This weekend, if you get off track, don’t get discouraged. Remind yourself that mistakes are part of the process and get right back on track.
My client, Megan, has been getting off track in the evening hours. She told me in session this week that she’s generally doing really well during the day, but ends up snacking too much in the hours between dinner and bed. I asked Megan what thought she might be having around that time, and she said, “It’s probably, ‘I need something.’ ” Megan admitted that it wasn’t necessarily that she was hungry in that moment (she knew that if she had already eaten all her calories then her body has had enough food), but it was her mind that was feeling unsatisfied.
If you’re following a diet plan that has some “free” foods on it, remember that all food has calories and if you eat too much of it (even if it’s “free”), you won’t be able to lose weight.
Sabotage: I’ve made a dieting mistake, so I shouldn’t eat anything for the rest of the day.
Response: When I make a mistake, don’t plan not to eat! It just doesn’t work and I don’t deserve punishment. It was only a mistake.
Old habits are hard to break and easy to slip back into. This is why in dieting every single time DOES matter because every single time you’re either reinforcing the old, adverse habit or the new, helpful habit. Don’t be fooled – this time matters!
No matter how the weekend went, Monday is always an opportunity for a fresh start. Starting RIGHT NOW, give yourself credit for every positive thing you do towards meeting your weight loss goals. It will help you feel better, raise your confidence, and give you motivation to keep going.
This weekend, if you eat out and stay in control, give yourself a lot of credit. If you then get home and think, “I was so good, now I deserve to treat myself,” remind yourself that doing so will undo all your hard work and cause you to feel guilty and badly – which is the exact OPPOSITE of a treat.
Whenever dieters make an alcohol plan (like “maximum two beers”) and they end up not sticking to it, they almost never come back and say “that was so worth it! The extra beer made my night!” Usually it’s just the opposite. The find out that the extra alcohol didn’t give them much more fun, but it did give them much more calories both from the beer and the food they ended up eating after consuming a third beer. It’s not worth it!
Sabotage: It’s too hard to get back on track.
Response: Getting back on track is hard but it’s doable. I’ve done it before and I can do it again. Getting back on track is hard but that’s only temporary. Once I’m on track, things will feel much easier again.
There is a fine line between losing and maintaining. It’s not that many extra calories in a day or week someone takes in that stops her from being able to lose. This week – make sure you’re on the RIGHT side of that line by being consistent each and every day.
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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