Whatever you did or didn’t eat over the past weekend is irrelevant now. What is relevant is what you eat from this point moving forward. No matter what, today is an new opportunity to have a great eating day.
Do you have lots of tempting leftovers hanging around your house? If so, make a plan for when you’re going to have them and/or get rid of them. Doing so will help you resist cravings and stay on track, because you’ll know exactly when you get to eat it.
Happy Thanksgiving! Today is a day to focus on being thankful for what you do have, and not focus on what you don’t. And, if you stay on track with your eating, you’ll be able to add “Feeling great about my day” to that list of gratitudes!
Sabotaging Thought: I shouldn’t have to work on healthy eating during Thanksgiving.
Response: If my goal is to gain weight over Thanksgiving, then it’s true I absolutely don’t have to work on healthy eating. But if my goal is to either maintain or lose, then it means I have to stay mindful. While working on healthy eating might not be what I most want to do on Thanksgiving, guaranteed I’ll be grateful I did when I get on the scale Friday morning.
If you’re cooking for Thanksgiving this year, be mindful of how much you eat while cooking. It’s easy to take in hundreds of extra calories, eaten standing up, without really paying attention. This year, work on having planned snacks while cooking and only eating sitting down. It will help cut out that extraneous and mindless eating.
When dieters get off track, they sometimes forget how much better it feels to be in control and feeling good about themselves and their eating. If you’ve been off track (especially if you’re thinking of waiting until after Thanksgiving to recover), remind yourself how great getting back on track will feel and start right this moment!
To help stay in control, consider making a weekend-specific Response Card, such as, “It’s worth it to me to stay on track this weekend so that I can continue to feel great about myself and my eating and keep my positive momentum going.” Read it every day, and probably extra times on the weekends.
We asked our Facebook Community for their favorite tips and tricks for sticking to their plan during the holiday season. Here are our favorite tips:
- Make Holiday-specific Response Cards (and maybe a Holiday-specific Advantages List detailing why it’s worth it to stay on track during the holidays) and read them multiple time a day, every day.
- Bring healthy alternatives to holiday parties and events and challenge yourself to try new, healthier recipes.
- Remember that the holidays are not just about eating. Work on finding non-food related ways to celebrate the holidays.
- Send guests home with the leftovers and get rid of anything else that’s really tempting (or make a plan for exactly when and how much you’ll have).
- Write out plans for how you’ll handle holiday meals and events. If things don’t go according to plan, take time after to figure out why it happened and what you can do to stay on track the next time.
- Don’t skip meals during the holidays to “save” calories. Doing so means you’ll likely go into holiday meals very hungry and also with the thought, “It’s okay to eat [a lot] extra because I skipped lunch.” When dieters have that thought, they often eat way more calories than they would have if they had a healthy lunch and a reasonable dinner.
- The holidays are a busy time for most people, but also a stressful time. When dieters get busy, they sometimes drop their stress-relieving activities (like exercise, meditation, talking to friends, etc.) and so they’re much more likely to turn to food to alleviate stress. This holiday season, make sure you have built-in stress relievers!
- Portion control, portion control, portion control. Put forth the time and effort to really savor everything you’re eating and you’ll get so much more enjoyment from less food.
- If you’re feeling deprived, remind yourself that it’s likely because you’re focusing on what you’re not getting – extra food, not on what you are getting – all the benefits of staying on track. If you feel deprived, change your focus.
- Don’t stop weighing yourself, even if you’re afraid you’ve gained weight. Avoiding the scale will allow you to continue to avoid doing what you know you should do. Taking accountability will make it easier and more likely that you’ll be able to get back and stay on track.
The holidays are a busy time for most people, but also a stressful time. When dieters get busy, they sometimes drop their stress-relieving activities (like exercise, meditation, talking to friends, etc.) and so they’re much more likely to turn to food to alleviate stress. This holiday season, make sure you have built-in stress relievers!
Sabotaging Thought: The healthy food on my diet plan costs more than the food I really want to eat. I can’t justify spending the extra money.
Response: It’s worth it and I’m worth it! What a great way to spend money – toward a goal that I really, really want to achieve.
The Beck Diet Program was developed by Dr. Judith S. Beck with Deborah Beck Busis, LCSW.
Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy is a leading international source for training, therapy, and resources in CBT.
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