This is a big question. I am a recovering alcoholic with over 32 years of sobriety. For alcoholics, loss of control that results in a drink can all to often result in death or jail. We learn that in a moment when you find your resolve weak, call someone or go to a meeting or both. We learn to rely on a Higher Power and others in the program because by ourselves we just can't overcome the problem.
Same with food, which is why I needed WW meetings. When confronted with illegal food, I called someone and the desire passed. Like I later did in AA, the reflex action was to ask someone for help, just tell me what I know already because desire makes my knowlege thin.
The problem with food is that all too many people really don't want a new way of life. They want to be able to eat the way they want to and still look the way they want. They convince themselves that thin people eat as much as they themselves would like to eat, but they just get away with it. There is an ad on TV for a "weight loss aid" called Stacker Two, I think. It shows a group of models at a pool banquet stuffing cakes and sweets into their mouths, getting it all over themselves in their frantic rush to eat. In reality, naturally thin people don't even want to do that. The only people that ad would appeal to are the fat and desperate. It's dishonest.
Before you can even think about self control you have to be honest about your desires. If your goal is to get to the point where you can eat all the cakes pies and cookies you want, then self control isn't an issue. You'll lose weight then gain it right back. If you want to be thin and are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve that, then you can learn to control what you do when you want to eat something you know you shouldn't, and it isn't gritting your teeth and soldiering through. Ask for help from a fellow traveller, there are plenty of us around. You may think it's silly to call a friend and tell her that you really want Cheetos and are afraid you'll eat them, but it isn't. Grocery shop with a friend if necessary. Whatever it takes.
I don't know why, but in our society asking for help is viewed as weak. How dumb is that?! Every time you help another person through a tough time, you help yourself, too. And over time, you'll find yourself handling situations without eating, and making the kind of close friends we all need.
And no matter how long you are at goal, it is still the same. I don't need help as much as I used to, but I still call friends to commiserate.
Sorry for the long response. To my mind it is the central concept of weight loss.
No one ever got up in the morning wishing she'd eaten more the night before.
Original Goal: 114. Current old lady goal: 106.
| current weight: -0.4 under