#82 of 180 WAYS 2013 IS DIFFERENT!

82. Tame your impulsive, wild side! “There is no real mystery about weight gain. It is simple math: if you eat more than you can burn off, you pile on excess weight. But there is a surprising character trait that correlates to more weight gain, according to a recent study. The trait? Impulsivity. Huh? Impulsive as in someone who is up for some unplanned fun, such as a weekend trip with friends, or calling in sick to enjoy a ”me-day” instead? Yes! If that sounds like something you would cheerfully do, your impulsive nature could be the reason your jeans are feeling snug. It is also likely that you go through life riding a cycle of weight gain and weight loss, in rhythm with your changing impulses. An exhaustive study compiled from 10 years of data, published in the journal Psychological Science, shows that this is not just a theory. The logic is quite simple: impulsive people are more prone to binge eating and alcohol consumption. Their “live now, worry later” approach to life is also evident in the way they eat and drink. While a more cautious person is more likely to make meal plans and write food diaries, impulsive people often have little or no patience with activities that require them to stop and think before acting. Interestingly, the study observes that while people in general tend to become less impulsive with the passage of years, those who gain weight are likely to become even more impulsive later in life! So, what should you do? While it is difficult to change your nature, you can change your weight-loss strategy. Join a group that is trying to lose weight, rather than attempting to go through the process yourself. Stay in company with more “careful” and “planned” people for a positive influence. Impulsive traits can manifest into behaviors such as aggression, indecision, and risk-taking. I, myself, belong to this “impulsive people club,” so for me this study was a real eye-opener. I find the daily practice of sitting in silence for about 20 minutes settles the mind, trains the brain to slow down, and helps me take more measured decisions. Hope this helps you, too!” From “The Character Trait Most Likely to Cause Weight Gain” By Shubhra Krishan

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