If you’re going to a barbeque or a party this weekend, consider adopting this guideline: Only eat it if it’s on your plate. Grabbing handfuls here and there from big bowls makes it extremely difficult to keep track of how much you’re eating. If you’re deliberate about putting everything on a plate and then (sitting down to) have it, you’ll be much more accountable and aware of everything you eat. It helps!
Just because you feel a sensation in your body, it doesn’t mean you’re hungry! It could be stress, boredom, tiredness, thirst, a craving, or more. It can be helpful to ask yourself, “Where am I feeling it?” If it’s in your stomach, that may be hunger. If it’s anywhere else in your body, that’s likely not.
Lauren told me that she has felt very off track the last few days. She said that controlling her eating has just felt really hard, and she’s not sure it’s worth it. I discussed with Lauren something I know to be true for myself and virtually all my dieters: that the “Is it worth it?” question is just a product of the off-track mentality.
Sabotage: I can’t believe I gave in to that craving. I can’t do this. I should just give up.
Response: Learning to lose weight and keep it off is a process and it takes time. I’m not going to learn it overnight, and I’m not going to be good at it overnight. Just because I gave in once, doesn’t negate all the other times I didn’t. I need to take an accurate picture of how things are really going and acknowledge that while I’m not perfect, I’m better than I was. As long as I keep working at it, I’ll keep moving forward.
If you think, “I’ll start my diet tomorrow,” remember that putting it off to tomorrow strengthens that resistance muscle because you’re allowing yourself not to do what you know you need to. Starting RIGHT THIS MOMENT strengthens your resistance muscle and increases the chances that tomorrow you’ll be able to keep it going!
Remember that staying on track and having a fun time are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they often go hand in hand! When dieters are off track and eating whatever/whenever they often don’t feel great. Either they’re feeling bad about it even as they’re eating, or they know in the back of their minds they’re going to feel bad when they face the consequences. Feeling good about the choices you’re making (and fueling your body with good food) feels great and leads to a VERY fun time.
Is your eating environment a nice place to be? If you routinely eat a table that is cluttered with other things, it can cause a more stressful eating experience (and take away from being able to eat slowly and mindfully). This weekend, make sure you have a peaceful place to eat!
Whenever you’re to stay on track during a challenging food situation (you’re at a party and are able to stick to one dessert), it’s so important to ask yourself, “How did I do it? What did I say to myself to help me stay on track?” If it was effective once, it’s helpful to remember because likely it will be effective again.
Sabotage: I don’t want to track what I’m eating because I know I’m going to be over.
Response: My body doesn’t care whether or not I track what I’m eating. It’s keeping accurate accounting even if I’m not. Not tracking it just means I’m not holding myself accountable. If I track it, at least I’ll know what I’m doing and be in a better position to stay on track next time.
If you think, “I don’t deserve credit for my dieting tasks because I should already be doing them,” remind yourself that no you SHOULDN’T already be doing these things because you didn’t know how. If this was easy, nobody would be overweight (or gain weight back after they lost it). It’s imperative to give yourself credit and recognize your accomplishments so that you can build your confidence and sense of self-efficacy.
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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