Craving Chocolate: Diana

Diana was tempted by chocolate this past week. She reported to our group that there was a few days ago, she stayed within her calorie limit for the day, but she deviated from her plan and ate unplanned chocolate.  Diana had planned to have an after-dinner snack that consisted of both some chocolate, and some nutritious food. But after she started eating chocolate, Diana found it very difficult to stop and ending up spending all of her snack calories on chocolate, instead of half on the healthy food she had planned. chocolate.jpg

We discussed in group how important it is to learn to stick to your plan 100%.  Dieters could stay within their calorie limits for the day and eat only chocolate the whole day, or only pasta, and because they were taking in fewer calories, they would lose weight. But an unhealthy, unbalanced diet like this is completely unsustainable over the long term, so dieters who don’t learn to spend their calories in a nutritious, balanced way will almost definitely gain back any weight they lose (discussed on Day 2 of The Beck Diet Solution).   This is why having a plan, and sticking to it completely is so crucial – because it forces dieters to become accustomed to eating in a way they can maintain for their lifetime. 

We went around the group and gave Diana ideas for things she could do in the future if she’s tempted to continue eating chocolate.  Our dieters suggested that she go distract herself (Day 13), firmly tell herself NO CHOICE (Day 13), read her Advantages List (Day 1), and remind herself that even if she’s feeling at that moment that she doesn’t care about sticking to her plan, she most definitely will care in a few minutes. 

Diana is committed this week to absolutely stick to her plan without any exceptions because she intends to lose weight and keep it off for good. 

Nighttime Demons: Brenda

Brenda has been having a bit of trouble lately with “nighttime demons” – those voices in her head  that around 9 or 10pm every night urge her to eat, even though she’s already finished her planned food for the day.  Brenda has been able to figure out that what she’s feeling at this time is not actually hunger, because by that point in the evening she’s already eaten a substantial dinner and snack.  And because she doesn’t usually want any one food in particular, Brenda knows that she’s not really having strong cravings either.  What she is experiencing is the desire to eat (discussed on Day 11 of The Beck Diet Solution), and we helped Brenda brainstorm ways in which she could combat the demons.

First of all, having Brenda label what she is feeling as “desire” instead of “hunger” makes it easier to resist eating.  What Brenda needs to say to herself is, “I’m not hungry. I just have a desire to eat. That’s not a good reason to eat. In fact, just because I feel like eating doesn’t mean I should. No choice; I’m not eating.”

We also discussed with Brenda the fact that the moment she definitively decides not to eat, the desire will begin to diminish and the struggle will significantly decrease (Day 13). Brenda made a Response Card to read every evening at 9 pm that reminds her that the desire to eat doesn’t last, that it always goes away, and that she certainly can tolerate it.  Last, Brenda decided that she will read her Advantages List every evening after dinner to keep very fresh in her mind exactly why it’s so worth it to her to withstand the desire and stick to her plan. 

With this arsenal of tools, Brenda is confident that she will be able to effectively and permanently fight off her nighttime demons.

Busy Week: Lori

In the meeting yesterday, Lori talked about what a busy week she has coming up.  Lots of meals out, a business trip out of town, and on top of it, her birthday on Friday.  In the past a week like this might have completely derailed Lori’s diet, but now she is going into it with confidence.

cafe.jpgLori has several strategies that will help her handle the coming week with ease.  First she will make sure to eat a normal breakfast and lunch every day.  Some dieters try to eat very little, if anything, for breakfast and/or lunch so they can eat big meals later in the day, especially if they are eating at a restaurant.  Lori knows that this simply doesn’t work and that not eating enough in the beginning part of the day will only lead her to significantly overeat later on (discussed on Day 2 of The Beck Diet Solution). 

Second, Lori is not at all concerned about her business trip because she knows that she will make wise decisions when eating out.  Because she won’t have complete control over her food, Lori also knows that it’s possible she will feel more hungry than usual, but she also knows that this is not something to fear and she most definitely can tolerate it (Day 12).

Last, in terms of her birthday, Lori has firmly talked back to her sabotaging thoughts that in the past would lead her to have a really big blow-out meal.  She now says that, “I know I have to eat mindfully for the rest of my life, so just because it’s my birthday, that’s not an excuse to eat a huge meal and dessert.” (Day 19).  Of course, like everyone else, Lori doesn’t necessarily like that she can’t eat with abandon on her birthday, but she’s accepted it and moved on because for her, being thin is so much more worth it. 

BDS Buzz

Lots of exciting things are happening here with The Beck Diet Solution.  This has been an especially big day for us!  We were so excited to be on the Today Show this morning, especially because the segment had a few shots of the entire group.  The reporter also went home with one of our dieters, Maria, and filmed her at home with her family.  Maria looked wonderful and was so articulate!

We were also on NPR’s Morning Edition today and it was great to hear our dieter, Lori, talk about how she is able to work planned indulgences into her diet (Day 2 of The Beck Diet Solution).

The Beck Diet Solution is also starting to gain a following on the web.  Several people have blogs devoted to following the Beck Diet Solution Program and they write about their experiences daily.  You can check out these dieters’ experiences, too:

My Pet Fat

Southern Fried Fatty

Cup of Stars

We’ve been getting lots of positive feedback from the Newsweek, O—The Oprah Magazine, and other magazine articles, and we are so pleased that the book is starting to reach (and hopefully help!) lots and lots of people. 

Hunger, Cravings, and the Desire to Eat: Linda

During our diet group today, we talked a lot about differentiating among hunger, cravings, and the desire to eat.  The rule of thumb is that true hunger is what you feel when you’ve fasted for several hours and your stomach is empty; a craving is a physiological and emotionally intense urge to eat; and the desire to eat comes when you are not particularly hungry but eating because there is food around (discussed on Day 11 of The Beck Diet Solution).  For most dieters these three things can be difficult to tell apart, especially if they have a lifetime of confusing cravings and desire with hunger.

Linda has been having trouble with this lately. She reported today that she has been feeling very hungry lately, even though her eating has generally been the same.  We asked her whether she often feels hungry an hour or two after a meal; she thought about it and said yes.  Chances are Linda is confusing hunger at these times with either cravings or the desire to eat.  We discussed with Linda an experiment she can try which will help her get a better understanding of what true hunger really feels like.  One day this week she will skip lunch (if her doctor okays it) and rate every hour, between breakfast and dinner, how hungry she feels (Day 12).  This is an important experiment because it will prove to Linda three very important things:

1. What true hunger feels like.

2. That hunger comes and goes

3. That she CAN tolerate being hungry

Learning this about hunger will be invaluable for Linda and is one of the many tools that will help her keep the weight off for the rest of her life.

Coming to Terms: Melissa

Over the last few months, Melissa has noticed that she’s experienced a big shift in her thinking.  When she used to eat at restaurants during previous attempts to diet, she always viewed it as an opportunity to eat a lot and not really think about her diet.  She said she used to think that ordering something like a salad was both a waste of money and a waste of the restaurant experience.  She was fooling herself, telling herself things like, “It’s ok to go off my diet because I’m at a restaurant.  Everyone else is eating this way” (discussed on Day 19 of The Beck Diet Solution). 


Melissa finally began to realize, however, that she couldn’t use eating at a restaurant as an excuse to go off her diet or she wouldn’t lose weight and keep it off –  she can’t have it both ways! Melissa came to terms with the fact that she’d rather be thinner than eat extravagantly at restaurants (Day 30).  Melissa ate out twice last week, ordered salads both times, and feels great about it.