If you think, “It’s okay to eat this unplanned food because I’ll eat less and make up for it later,” remind yourself, “Looking back, when has ‘making up for it later’ EVER helped me to lose weight and keep it off? I’ve already proven to myself that this idea just doesn’t work and that spontaneous food decisions have negative consequences. Just stick to my plan and as soon as this food is out of my sight, I’ll be SO GLAD I didn’t have any.”
Sabotage: “Now that I’ve lost weight I can stop being so careful.”
Response Card: While I may be able to loosen up a little, I have to remember that I lost weight because of the different ways I am now doing things. The moment I return to my old habits is the moment I start to gain weight back.
If you make an eating mistake, continue to eat normally for the rest of the day. Telling yourself, “I won’t eat anything else today,” might trigger feelings of anxiety or panic when you get hungry, which could then cause you to eat much more than you would have normally.
If you think, “Weekends should be about fun, not about dieting,” remind yourself, “Eating healthfully and having fun are not mutually exclusive. Just because I may not eat EVERYTHING I want doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy what I do eat. And besides, staying in control of my eating ALWAYS feels so much better than being out of control.”
We find that for many of our dieters, intuitive eating is difficult because it is far too easy to confuse hunger with other sensations – craving, thirst, boredom, stress, or simply the desire to eat. Because of this, we work with our dieters on the skill of “eating according to a schedule” so that they don’t have to rely on potentially faulty cues to know whether or not to eat.
Sabotage: “Dieting is too hard, it’s not worth it.”
Response Card: Dieting IS but it also IS worth it. Telling myself “it’s not worth it” is just an excuse to give up. Pay no attention to that thought! The advantages of losing weight and the positive impact it will have on every area of your life makes it unquestionably worth it.
Make a reasonable vacation plan and stay committed to being in control. You’ll feel successful throughout your trip and enjoy new, exciting foods.
Often when dieters have strong ideas like, “I can’t disappoint others,” or “my needs must always come last,” these are traps of their own making. Since dieters are the ones forcing these mandates on themselves, they also then have the power to change their thinking and free themselves.
We asked a long-time maintainer what keeps him motivated and he said, “I don’t wait for motivation, I just do it because I owe it to my daughter, my wife, and MYSELF.” Losing weight and being healthier positively impacts you AND everyone else around you. Do it for them, but most importantly, do it for yourself.
If you were driving on the highway and missed your exit, would you say, “Forget it” and keep driving? No! You’d get off at the very next exit and turn around. If you make a mistake this weekend, immediately turn yourself around and get right back on track.
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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