Tuesday Reality Check: We find that for most dieters, motivation is cyclical. Sometimes they feel very motivated, and other times much less so. Harness those motivated periods to really get some weight off, and if you’re in a period of lower motivation, it might be reasonable to have the goal of maintaining for a few weeks. Your higher motivation will return – it always does!
Most dieters get to the point where they leave events and feel good about what they didn’t eat, not deprived. Because of this, it’s important to remind yourself that you don’t have to worry about feeling deprived in the future because it’s very likely that you won’t.
If you think, “I’m discouraged by the weight I’ve gained so far this year,” (or by the weight you’ve failed to yet lose) remind yourself that this weekend is a GREAT time to get back on track and recommit yourself to healthy eating. It doesn’t matter what you did or didn’t eat over the past few weeks. What matters now is what you eat today and every day going forward.
In session this week, my client, Tom, told me that over the weekend he’d eaten an unplanned snack in the middle of the day. Tom, like many of my clients, follows an eating schedule.
Sometimes when dieters go through a stressful situation (like a family member’s illness or a demanding work situation), they do extraordinarily well because they are extra vigilant, knowing it’s 100% necessary. When the stressful time passes, they relax and can stray off track because their guard has gone down. Remember, successful weight loss and maintenance isn’t only a matter of how well you do during hard times, it’s also about every day in between.
Sabotage: I’m too stressed right now to work on healthy eating.
Response: Even during times of stress, I brush my teeth, put on my seatbelt, take care of my kids, etc. Since I don’t let stress be an excuse to stop doing these things, I also can’t let it be an excuse to stop practicing my dieting skills.
Do you have extra candy (Easter or otherwise) hanging around your house? Remember, your home environment can work in your favor if there’s nothing that’s going to overly tempt you or it can work really against you if you’re constantly having to fight cravings. Make it work for you!
Remember – eating extra one day won’t necessarily make you gain weight, but continuing to eat extra definitely will. If you ate extra on Easter, make sure to return to normal eating today to ensure you stay on track and feel great.
This is a Holiday weekend for some of you. PLAN IN ADVANCE how you’re going to handle any food events you have on the schedule! Leaving decisions up to chance greatly increases the changes things go south, and making decisions in advance exponentially increases the chances of things going well.
In terms of your eating, you only have to answer to yourself. Don’t let comments or predicted reactions from others influence how you eat. You’re working on healthy eating because it’s an important goal for YOU. You don’t need to explain or answer to anybody else about this!
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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