So what are you supposed to do if willpower isn't the answer?
Focus on making your environment weight-loss-friendly
The biggest indicator if someone will be successful on a weight-loss plan isn't how much they work out, how many salads they eat, or how much sleep they get; Dr. Grunvald says it all boils down to your environment, especially the people closest to you.
"If you have poor-quality food in the home, it's going to be very difficult because eventually you're going to give in to consuming that," he says. "If you're trying to lose weight and your spouse isn't on board and they keep bringing in chips and cupcakes, it's going to be almost impossible because they're not helping you clean up your environment."
Instead of putting pressure on yourself to say "no" to these temptations, a more productive strategy is to not have these foods in front of you in the first place. Since we live in such an obesogenic world -- think of how many activities in your social life revolve around food, usually of the comfort variety -- learning to control your immediate surroundings is crucial for weight loss. It's not about saying no to a slice of pizza; it's about finding a way to not even be in front of the pizza. Social support, planning, and stimulus control are all skills Dr. Grunvald says are crucial to a successful weight-loss program. These are tactics that people need to not only learn, but also practice over and over before they become second-nature.