People who have never fasted for a religious or medical reason often don’t know the following: hunger comes and goes, it doesn’t just get worse and worse until it becomes intolerable, and it doesn’t even begin to approach the level of physical discomfort caused by other things (like surgery, labor, migraines, etc.). Hunger is not something that needs to be feared!
Our diet tips provide daily motivation and problem solving to help you stick to your diet plan. It’s an extra bit of motivation to help you start your day right.
Instead of thinking about having to eat healthfully and exercise as burdens, remember that you’re fortunate enough to be able to do them. How lucky are you to have healthy food available? How lucky are you to be able to exercise? These things are not burdens, they’re blessings, and it’s helpful to conceptualize them as such.
This weekend, focus on what you CAN eat, not what you can’t. While it’s true you probably can’t eat (and drink) everything you want and lose weight, you can still enjoy reasonable portions of lots of foods AND reach your weight loss goals.
Think Thin Thursday Tip: When you eat because you’re feeling sad or stressed, remind yourself that what you’ll ultimately do is turn one problem into two – the original one that made you sad or stressed, and now additionally the problem of feeling badly about your eating, getting off track, and potentially jeopardizing your weight loss.
Sabotaging Thought: Oh no, I’ve eaten something I shouldn’t! I’ve really blown it for the day so I might as well just get back on track tomorrow.
Response: If you were washing your nice china and dropped a plate and it broke, would you say, “Well, I’ve blown it now!” and then throw the rest to the floor? Of course not! Making an eating mistake is like dropping a plate. You can stop the damage after one and be fine, but the more you go on to eat off track, the more plates you throw to the ground.
Eliminating certain foods from your diet is a recipe for gaining weight back. If, for example, you decide to cut out pasta, but you really like pasta, in back of your mind you probably know that you’re going to eat it again – and when you do, you may go way overboard. It’s critical to not cut out ANY foods from your diet entirely but instead learn how to eat them in reasonable portions. This is the only way to ensure that you’ll be able to maintain the changes you make and keep off the weight you lost.
Especially on days when controlling your eating might be more difficult (like holidays), it’s extra important to have a plan. Think about it: have you ever made a plan and regretting doing so? Having a plan takes away the burden (and struggle) of having to continually make spontaneous eating decisions, enables you to feel good about what you’re eating, and allows you to have a great day that isn’t tarnished by feeling bad about your eating.
Friday Weekend Warm-up: In our work with dieters, we don’t use the word “cheat” because it often has a negative and moralistic undertone. Instead, we use the word “mistake” and remind dieters that when they make dieting mistakes, the only thing it says is about them is that they’re normal and human. This weekend, if you make a dieting mistake, remind yourself that it’s not a catastrophe and that it doesn’t mean you’re bad or weak person. Then get right back on track and continue having a good eating weekend.
Cravings go away either when you decide to definitely give in OR when you decide to definitely NOT give in. It's important to remember that often the uncomfortable part of a craving is really the anxiety of wondering whether or not you’re going to give in. Once you firmly decide to not give and instead do something to distract yourself, the craving starts to go away.
Sabotaging Thought: I don’t want to do things like eat slowly and mindfully because I like eating while zoning out in front of the television
Response: It’s true that there are some real disadvantages of trying to lose weight, and not eating in front of the television is one of them. But I can either continue eating while zoning out OR I can get everything on my Advantages List. Which is more important to me?
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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