By Diana Sanchez, Staff Writer
Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash
Fad diets and quick fixes can sound appealing, especially when you have an upcoming event looming like a stormy day on the horizon - but the reality is that while a fad diet can give you quick results, these results will not last. Fad diets simply will not help you form healthy, sustainable, lifelong habits that will help you maintain your goal weight long after the weight is lost.
So what will?
The importance of a healthy mindset in order to successfully lose weight.
The truth is any healthy, balanced diet will work if you stick to it. The issue with losing weight, most women will find, is that they find themselves losing their motivation after a few days, or sometimes even a few weeks after starting a new diet. And very few women, if any, have been spared the heart-wrenching reality that is regaining all of the weight they lost after so much hard work. So what gives? You might be wondering. How can I fix that?
The good news is it all comes down to your mindset. If you start there, the weight loss journey may not be magically easier, like so many fad diets will promise, but it will be doable. Psychologist and author Judith S. Beck shows readers how to apply cognitive and behavioral techniques to lose weight permanently in her book, The Beck Diet Solution. Read on to find out 3 essential behaviors from The Beck Diet Solution to reform your mindset to a can-do one that will stick with you for years to come.
Healthy Mindset Tip 1: Stop feeling deprived.
According to Beck, one of the biggest differences between those who excel at dieting and those who don’t is the perception of deprivation. Dieters who fail at sticking to a diet plan or program generally compare themselves to others. They take note of what others eat, and feel deprived when they can’t eat the same foods. This makes it harder for them to stick to a diet plan in the long run.
The fact is, people who appear to be effortlessly thin restrict themselves all the time. They just don’t dwell on it. When you are dieting, resist the urge to think about everything you can’t eat, and focus on what you can. Of course, it’s also important to pick a healthy, balanced diet and not something extreme (like the Master Cleanse Detox) where you really are depriving yourself of everything. Consider your diet a stepping stone to building a solid eating strategy that you will be able to maintain long after the scale flashes those three numbers you can’t wait to see!
Healthy Mindset Tip 2: Learn to quiet your self-sabotaging self.
Have you ever been on a diet for any length of time, and suddenly found yourself in a situation where you were being tempted to break your diet? Let’s say you’ve been doing keto - successfully - for several days when you walk into the break room at work and find an open box of delicious donuts someone brought to share. They look so good! You think to yourself. “Just one won’t hurt. I’ve been so good the last few days!” You tell yourself. Before you know it, half the donut is gone and a sinking feeling of failure is deep in your belly - along with the donut.
Who can’t relate to that? In her book, Beck suggests talking back to your self-sabotaging self. When you find yourself thinking thoughts of self-sabotage, acknowledge them, and respond. For example, you can tell yourself, “I really don’t need a donut. In fact, I’m not even hungry. If I find something to keep me busy, I won’t even remember there are donuts in the break room anyway.”
Just because you have a self-sabotaging thought does not mean you have to give in to it.
Healthy Mindset Tip 3: Be prepared.
The most successful tool in your diet toolbox is your preparedness tool. When you start off your diet by planning and thinking ahead, you address roadblocks and challenges before they even happen! Beck suggests planning meals and snacks the day before. Once you know what you will be eating, you know that everything that isn’t on your meal plan is a hard no, and it’ll be easier to resist temptations that do not fall in line with your chosen diet.
You can plan your meals by writing them down in a journal, or by using a calorie counter app. The added bonus of using a calorie counter app is that you’ll have a hard time eating anything that isn’t on your eating plan once you know that you’ll be going over your calorie limit if you do. Of course, if you’re also using a waist trainer as part of your weight loss program, it will be very difficult to overeat as well, as it will physically restrict your stomach.
What other behaviors have you found really help you stick to a diet? I’d love to hear you from you!Judith S. Beck is co-founder and president of The Beck Insitute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy.