Monday Motivation: Losing weight takes FOCUS; it doesn’t just happen. If you’re struggling, take a moment this week to think about whether or not you’ve been putting enough time and energy into it. Remember, if it’s not a top priority, chances are excellent it’s not going to happen.
Friday Weekend Warm-up: Often, people face food pushers on weekends. If you have a particular food pusher who causes you problems, remember that if you had a severe peanut allergy and that person offered you peanut butter cookies, you would never dream of caving in. Working on your health and happiness is just as legitimate a reason to say no. Stand firm!
Think Thin Thursday Tip: Are you drinking enough water? Thirst can mask itself as hunger so make sure your water consumption is where it needs to be.
Wednesday Sabotage: I can’t believe I gave in to that craving. I can’t do this. I should just give up.
Response: Learning to lose weight and keep it off is a process, and it takes time. I’m not going to learn it overnight, and I’m not going to be good at it overnight. Just because I gave in once, doesn’t negate all the other times I didn’t. I need to take an accurate picture of how things are really going and acknowledge that while I’m not perfect, I’m better than I was. As long as I keep working at it, I’ll keep moving forward.
Tuesday Reality Check: If you think, “I don’t deserve credit for my dieting tasks because I should already be doing them,” remind yourself that, no, you SHOULDN’T already be doing these things because you didn’t know how. If this was easy, nobody would be overweight (or gain weight back after they lost it). It’s imperative to give yourself credit and recognize your accomplishments so that you can build your confidence and sense of self-efficacy.
Monday Motivation: This is your life at stake! Feeling in control of your eating and having integrity with yourself is WORTH WORKING ON! These are big goals, and they take time and patience, but they’re worth it. Keep pushing forward.
Friday Weekend Warm-up: Is your eating environment a nice place to be? If you routinely eat at a cluttered table, it can cause a more stressful eating experience (and take away from being able to eat slowly and mindfully). This weekend, make sure you have a peaceful place to eat!
One of the most frequent conversations I have with my clients centers around helping them gain control of their eating in the evenings. This week, my client David he told me that he was struggling to not snack all evening as he watched TV with his wife. He said, “I sit down in front of the TV in the evening after the kids are finally in bed, and I immediately feel hungry.” I reminded him that if he had a reasonable dinner, it probably wasn’t physical hunger he was feeling in that moment; rather, it was a psychological need.
It’s what David was saying to himself that matters. If he tells himself, “I’m hungry,” then it legitimizes going to the kitchen and getting a snack. The first step is to accurately label what’s going on. Instead of saying, “I’m hungry,” it’s more accurate for him to say, “I’m tired, I had a long day, and I need to unwind right now.”
The problem with watching TV in the evening is that it is often an entertaining but not fully immersive experience. When people are watching TV in the evenings, they may still feel a little bit bored and want to do something else while they watch to fully engage their brain. TV plus snacking does that for people – it fully engages them, and they’re able to watch TV without feeling that tinge of boredom. But, the important thing to recognize is that eating is only one option of something to do while watching TV, and there are countless other activities that don’t sabotage weight loss or weight maintenance goals.
I talked to David about building up his “TV Plus” roster – things he could do in the evenings while he watched TV that don’t include eating, to help him keep his snacking at bay. Here is the initial list David came up with:
- Play game on my phone
- Sticker by number book or adult coloring book
- Sudoku or crossword puzzle
- Delete photos I don’t need
- Scroll through social media
If you have trouble with the urge to snack all evening long, especially if it occurs while you’re watching TV, then it’s important for you, too, to build a list of things you can do besides eating. TV plus eating is very distracting and entertaining, but TV plus knitting, TV plus coloring, TV plus doing a crossword puzzle, TV plus brushing your dog, etc. can provide the same help.
Think Thin Thursday Tip: The more you work on healthy habits, the easier they will get over time. It’s like playing a complicated piano piece. The first time you play it, you have to concentrate on every note and finger stroke. By the time you’ve played it 100 times, your fingers know what to do without much thought. Keep working on it!
Wednesday Sabotage: I just want to eat without consequence.
Response: I don’t like that I can’t eat without consequences, but I can’t change that fact (not if I want to lose weight and keep it off). I need to stop struggling against it, accept that this is the way it is, and move on.
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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