Many people tend to vastly overestimate the number of calories they burn while exercising. Unless they have a very intense workout, our dieters eat about the same amount of food regardless of whether or not they’ve exercised that day. This is a helpful mindset to have because it combats against the sabotaging thought, “It’s okay to eat this [unplanned food] since I exercised today.”
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.
Successful dieting is really a matter of learning a series of necessary skills. And, like any other skill, the more you practice them, the better you get and the easier it becomes to keep doing them. However difficult dieting may be at any given time is NOT how difficult it will be a month, a year, or five years down the line because you’ll have that much more practice by then.
You likely won’t be able to reach your weight loss goals if you keep thinking, “I’ll eat whatever I want this weekend and start dieting again on Monday.” Waiting until Monday doesn’t work because you’ll consistently undo all your hard work from the week. This weekend, DON’T wait until Monday – just keep doing what you’re doing! Guaranteed you will be so glad you did.
It’s important to remember that good eating days are not necessarily perfect eating days. Dieters may very well make eating mistakes on good eating days – but when they do, they get immediately back on track and don’t lose their sense of control, so the mistakes are very minor. You don’t have to be perfect to have a 'perfect' day!
Sabotaging Thought: I’m not going to do my dieting tasks because I don’t want to.
Response: ‘I don’t want to’ is just my adolescent rebellion talking. Listening to that voice has NEVER helped me reach my goals so I’m not going to pay any attention to it.
Dieters can learn just as much from successes as they can from challenges. When dieters face difficult situations and stay in control, they can think about what enabled them to be successful and how to replicate it in the future. But, just as importantly, when dieters make mistakes it’s critical to use them as learning experiences and figure out why it happened and what they can do (or say to themselves) differently the next time.
In dieting, the number on the scale is not the only thing that counts; it’s also about how dieters feel about themselves and their eating. When dieters gain control over the eating and know that they aren’t at the mercy of their hunger, cravings, and emotions, they feel GREAT, regardless of whether or not the number on the scale is what they ultimately want to see.
Remember, there’s nothing magical about losing weight. If you take in more calories than your body needs (even though it’s the weekend) you’ll gain weight. This weekend, work on finding ways to relax and treat yourself that don’t involve food. While doing so may not initially feel as pleasurable, remind yourself that it doesn't come with the hugely negative consequence of gaining weight.
When you make a dieting mistake, what do you usually say to yourself? How does that compare to what you would say to your best friend if she told you she made a mistake? Very likely you’d be a lot nicer (and more constructive) to your friend than you are to yourself, which isn’t fair! When you make a mistake, be kind to yourself. It will help you recover more quickly and feel better in general.
Sabotaging Thought: I don’t want to practice all of these skills before starting my diet because that will take too long.
Response: When has jumping right into a diet EVER helped me to lose weight and, more importantly, keep it off? Now I’m doing things differently by FIRST learning skills that will enable me to actually stick to my diet before making major changes in my eating. Besides, if it takes an extra two months in the beginning, what does that matter in the course of the rest of my life?
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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