A good portion of self-control is considered to be a major advantage in many areas of life, as in relationships, in learning, in maintaining good mental health, and in terms of adaptability, to name a few. Self-control has therefore many categories like attention control (concentration) can be one part of self-control as an example.
In addition, self-control is something that can be trained and influenced by a good diet. Research has, among other things, indicated that as early as the age of 4, self-control among children begins to develop & grow stronger.
Many studies have shown that a lack of self-control is to some extent based on poor energy sources. Since the main elements of good self-control are glucose, which is the substance that the body produces by breaking down carbohydrates from food (for example). Glucose provides a lot of our brain function and that includes self-control.
I have a good example that probably most moms & probably dads can relate to, its from one of my dear friends. A mom for the first time and at that time when I was visiting her, she had a very sleepless night cause of her son. Well, the first thing she did when she woke up was eating leftover cake she had from the day before. Let me tell you, my friend is not the type who eats a cake for breakfast and, in my opinion, has a rather high level of self-control when it comes to food & drinks. This was just such a good example of how our self-control can almost none exist with reduced energy.
One study looked at a group of school kids who ate breakfast vs. those who did not. School kids who ate breakfast had a better concentration at school vs. the other group who skipped breakfast. Breakfast is such a good source of glucose. In addition, hungry children are more likely to behave in a restless manner and be agitated.
If my son comes home from school and is crying for almost no reason, the first thing I do is check his lunch box. In 90% cases, the launch box is almost full, indicating that he has eaten so little during the day.
Support has also been found that when glucose is low, individuals are more likely to experience anxiety, restlessness, and tension, for example.
With that said, one of my friends decided to just eat 1200 calories a day (diet number 100) and then she is always complaining to me that her concentration is so bad. There is no doubt that her blood sugar levels are falling dramatically and there goes her concentration as well.
This article is based on the article by Galliot & Baumeister: The Physiology of Willpower: Linking Blood Glucose to Self-Control & my dear friends.
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Picture by : Snæþór Sigurbjörn Halldórsson