Commitment vs Discipline


I'm participating in a 40-day yoga and meditation course with an incredible instructor that I've known for nearly 10 years. Each weekday, I receive an email with a meditation and/or yoga practice for the day.

During the very first week of the program, this message about commitment came to my inbox and was so perfectly suited to low carb eating & diabetes management that I had to share the lesson with you: 

"One thing that many of us encounter when we step on a new path is the challenge of how to commit and make it part of our daily life. Students often tell me they have challenges practicing (yoga) at home.

Frequently I hear, "I just don't have any discipline."
How about if we re-think the concept of "discipline" by contrasting it with the concept of "commitment?”

There is a big difference between discipline and commitment.

"Discipline" is something that is outwardly motivated, sort of like a "should." We might internalize this "should" as the idea of discipline into our inner voice, as the voice we hear in our mind, when we don't practice.

Commitment, on the other hand, is a choice we make with our own intentions.

The difference between "discipline" and "commitment" is conflict.

When we take a heavy handed approach imposing discipline upon ourselves, we are in conflict, arguing "yes, no, yes, no." 

But when we are committed there is no conflict, no argument, no problem.

Think about something in your life that you are committed to, for example, brushing your teeth. You probably don’t argue with yourself every morning about brushing your teeth. You just do it, whether it’s interesting or boring, it doesn't matter."

- Radiant Jane, Santosha program (shared with permission)


This thought of commitment as something we reach freely and without conflict translates perfectly into the commitment needed to make a permanent dietary change.

Eating low carb is NOT a matter of discipline. It is a commitment that I have made to myself and it's not optional. 

After initially getting accustomed to the routine, this change becomes second nature and something that does not waver.



Discipline is much harder for most people than commitment. That's why the idea of  "everything in moderation" often fails. It's more difficult to take one bite of a dessert (and then stop), than it is to just avoid eating standard high-carb desserts altogether. 

I find fault with the many health organizations that tell those of us with diabetes to eat everything in moderation. 

It's like telling an alcoholic that they should just drink in moderation.

Sugar & carbs are our alcohol.

Not only can our bodies not process carbs/sugar, we often fall into carb addiction that's very difficult to break.

Once you've committed to a low carb lifestyle, the powerful sugar/carb addiction is soon broken, and you experience far fewer cravings as a result. It's self-sustaining.

Success breeds success. 


Eating low carb is a commitment to your long-term health, and it greatly simplifies life with diabetes. 

Low carb eating DOES take more planning, but the benefit of more consistent blood glucose levels and fewer long term diabetic complications outweighs any short term difficulties. 

If you need help taking the next step and making the commitment to low carb eating for diabetes management, visit our Support and Coaching page.  Low carb eating is sustainable without deprivation. You can do it!