In 1972, Walter Mischel performed a famous experiment at Stanford University.
He sat children between the ages of 4 and 6 in an empty room with a marshmallow on the table.
The kids were told they could eat the marshmallow now if they wanted but, if they waited a little while, they would get 2 marshmallows instead.
The researchers left the kids alone in the room and watched…The results were amazing!
Some kids ate the marshmallow straight away. Some waited a while then ate it.
About one third managed wait long enough to get the second marshmallow.
Most of the kids struggled to wait though. Some covered their eyes. Some hummed. Others created little distractions for themselves.
These kids got the payoff!
By delaying gratification, the children succeeded in getting more in the long term as opposed to the short term fix.
Funnily enough, the same children that were able to delay gratification were actually succeeding more in later life.
Mischel checked in over 10 years later with the 2 kids and found they were doing better academically and had better social skills.
So how does this relate to weight loss?
Remind yourself of what you truly want. You are here for the long game.
There will be discomforts along the way but in the end, the payoff is far greater than you could imagine.
Take a lesson from these kids. When you feel like the late night munchies are creeping up on you, create a distraction for yourself.
This can be anything from reading a book or even focusing on why you would rather not eat the entire block of tim tams.
Always ask yourself:
1. What do I want right now?
2. What do I want long term?
3. Is the sacrifice worth it?
4. Can I hold off for a few minutes? Chances are, 10 minutes from now, the munchies are gone.
The long game is the key.
Would you eat the marshmallow?