One of the hardest parts of dieting is the struggle – the “should I eat this? It’s not on my plan…but it looks really good…but you’ll regret it later…but this one time won’t matter,” etc. The reason dieters struggle is because they give themselves a CHOICE. We don’t struggle to take showers, get up with our kids, or put on our seatbelts because we don’t give ourselves a choice about it. Once dieters accept that these are the things they just have to do, dieting gets EASIER.
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.
Sabotaging Thought: I’ve blown my diet for the day so I might as well keep eating and get back on track tomorrow.
Response: It’s not as if, at a certain point, the calories stop adding up. If I go on to eat 2,000 more calories, my body will count them. If I go on to eat 4,000 more calories, my body will count those, too. It makes NO SENSE to continue eating off track because the more I eat, the more weight I may gain. Get back on track RIGHT NOW!
If you think, “I don’t have time to exercise now, I’ll do it later,” ask yourself, “When has ‘doing it later’ ever gotten me the results I want?” It’s so helpful to PLAN IN ADVANCE when you’re going to exercise and then just do it – no excuses!
When dieters say to us, “Dieting is so hard! Why am I doing this?” we answer, “That’s a great question. Why ARE you doing it?” and then we have them review their list of all the reasons they have for wanting to lose weight. When dieting gets tough, it’s crucially important to remind yourself of exactly why you’re doing it and exactly what you hope to get out of it.
Overeating during the weekend will likely cause you to feel guilty and badly about yourself – no matter how much your sabotaging thoughts try to convince you otherwise. On the other hand, maintaining control of your eating during the weekends will help you continue losing/maintaining weight AND feel good about yourself and your eating. It’s a win/win!
If you make a dieting mistake, it’s important to continue eating normally for the rest of the day. If you tell yourself, “I just ate too much so I’m not going to eat anything else today,” you may feel anxious or panicky when you get hungry later in the day and wind up eating way more than you would have if you had just decided to eat normally.
Sabotaging Thought: It’s okay to eat this because it’s just a little bit.
Response: It’s not about the calories, it’s about the habit. Every time I give in and eat unplanned food, I make it more likely I will the next time because I’ll be able to say to myself, “I gave in last time, so it’s okay to do it again this time.” Whether the food has 20 calories or 200 calories, it still reinforces the habit of giving in.
Food simply isn’t as enjoyable when you know you’re going to feel guilty about it later. When you’re making food decisions, remind yourself that the eating experience isn’t limited to just when the food is in your mouth – it also includes how you feel about it after.
In dieting, like everything else in life, you WILL make mistakes. If you were learning to play the piano and hit a wrong key, you wouldn’t think, “This is so terrible! I should just give up right now.” Of course not! You’d know that with practice you’ll get better. Dieting is no different – mistakes are just mistakes and not an indication that you should give up.
No matter what the event is, our dieters find that they have a much easier time staying in control of their eating when they have some type of plan. Spend a few minutes today thinking about all of the potentially difficult situations you may encounter this weekend and begin to formulate plans. Guaranteed the time investment now will pay off later!
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.
One Belmont Avenue, Suite 700
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004-1610