With the holidays right around the corner, it might be time to start brushing up on some of your skills. Have you been eating everything sitting down, slowly, and mindfully? Reading your Advantages List? Responding to sabotaging thinking? Giving yourself credit? Making time and energy for dieting? If not, make a commitment to work on your basic skills this weekend to help get you in the right mindset.
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.
Thanksgiving is only a week away! If you think, “I’ll feel really deprived if I don’t get to eat everything on the table,” remind yourself, “If I keep telling myself that I’m going to feel deprived, I definitely will. Instead of concentrating on the things I’m not eating, I need to focus on enjoying what I am eating and spending time with my loved ones.”
Sabotaging Though: I’ll never be able to get to the weight I was when I was younger. I should stay where I am, it’s good enough.
Response: If I’m at a healthy weight then maybe I SHOULD stay where I am and work on acceptance. If I’m not at a healthy weight then it’s NOT good enough because my health is suffering. Yes, it’s true I may never return to my younger weight but that doesn’t mean I can’t still be healthy, feel good about myself, and achieve everything on my Advantages List. Having unreasonable expectations gives me an excuse to not even try, when I can still improve my life so much by working hard and losing weight.
If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you undoubtedly won’t be able to eat all of the holiday food you want, in whatever quantities you want. HOWEVER, this doesn’t mean that you can’t have a plan for when and how you will enjoy certain treats, and in doing so you will be able to enjoy holiday food, enjoy staying in control, AND enjoy all the advantages of losing weight.
One of the most important aspects of healthy eating and weight loss is improved quality of life. Our dieters find that once they gain control of their eating they feel SO MUCH BETTER both mentally and physically, in ways they hadn’t even conceived of when they initially started out.
If you tend to splurge on weekends because of sabotaging thoughts like, “I worked so hard during the week, I deserve to kick back and relax on the weekend,” then find non-food-related ways reward yourself for all your hard efforts. In doing so you can feel good about unwinding AND about your eating and maintaining control.
Dieters need to give themselves credit for every positive eating and exercise behavior so that they are aware of how many great things they’re doing each day. That way, if they make a mistake it is easy to see that they DON’T need to throw in the towel because one wrong thing doesn’t begin to negate the 20 things they did right.
Sabotaging Thought: Dieting is too hard, it’s not worth it.
Response: Dieting IS but it also IS worth it. Telling myself "it’s not worth it" is just an excuse to give up and I have to pay no attention to that thought. The advantages of losing weight and the positive impact it will have on every area of my life makes it unquestionably worth it.
Dieters sometimes think it’s not fair that they have to struggle and limit their eating. We remind them that while it’s true it’s not fair, EVERYONE has unfairnesses in their lives, but at least in this case, there are things they can do to make it better.
If you think, “I’ve been on a diet for 20 years. I’m just not the type of person who can lose weight,” remind yourself, “I’m different now because I’m learning critical skills I didn’t know before. I CAN lose weight, and I will keep losing weight AND keep it off because I will continue to use my skills.”
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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