Eating too little during the day and too much at night go hand in hand. Not only are you likely overly hungry, but you may also be telling yourself, “Since I didn’t eat much all day it’s okay to eat extra right now.” Eating reasonably throughout the day is one major thing you can start doing to control nighttime eating.
If you’re not doing as well with healthy eating as you’d like and think, “I can’t even do it now, how will I ever be able to do it?” remind yourself that not being totally on track is NOT an indication that you can’t do it (now or in the future), it’s simply a sign that you need more practice. But like any skill, the more you practice, the better you’ll get. This is no different!
Your calorie budget per day is just like any other budget. If you spend more in one area, it means you spend less in another (or if you spend less in one area, you get to spend more somewhere else). This weekend, make sure you have a plan to spend your calories where they make the most sense!
Today I had a session with my client, Jane. I hadn’t had a session with Jane in a few months. She told me she has been feeling somewhat off track over the last few weeks. She also told me that her portions have gotten bigger again and she’s snacking at random times throughout the day, among other difficulties.
How are you doing with sugar? If you’re eating too much of it, consider adopting the plan of having one reasonable portion of dessert at night. Plan out and portion out IN ADVANCE what dessert you’ll have (no spontaneous decisions!). If you ultimately want to eat less than that, that’s fine, but work on one dessert a day first. Once your dessert resistance muscle is stronger, you’ll be in a better position to cut down from there.
Sabotage: It’s okay to eat because I just need to feel better NOW.
Response: While it may be true that I need to feel better, it’s not true that I need to EAT to feel better. There are other things I can do to help myself feel better that won’t cause me to take in extra calories and gain weight. Besides, if I eat to feel better now, the only thing I’ll be doing is signing myself up to feel badly later – when I feel guilty about what I’ve eaten, when I’ve reinforced bad habits, and when I’ve gain weight. Do something else that will help me feel better now AND later.
We find that for many of our dieters, intuitive eating is difficult because it is far too easy to confuse hunger with other sensations – craving, thirst, boredom, stress, or simply the desire to eat. Because of this, we work with our dieters on the skill of “eating according to a schedule” so that they don’t have to rely on potentially faulty cues to know whether or not to eat.
Yesterday you said you’d to it tomorrow, so TODAY IS THE DAY! What are you committing to today that will move you forward on your health and weight loss goals?
If you eat out this weekend and stay in control, give yourself a lot of credit. When you get home make sure you don’t say to yourself, “I was so good, now I deserve to treat myself,” because you will undo all your hard work. Losing weight is the best treat!
It’s important to make sure that you don’t have an all-or-nothing mentality about sweets and desserts. If you say to yourself, “Since I have trouble controlling myself around desserts/sweets, I’m just not going to have any,” remind yourself that likely this has led you to overeat sweets in the past (because when you do come in contact with them, you’re likely to overeat, not knowing when you’ll allow yourself to have them again). Make a reasonable plan for when, what, and how much you’re going to have.
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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