When you make a dieting mistake, it’s helpful to NOT use the word “cheat” because “cheating” can have very negative, sometimes moralistic undertones. If you make a mistake in dieting, it doesn’t make you a bad person, it makes you a NORMAL person.
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: When I’m stressed, I’m entitled to eat to calm down.
Response: Actually, when I’m stressed I’m entitled to calm down but I’m ALSO entitled to lose weight, be healthy, and feel good about myself so that calmness can’t come from food.
Your body processes every bite of food you eat in the same way whether or not it’s your birthday, it’s a holiday, you’re tired, you’re stressed, you’re celebrating, everyone around you is eating it, it’s free, no one is watching, you’re on vacation, you’re at a party, you’re bored, etc. etc. etc.
Some dieters think, “I don’t deserve credit until I reach my weight loss goals.” This is 100% NOT TRUE because all the small steps along the way are what add up to the big changes. If you’re not already, right this moment start giving yourself credit for all the progress you’ve made and all the good things you’re doing.
This is a holiday weekend for many people, which is a time for celebration and joy. Remember – if you eat out of control, you very likely will feel bad about it and taint your good feelings. If you stay in control, you’ll have a BETTER weekend because you won’t spend time or energy feeling bad and guilty about yourself or your eating.
When dieting, you’ll probably be eating less food than you have been so it’s important for you to see all of it spread out in front of you at meal or snack time. This will help you feel more physically AND psychologically satisfied.
Sabotaging Thought: I don’t deserve credit for my dieting tasks because I should already be doing them.
Response: No, I SHOULDN’T already be doing these things because I didn’t know how. If this was easy, nobody would be overweight. It’s imperative that I give myself credit and recognize my accomplishments so that I can build my confidence and my sense of self-efficacy.
If you think, “It’s unfair that I have to work on dieting,” remind yourself that you have three options. You can give up and continue gaining weight each year, diet on and off and ultimately end up weighing more than you want to, or you can accept that this isn’t fair, move on, and continue doing what you have to do to lose weight. Which option will leave you feeling the most content?
Although answering back to your sabotaging thoughts can initially be difficult, over time as you practice these ideas again and again, you’ll begin to automatically respond to them, even without Response Cards. When this happens, dieting gets a lot EASIER!
If you want to lose weight and keep it off, weekends can’t be an excuse to overeat. However, it’s important to remember that it’s not all-or-nothing: it’s not as if you can eat everything you want or nothing you want. You can still enjoy reasonable portions AND get all of the advantages of weight loss.
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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