A client I worked with a few years ago recently had her second baby and was having trouble getting her eating back under control. Lara told me that during her pregnancy, she let herself eat whatever she wanted and ended up gaining more weight than was healthy. Now at six months postpartum, she’s still struggling to put the skills that we had worked on back in place.
Sabotage: I’m going to eat this because I really want some comfort food right now.
Response: It may be comfort now, but it won’t be comfort later when I’m feeling badly and guilty about it. Instead of overindulging, I need to go find something healthy and satisfying to do that will make me feel good now AND later.
When you impulsively eat standing up, you’re telling yourself that it doesn’t really matter and that there won’t be any consequences. But there will be because EVERY bite of food you eat has calories. Even if you’re only eating vegetables standing up today, tomorrow it might be chocolate.
Once you stop giving in to cravings, cravings lose power over you because you know with absolute certainty you can withstand them and that when you do, cravings go away. There is so much hope that things will get easier!
If you’re dining with other people this weekend, keep in mind that it’s very easy to get distracted by conversation and wind up overeating. It can help to immediately portion off how much you are going to eat because that way, even if you do eat it while distracted, at least you won’t consume more than you had planned.
If you think, “Now that I’ve lost weight I can stop being so careful,” remind yourself, “While I may be able to loosen up a little, I have to remember that I lost weight because of the different ways I am now doing things. The moment I return to my old habits is the moment I start to gain weight back.”
Sabotage: Either I’m totally perfect on my diet or I’m not on it at all.
Response: Dieting is NOT all-or-nothing and treating it this way has NEVER helped me reach my goals. I have to stop allowing a mistake be an excuse for giving up because, like everyone else, I’m not perfect and am definitely going to slip up sometimes.
Being healthy and maintaining weight loss is a combination of a healthy diet AND exercise. Since 5 minutes of exercise a day is better than 0 minutes, there is no excuse for not finding at least a few minutes each day to get moving.
One of the greatest advantages of being in control of your eating is the peace of mind it gives you. When dieters are out of control, they often have a lot of negative talk going on inside their heads, and when they’re on track, they feel at peace with their decisions. Work on staying in control this week, if only so that your head is a nice place to be!
If you feel deprived on weekends, remind yourself, “Either way I’m deprived. Either I’m deprived of EVERYTHING on my Advantages List, or I’m deprived of some food, some of the time. Which would be the bigger deprivation?”
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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