A dieter recently said to us, “Working on losing weight is like having a second job.” Especially in the beginning, that’s absolutely right! It does take an enormous amount of time and energy in the beginning, BUT it gets easier and the advantages that come from gaining control and losing weight are so enormous.
If you have barbecues or parties to go to today, make sure you think about your eating in advance and make a plan. And when you get there, practice good eating habits: eat every bite sitting down, slowly, and mindfully. Doing so will help you cut out hundreds of calories you could easily eat while grazing standing up, will hold you more accountable for what you do eat, and will help you to enjoy your food so much more.
This Memorial Day weekend, if you’re at events and think, “It’s not fair I can’t eat normally like everyone else,” remind yourself that you are eating 100% normally for someone (of your age and gender) with your weight loss/weight maintenance goals.
If you have highly tempting food in your house, it’s necessary to have a plan for exactly when you’re going to eat it. That way, it’ll be easier to resist at any one moment because you’ll be able to say to yourself, “I’m not having it right now, but that’s okay because I know I’ll get to enjoy it tomorrow.”
Sabotaging Thought: If I don’t have enough time for a long workout, it’s not worth doing anything.
Response: ANY amount of time spent exercising is better than no amount of time. It’s important to sometimes work out for smaller amounts of time so that I prove to myself that exercising doesn’t have to be ALL or NOTHING, it’s somewhere in the middle.
Just because food is free, doesn’t mean you should eat it (after all, it’s not calorie-free). Similarly, just because you've paid for it doesn’t necessarily mean you should eat the whole thing. If you eat extra food, whether it's free or you paid for it, you’ll gain weight.
When dieters get off track, they sometimes forget how much better it feels to be in control of their eating and to be feeling good about themselves and their eating. If you’ve been off track, remind yourself how great getting back on track will feel and start right this moment!
Sabotaging Thought: Dieting is too overwhelming so I might as well give up.
Response: Dieting does NOT have to be overwhelming. All I have to do is work on one small change at a time, master it, and then move on to the next one. Soon enough, all the small changes will add up to really big ones.
If you use food as a reward, then dieting can feel like punishment. Food is something to be enjoyed, but it’s critical that you find other ways to reward yourself so that maintaining healthy eating doesn’t feel as if you are depriving yourself.
Do you have a plan for how you’ll handle your eating this weekend? If not, make one now! Dieters consistently have a much easier time staying on track when they think through the weekend ahead of time and make decisions in advance. It’s worth it!
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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