So you’ve set yet another end date to lose those last 10 pounds. You always start strong, but a few days in and those cupcakes in the break room and those nighttime snacks are once again luring you in with their promise of a delicious and satisfying treat. A cupcake here, a snack there, and despite your regular gym regimen, your goal date comes and goes once again and those last ten pounds are still holding on strong. Sound familiar? That’s okay, because we here at Skinny Mom can help you fix the cycle.

So first off, here’s the deal: your weight and physique is determined 80% by your diet, 10% by exercise and 10% is genetics. Focusing on cardio and your core strength is a great endeavor and one to continue, but all that effort combined with a poor diet brought on by weak will power will leave you less than happy with your results and falling short of your weight loss goals…again. Here are some tips on how to work out your will power and get it stronger than any of the cutest artisan cupcakes out there!

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Give Yourself A Cheat Day: Going carb-free for a month may get you amazing results, but it’s unsustainable and will leave you jonesing for some bagels big time, inevitably resulting in you binging at the end. Rather than going hardcore for a small amount of time, then undoing all your efforts just as quickly, take the strong and steady route. Eat clean 80% of the time (5-6 days a week) and give yourself a day to have a You Only Live Once treat, like a slice from your fave pizza joint or dessert out. When you get a craving on your clean days, work out your will power, knowing you can have that cookie in a day or two.

colorful fridge

Have Healthy Options On Hand: Keep healthy alternatives at the ready, like frozen grapes, carrots and hummus, and kale chips for when temptation strikes. Working towards a stronger will power doesn’t have to be and shouldn’t be torture! Not sure what healthy snacks to keep around the house or office? Check out Slim Down With 30 Days Of Healthy Snacks for great ideas!

set and reach goal concept

Make A Visual: Whether it’s as simple as a calendar with X’s marking the days you held strong and worked your will power, or as involved as a Pinterest project, a visual reminder of how many days you’ve shown great restraint in the food department can help you stick to your goal and make it to your cheat day! Check out Skinny Mom’s favorite visual rewards system here!

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Enlist A Friend: Just like a gym buddy can get you up and off the couch, so can a will power partner help you avoid slip ups by holding you accountable for your food choices as you do the same for them. Check in with each other daily to crow about a good day and to get over a bad one and move on to the next!

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Know Your Weak Areas: What is the kryptonite to your healthy food choices? Is it the cafeteria? An all you can eat buffet? Happy hour? Just as you stretch before a hard workout, prepare your will power with positive affirmations and a visual reminder of your goal before you head into the gauntlet. Still can’t resist? Schedule visits to your most challenging places where giving into your cravings is inevitable on your cheat day and take the pressure off.

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If You Fail, Try, Try Again: You can only fail at reaching your goal if you quit. Keep honing your ability to make healthy choices on a daily basis, and with hard work you will eventually get there. Remember it takes two weeks to form a habit and 60 days to solidify it.

Now go stock up on some healthy snacks, get a will power partner, and figure out your greatest weaknesses!