Easter is this weekend for those of you who celebrate it. Make a plan in advance for what you’re going to eat and when! And make sure that the plan is REASONABLE (if your plan is too restrictive likely you won’t be able to stick to it)! Doing so will enable you to stay on track and enjoy what you are eating without any guilt.
Remember, in terms of your eating, you only have to answer to yourself. Don’t let comments or predicted reactions from others influence how you eat. You’re working on healthy eating because it’s an important goal for YOU. You don’t need to explain or answer to anybody else about this!
Sabotage: I don’t want to work on healthy eating right now because I just don’t feel like thinking about it.
Response: Either way I’m going to think about it. When I’m off track, I spend time thinking about needing to get back on track and feeling guilty about my eating. There’s no such thing as ‘not thinking about it.’
Sometimes when dieters go through a stressful situation (like a family member’s illness or a demanding work situation), they do extraordinarily well because they are extra vigilant, knowing it’s 100% necessary. When the stressful time passes, they relax and can stray off track because their guard has gone down. Remember, successful weight loss and maintenance isn’t only a matter of how well you do during hard times, it’s also about every day in between.
If you think, “It’s better to just not have any treats this week,” remind yourself, “I need to get away from all-or-nothing thinking and remember to look for the middle ground. Cutting out all treats never works because I eventually end up eating them, and then usually go overboard. While it’s likely not reasonable to eat as many treats as I want every day, it’s important plan to have reasonable amounts all throughout the week.”
If you think, “I’m discouraged by the weight I’ve gained so far this year,” remind yourself that this weekend is a GREAT time to get back on track and recommit yourself to healthy eating. It doesn’t matter what you did or didn’t eat over the past few weeks. What matters now is what you eat today and every day going forward.
This week, consider the strategy of deciding in advance to not take seconds. This way, you won’t have to struggle after you finish eating about whether or not to get more, and you’ll likely avoid the very uncomfortable sensation of feeling overly full.
If you want to lose weight and keep it off, whether or not you “feel” like doing something (e.g. resisting a craving, taking time to eat breakfast, grocery shopping for healthy food) just isn’t relevant. Ask yourself, “Which do I MORE not feel like: working on healthy eating, or remaining overweight?”
Sabotage: I’m too stressed right now to work on healthy eating.
Response: Even during times of stress, I brush my teeth, put on my seatbelt, take care of my kids, etc. Since I don’t let stress be an excuse to stop doing these things, I also can’t let it be an excuse to stop practicing my dieting skills.
My client, Megan, is going through a really hard time. Her mother is facing a major health crisis and when Megan and I met this week, she told me she was having trouble staying in control of her eating. She kept having thoughts like, “I just can’t deal with worrying about my eating right now. It’s too hard.”
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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