What do marshmallows have to do with predicting your weight loss success or lack thereof?
If you put a marshmallow in front of a four-year old and told ‘em they could eat it immediately or wait until you returned and they’d get another one, what’d they do?
Well… in the 60s at Stanford University, Walter Mischel did this exact test with 650 four-year-olds.
And they video-ed the kids’ reactions.
Some of them gobbled the marshmallow immediately.
Some looked at it, smelled it, touched it but didn’t eat it.
Others walked around and hummed songs to distract themselves.
One even licked the space on the table surrounding the marshmallow!
Based on how they performed in the marshmallow experiment, the children were rated on a scale: LOW DELAYERS snaffled the marshmallow instantly. HIGH DELAYERS were the ones who waited the 15 minutes and received a second marshmallow.
Over the next 40 years, Stanford researchers tracked these children.
… to many people’s surprise… there’s been significant correlation between where the four-year-old placed on the marshmallow scale and specific aspects of their lives: body-mass index, stress management, career success, ability to maintain friendships and, drug and alcohol consumption.
The high delaying children achieved more success in their careers and had healthier life style statistics than their low delaying classmates.
In fact, a child “who could wait 15 minutes had an SAT score that was, on average, two hundred and ten points higher than that of the kid who could wait only 30 seconds,” according to the article, ‘Don’t! The secret of self-control’ in the May 18 issue of The New Yorker.
Your turn now…
What are “marshmallows” in your life? In your personal life? In your professional life? And specifically, what are your marshmallows on your weight loss journey?
What are the activities which give you immediate gratification but undermine your longer-range goals?
The desire to please everyone is a big marshmallow.
The desire to be all things to all people is a huge marshmallow.
“Tomorrow I’ll start choosing healthy options,” is one of the biggest marshmallow of ‘em all.
Share and inspire… in the comments section below…what are your marshmallows? And what are you going to DO about them, now you’ve recognised ‘em?
Marshmallow-y love etc, Avril