If you’re having trouble getting yourself to stop eating something because it tastes really good, remind yourself that stopping comes with some huge benefits – you get to feel in control and on track, you don’t take in too many calories, you enable yourself to lose weight, you don’t ruin the ruin the enjoyment of the eating experience by overeating, etc. Stopping isn’t a negative!
If you think, “Weekends should be about fun, not about dieting,” remind yourself that eating healthfully and having fun are not mutually exclusive. Just because you may not eat everything you want doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy what you do eat (and every other non-eating activity you do). Besides, being on track feel so much better than feeling out of control.
All-or-nothing simply doesn’t work. When dieters are all-or-nothing about being on a diet, believing they are either totally perfect on their diet, or totally off of it, it makes it much more likely that one mistake will spiral into more. When dieters are all-or-nothing about food, believing that there are some foods they should cut out entirely when they’re dieting, it makes it much more likely that once they start eating a “bad” food, they won’t be able to stop, because they’ll have the thought, “I don’t know when I’ll allow myself to eat this food again, so I better eat as much of it as I can right now.”
I have found that many dieters I work with initially have a “witching hour:” a period of an hour or two each day where cravings are strong and staying on track feels much harder. For most dieters, this is either the period right before dinner (around 4 PM – 6 PM) or in the hours after dinner but before bed (8 PM -10 PM). Dieters often think that they just can’t get through it without eating, but this is only because they don’t have skills that they need.
Sabotage: It’s okay to eat extra because it’s a rare treat and I never get to have it.
Response: Just because I don’t come in contact with this food often, doesn’t mean I couldn’t seek it out; there is almost no food that I couldn’t buy or make 365 days a year. I don’t need to overdo it now because I can ALWAYS get it again. Besides, if I overeat, it will ruin the pleasure of having it because I’ll feel guilty.
It’s a new month, so it may be time to set some new goals. By the end of May would you like to have lost weight, gained weight, or stayed the same? The number you see reflected on the scale at the end of the month is ultimately up to you, so make a commitment to yourself NOW!
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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