Trying to lose weight and eat
What is it?
Let me bring you back to a pivotal experiment in the 1970's that first brought this important tactic into the public eye.
In 1972, a group of Stanford University researchers did an experiment with children that changed the way we think about behavior and emotions.
In front of each child, they placed an enticing marshmallow treat. Then they told the children, if you wait 15 minutes - and don't eat the marshmallow - you'll get two marshmallows instead of just one.
Many of the children caved in almost immediately. Some held out for a little but couldn't make it to 15 minutes.
And then some were able to hold off for the entire time and collect their reward of a second marshmallow.
But the second marshmallow wasn't their only reward. It turned out - as researchers tracked these children through the years - the ones who exercised restraint tended to have less trouble in their life overall . . .
These kids who were able to wait had something that's key to enabling us to succeed in everything from love to career to health . . . to losing weight. It's called emotional intelligence.
And as you set off to lose weight or make other healthy changes in your life this year, learning how to build your emotional intelligence may be one of the most important moves you can make.
How Emotional Intelligence Helps You Make Good Choices
First of all, let's define emotional intelligence better . . .
Emotional intelligence (also called "EQ") is the capacity to recognize your own feelings and those of others. And it's the ability to manage emotions in yourself and in your relationships.
Basically, it's about being perceptive and exercising good judgment in how your emotions direct your actions and reactions.
It's only a part of you. But it can have a huge impact on your life. Multiple studies indicate that 90% of top performers are people with higher EQ. People with high EQ tend to earn $29,000 more than people with low EQ. 
We used to think that IQ ( not EQ) determined how successful you'd be. But now we understand it's really your EQ which makes the biggest difference.
It's not how smart or talented you are. It's how you use it.
But don't get worried if you think you're low on the EQ scale. Because here's the exciting thing about EQ . . .
You Can Strengthen Your Emotional Intelligence
See, EQ's not something you're born with . . . it's not genetically determined . . .
There's lots of room for strengthening it and refining it. We can always increase our EQ.
And the key to building EQ is in building self-awareness . . .
See, back during that 1972 experiment, researchers noticed something interesting about the children who held out for the second marshmallow. The children who exercised EQ didn't just turn on a switch that allowed them to sit there calmly staring the marshmallow down until they were allowed to eat it.
No, they did something to distract themselves . . . They kicked the chair
What does this tell us? It tells us that people who exercise EQ aren't necessarily superhuman in their restraint. No, it's that they understand what's going on in themselves. They know their tendencies. And then they are strategic about how they let these feelings impact their behavior.
This understanding explains why some people can make healthy life changes easily and others have a harder time doing it. See, it's not that the successful ones don't crave pasta and chocolate cake. Most of them do just like you do. But they understand their tendencies and have figured out ways to take actions despite their emotional leanings.
3 Steps To Build Your EQ And Lose Weight More Easily
So if you're planning to go on a diet, exercise more or reach a specific work goal. It's not about setting the goal, turning on your EQ and going for it.
No, it's about understanding why you cave into your cravings . . . or get stuck on the couch or procrastinate.
And then developing strategies to counter these emotions or even use them to help you accomplish your desired task.
Essentially, it's about shifting your perspective so it's easier to do things that will benefit you in the long run.
So here are some ways to do this:
1. Be aware of what's going on inside of you. So if you're feeling a big craving for a candy bar, pause before you act and try to figure out what's going on . . .
Ask yourself briefly why am I craving that candy bar? Is it because I'm stressed? Am I associating it with an indulgence or a little "me" time? Did I feel sad because of how someone treated me and wanted to make myself feel better? Try to figure out what's going on behind the scenes.
Once you figure this out, you can go onto the next two steps:
2. See if you can substitute something or change the stakes.
In other words, can you go for a walk instead of buying a candy bar? Or promise yourself you'll have half that candy bar later on after you've gotten this report finished and you've done your workout for the day?
Or alternatively . . .
3. See if you can create a different emotional pull that diminishes the power of
By putting these three steps to work, you can build your capacity to manage your behavior and not go with your impulses.
And here's the final piece to building your EQ so you can build your life better . . .
EQ is like a muscle. The more you work on it, the stronger it becomes. So find little ways to build your EQ. Find easy ways to exercise restraint and then build up to bigger challenges. As you do this more and more, you'll start emotionally believing that you are capable of making responsible choices . . . that you can pass up that delicious pudding . . . and you'll have more capacity to do this as well.
Ready to lose weight for life?
Don't forget to work on your EQ. It's
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 Bradberry T. Emotional Intelligence - EQ. Forbes Magazine. January 9, 2014.
 Szalavitz M. The secrets of self control the marshmallow test 40 years later. Time Magazine. September 6, 2011.