708 calories per hour, you would have to run at a pace of about 7 mph, 24 hours per day, for 7 days straight. That would be 168 miles per day, or 1176 miles for the week (while fasting of course).

The guy that lost 34 pounds in one week weighed over 500 pounds, and even though he would certainly be (more…)