It’s never a situation in and of itself that you gets you off track, it’s always your thinking about that situation. This means that there is NO SINGLE food situation you can’t handle as long as you figure out what your sabotaging thoughts might be and come up with good responses to them!
Eating healthy is hard some of the time, but being overweight is hard ALL of the time and in so many more ways. If you think, “I’m just going to take the easy way out and eat whatever I want,” remind yourself that that is actually the much, much harder way.
Sabotaging Thought: It’s okay to eat this because it’s healthy.
Response: I can gain weight eating all healthy foods, too. Just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean it doesn’t have calories. Eating healthy foods is a great thing to strive for, but I have to make sure that whatever I eat (healthy or not) fits in with my overall day.
If you think, “I’m really stressed out, I need to eat,” remind yourself that WANT and NEED are two different things. If you were stressed and in a situation where no food was available, you’d get through it. This proves that you may want to eat when stressed, but you don’t ever need to.
Just because your time over the weekend may be unstructured, doesn’t mean your eating has to be. Keeping up a consistent eating schedule, even on the weekends, can help guard against all-day grazing and lack of real meals (which often leads to feelings of dissatisfaction despite taking in a lot of calories).
When clients tell us, “It’s so hard to lose weight because I just like eating. I don’t want to give that up,” we remind them that there’s a huge difference between eating and overeating. They will NEVER give up eating – but in ending overeating, they get to enjoy food and lose weight.
Losing weight is a combination of every small food decision you make in a day. If you think, “This one time doesn’t matter,” remind yourself that it ALL matters because it all is part of the bigger picture. One bad decision leads to another, while one positive decision leads to another.
Sabotaging Thought: It’s okay to eat this food I hadn’t planned, it’s just a little bit.
Response: It’s not about the calories, it’s about the habit! Whether the unplanned food has 20 calories or 2,000 calories, it’s still reinforcing my giving-in habit.
If you’re out to eat and want to eat something you hadn’t planned to, remind yourself, “I’ve had [this food] before. I know what it tastes like. I’ll have it again so I don’t need to eat it every time the opportunity arises.”
ANY exercise is better than no exercise. Often making the decision to do it and getting started are actually the hardest parts. This weekend, don’t think about whether or not you feel like exercising, just do it anyway. Guaranteed you won’t regret it.
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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