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Author: TMFGebinr Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Supernova Phoenix 1
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Subject: Exercising self control Date: 11/19/2013 1:52 PM
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Hi everyone,

Has this been talked about here? (Even if it has, hope you don't mind me raising the issue again.)

After yesterday's fast (on the 5:2 program), I got to thinking about how I was telling myself "you can make it through today, eat tomorrow" and was reminded of something that affects investing, as well. Self control. That is, staying with a program or denying oneself instant gratification (either by eating something or making an investment trade to satisfy the itch of "do something!").

There's been some research on this, too, showing that those who have more self control tend to do better at things like quitting smoking and (recently) losing weight. Further, it's like a physical muscle in that it gets tired from too much use and can be strengthened over time.

That former part about self control getting tired (ego depletion, it's called) probably explains a fair amount about why many people tend to fail at long-term, strict dieting. It gets harder and harder to muster the self control needed to stay on the diet, especially if it means denying oneself of something over and over and over again.

That's one reason I like (in the early stages) the 5:2 idea of eating:fasting. For me, at least -- and I'm only about three weeks into it so take this for what it's worth -- it's proving easier to continue fasting because I know I only have to have enough self-control to get through the day on minimal calories. In other words, I am more successful at telling my stomach to quit complaining if I know I can eat at 6 pm or the following morning.


A few pages that popped up when Googling "psychology of self control" --
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