Friday Weekend Warm-up: How did everyone fare yesterday? If you stayed in control – GREAT! Give yourself lots and lots of credit and keep doing what you’re doing. If you got off track – move on! Make the commitment to getting back on track THIS MINUTE and give yourself lots of credit for doing so.
Think Thin Thursday Tip: Happy Thanksgiving! Remember, today is ultimately a day for giving thanks for the blessings in your life. What food you do or don’t eat will not take away from that.
Wednesday Sabotage: Since Thanksgiving is tomorrow, it’s okay to eat whatever I want. Everybody else will be doing that, too.
Response: My body doesn’t know or care what day of the year it is, it processes calories the same NO MATTER WHAT. My body also doesn’t know or care what anybody else around me is eating, it only cares about what food I eat MYSELF.
Tuesday Reality Check: The time and energy for dieting and exercise will NEVER just magically appear, and especially not during the busy holiday season. This means that dieters may need to be more deliberate in figuring out how and when they will make the time and energy; but absolutely, 100%, it’s worth it!
Monday Motivation: It takes less willpower to stick to an eating decision that you’ve made ahead of time than it does to try to use willpower in the moment to make a good decision. This week, focus on planning in advance and you’ll save yourself a lot of struggle.
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, dieters should begin to think about how they’ll handle their eating on that day. While Thanksgiving is considered by many to be a day in which it’s just too difficult to control their eating, it doesn’t have to be that way. When we help dieters formulate their Thanksgiving plan, we always ask them to think about one important thing: How do you want to feel going to bed once Thanksgiving is over?
Asking dieters this question reminds them that the experience of Thanksgiving is not limited to the time when they’re eating with family and friends. The experience also extends to how they feel afterwards. Dieters often have sabotaging thoughts such as, “If I have to limit how much I eat, I just won’t be able to enjoy myself.” If they then overeat, they may wind up feeling sick both physically and psychologically: physically because they consumed way too much food, and psychologically because they feel out of control and guilty for overeating.
When we ask dieters how they want to feel once Thanksgiving is over, they usually say something along the lines of, “I want to feel full and satisfied and I also want to feel good about myself.” We then ask, ”Will getting off track and overeating on Thanksgiving lead you to feeling that way?” Because the answer is no, we suggest coming up with a plan that will make them feel good. It makes sense to dieters that they simply can’t have it both ways: They can’t overeat during Thanksgiving and still wind up feeling proud and in control – these are incompatible goals.
We remind dieters that it’s not all-or-nothing – it’s not as if they can eat every bite of food that they want or they can’t eat any food that they want. In fact, there is a huge middle ground between these two extremes. While it’s true that they may not be able to eat as much of everything they want and still go to bed feeling good that night, it’s also true that they can eat reasonable portions, enjoy every bite that they take, and feel really good.
Friday Weekend Warm-up: Remember, there is almost no food that you can’t buy/make/order 365 days a year. Just because you don’t normally come in contact with a specific food doesn’t mean you can’t if you make the effort. Don’t buy into the thought, “I need to eat extra because I never get this food.” Chances are you can get it again another time!
Think Thin Thursday Tip: Thanksgiving is only a week away! If you think, “I’ll feel really deprived if I don’t get to eat everything on the table,” remind yourself, “If I keep telling myself that I’m going to feel deprived, I definitely will. Instead of concentrating on the things I’m not eating, I need to focus on enjoying what I am eating and spending time with my loved ones.”
Wednesday 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.
Tuesday Reality Check: If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you undoubtedly won’t be able to eat all of the holiday food you want, in whatever quantities you want. HOWEVER, this doesn’t mean that you can’t have a plan for when and how you will enjoy certain treats, and in doing so you will be able to enjoy holiday food, enjoy staying in control, AND enjoy all the advantages of losing weight.
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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