Sometimes dieters think, “I’ll never achieve and maintain my ideal weight.” We remind them that we don’t even know what their ideal weight is in the beginning because, in our definition, it is the weight they get down to when they are eating and exercising in a healthy and consistent manner. We also remind them that getting there and staying there is purely a matter of learning specific skills and practicing them over and over again until they get better and better.
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.
Important reminder: Although dieting may feel really difficult at times, so many great things come as a result of pushing through. Remember, it’s not as if you have to work hard to be disciplined and control your eating and get nothing in return – actually just the opposite is true. By doing all these things you’ll get the MOST IMPORANT things in return (improved health, self-confidence, pride, reduced physical and emotional pain, etc.).
Unfortunately there are no ‘healthy food fairies’ that will drop off food for you, so if you want to have healthy foods available, it means you have to make it happen. This weekend, take some time to think about what healthy foods you’d like to eat during the week and go out and buy them! Then make a plan for how and when you’ll eat them.
Dieters make mistakes most often when they unexpectedly face a hard eating situation. You can limit this by thinking through your day as a whole and taking the time to figure out when dieting might be difficult that day. This way, if it does become difficult, you’ll be in a much better position to handle it because you’ll be prepared mentally.
Sabotaging Thought: It’s okay to eat this because I’m working out later and will burn it off.
Response: I can’t rely on “burning it off later” as an effective way to reduce calories because not only is it possible I’ll end up skipping my workout, but likely I also overestimate the number of calories I burn while exercising, anyway. If I want to lose weight and keep it off, I can’t use the prospect of future exercise as a reasonable excuse to eat something.
In dieting, you can’t always stop sabotaging thoughts from occurring (after all, most of them are pretty automatic), but you can 100% control whether or not you give in and let them derail you. Remember, just because you think it doesn’t mean it’s true.
If you think, “Everyone else gets to eat normally, why can’t I?” Remind yourself that you ARE eating normally for someone trying to lose weight (or keep it off)! It’s important to change your definition of ‘normal’ eating and remember that your eating is 100% normal for someone with your goals.
If you think, “I’ll just eat whatever I want this weekend and start again on Monday,” remind yourself that getting off track every weekend is a prescription for gaining weight or staying at a higher weight. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you have to be consistent with your eating, and practice your skills consistently, 7 days a week. We wish it were different but it’s not!
Dieters often go off track because they think they’ll enjoy themselves more if they’re not restricting their eating. We ask them to really think about how it feels when they’re off track and many find that they actually spend more time feeling badly about themselves and guilty about their eating than they do feeling good. Remember, being off track might not actually make you feel the way you think it will.
Sabotaging Thought: It’s just one/one little bit. It won’t hurt!
Response: Consider the evidence from past experiences. When has “just one” EVER really stayed at just one? When has having “just one” EVER helped me to lose weight and keep it off? Just one actually will hurt because it'll likely turn in to more and it also reinforces my habit of giving in. Remember, it’s not about the calories, it’s about the habit!
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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