Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A little food for thought from The Beck Diet Solution on a rainy Tuesday....

How to motivate oneself
  1. The first task that dieters do is to write a list of the 15 of 20 reasons why they want to lose weight and read that list every single day.
  2. Plan in advance and self-monitor behavior
    A typical reason for diet failure is a strong preference for spontaneity. I ask people to prepare a plan and then I teach them the skills to stick to it.
  3. Overcome sabotaging thoughts
    Dieters have hundreds and hundreds of thoughts that lead them to engage in unhelpful eating behavior. I have dieters read cards that remind them of key points, e.g., that it isn’t worth the few moments of pleasure they’ll get from eating something they hadn’t planned and that they’ll feel badly afterwards; that they can’t eat whatever they want, whenever they want, in whatever quantity they want, and still be thinner; that the scale is not supposed to go down every single day; that they deserve credit for each helpful eating behavior they engage in, to name just a few.
  4. Tolerate hunger and craving
    Overweight people often confuse the two. You experience hunger when your stomach feels empty. Craving is an urge to eat, usually experienced in the mouth or throat, even if your stomach is full.

Regarding the last point, Dr Beck (in her clinic) teaches people how to handle hunger:

I ask dieters, once they get medical clearance, to skip lunch one day, not eating between breakfast and dinner. Just doing this exercise once proves to dieters that hunger is never an emergency, that it’s tolerable, that it doesn’t keep getting worse, but instead, comes and goes, and that they don’t need to “fix” their usually mild discomfort by eating.

Different kinds of cravings
Beck identifies the different kinds of cravings and suggests planning ahead of time: "dieters need to learn exactly what to say to themselves and what to do when they have cravings so they can wait until their next planned meal or snack".

  • environmental (seeing or smelling food),
  • biological (hormonal changes),
  • social (being with others who are eating),
  • mental (thinking about or imagining tempting food), or
  • emotional (wanting to soothe yourself when you’re upset).

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