On Monday we had our now monthly meeting of our lunchtime diet group and it was great to see everyone again! Even better was when after everyone weighed in, we were able to report that each and every single one has either maintained their weight loss or gone on to lose more. They have all made real changes in their thinking and in their behavior. They’ve adopted a whole new eating lifestyle and have the skills and confidence necessary to keep this lifestyle up.
Maria, for example, knew she was going to a barbeque last weekend. Before she went, she sat down and thought about her food options. They were:
2) Plan to eat at the barbeque, but know that she would have to be satisfied with smaller portions because the food was likely to more caloric then what she normally eats
3) Bring some food with her that she knows she will enjoy and feel satisfied with.
Maria chose the third option. Because she knew she would be tempted by the sight and smell of hotdogs, she brought with her some low fat hotdogs that she’s had in the past and knows she enjoys. She also brought some fruit for dessert in case there wasn’t any there, so she wouldn’t be tempted to go for cake or pie. Maria went into the barbeque with the clear plan of eating exactly what she brought and nothing else, and didn’t struggle at all to stick to this plan.
How did she do it? First of all Maria took the time to sit down and plan a strategy for the barbeque. If she hadn’t done so, she likely would have just gone with the intention of finding something there that she could eat, and probably would have ended up going over her calorie limit for the day. Second, she brought food that was comparable to what was being served, so not only did she feel completely satisfied because she got to eat a good meal, but also she didn’t feel deprived because she was basically eating what everyone else was eating. Third, Maria read her Advantages List (discussed on Day 1 of The Beck Diet Solution) before she went to remind herself why it was so important to her to stick to her plan. Fourth, Maria has truly learned the skill of telling herself, “No Choice” (discussed on Day 13 of The Beck Diet Solution). She no longer lets herself even entertain the thought of going off her plan, and therefore no longer struggles to stay on it.
All of these things took time and lots of practice for Maria to master, but now that she has these skills, they come easily and naturally to her.