Did you know that some simple cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques can actually help you stick to your weight loss plan and motivate you to get off the couch and exercise? I learned this firsthand myself when I got motivated, and these skills have helped me tremendously in making better decisions with my food and exercise.
At Motivated, we teach CBT skills to our clients because we truly believe they are one of the best strategies for successful weight loss. That's because, as I've discussed on other blogs, knowing what to do and how to get yourself to do it are completely different skills. When it comes to changing behavior, especially in the long run, it depends largely on what you are telling yourself, that is, your thinking.
Looking at this piece of cake: the CBT way
You're at a birthday party and you're hungry. You are offered a large piece of chocolate cake. You will behave in one of three ways; You'll either eat the big slice (and maybe even accept a second slice); You will accept the cake and only eat a small amount, or you can refuse the cake altogether.
Your behavior depends on your thinking. So if you say to yourself, "It's just a slice. What harm can it do? I'm tired and hungry. I deserve this treat," you are likely indulging in a big piece of cake. If you later say, "Okay, I have my & # 39; diet & # 39; ruined now anyway, so I can have a slice too, "this kind of 'all or nothing' thinking will inevitably get you started, not just more cake, but even two or three days of bad food (sometimes a week of it!) Guilt and perfectionism can do people!
On the flip side, if you can stay on your footsteps and realign your thoughts to become more positive and helpful to your weight loss program, you might say to yourself, “I could have this cake, but it's full of sugar and that means me will later have a blood sugar crash which could mean craving for sugar for days. Is that what I really want. Could I enjoy a protein bar instead and turn down the cake?
Or could I only have half of what I'm served and then get on with my healthy eating program for the rest of my day? “In this case, the thinking is markedly different and is likely to lead to different behaviors and different results (it may even positively determine the quality of your food choices for the rest of the week as you are happy that you are in control). .
Prepare for challenging times
When motivated, we often focus our new customers on regulating their diet as a first step.
In other words, we're developing a program that is likely to reduce appetite and make you feel energized and healthy from the start. Once they eat well and feel good, we can move them to the core of the program. that is, addressing these unhelpful thought patterns with some CBT. These are especially important when you are faced with an event or situation that may call your weight loss plan into question.
For example a birthday party, a weekend or a stressful event such as work pressure or worries about parents. We help our clients develop some useful "mantras" that can help overcome negative, unhelpful thoughts as they arise. Examples for this are:
– Instead of "It's not fair; everyone else can eat what they want." … change your thinking to: "It's hard, but it's worth feeling better. I can eat what I want, when I want, or I can be slimmer and feel good in my clothes again. I can't have it both ways. And nothing tastes as good as feeling healthy and slim. "
– Instead of "I'm tired and stressed out so I deserve this" treat "… change the thinking to," Is it really a "treat" if the result is only really me with bloat, disappointment and obesity to punish? Now if I eat sugar or drink alcohol I get a quick hit followed by a slump. What other choices can I make that will help with my stress or fatigue? What else can I do that is more helpful and that makes me feel better in the long run? "
– Instead of "I can't do this". It is too hard. I cannot fight this desire. “… Change your thinking to,“ Desire always passes. I can make them go away faster by focusing my attention on something else. "
CBT Questions To Ask Yourself
One of the most useful techniques in learning CBT skills is to ask yourself specific questions. If you have negative thoughts or experience heightened emotions that don't feel good, such as B. Anxiety or bad mood, ask yourself these three things:
Is that rational? Or is there a more rational view?
Is that helpful? What could be a more helpful point of view and what would a friend say?
Is this way of thinking negative? What would be a more positive view? And what would be a kind, compassionate (either for yourself or for another) way of looking at this situation?
In order to formulate more rational, more helpful and more compassionate thoughts, we use the so-called ABC method for motivation. Think about a current situation where you felt bad or made decisions that you are not happy with (e.g., bingeing or junk food).
A is the event (what happened)
B is the thought (what are you telling yourself)
C is my emotion (what did I feel? Is it fear / guilt / anxiety / depression?)
D is my behavior (what have I done?)
A happens. It is an event that triggers a negative thought or feeling. When C (the emotion) is very strong it is very difficult to control your behavior. However, if you revise your ABCDs, you cannot change the situation, but you can change your thoughts about it and then you will notice a change in your behavior. We encourage our customers to write this down. It's extremely powerful because you can see what you wrote down and you can revise the thought on paper so that you feel completely different and more positive about the situation or yourself in general.
I practice this regularly. Something happened recently that made me feel in a bad mood and question myself. As I sat down and wrote down the ABCDs, I realized that I was incredibly tough on myself and that my thinking was irrational (i.e., "I'm a terrible person"). When I was rewriting my ABCDs, I was working on B – the thought. I rewritten a new way of thinking about the situation, which means that I was kinder to myself and more rational. The urge to have a glass of wine or clean up a few chips soon subsided and I was able to make healthier choices. Take a long bath in a bath that – nine out of ten – works a million times better for this feel-good factor!
Everyone has their "thing" that offers them a quick fix to pleasure (one that is healthy). Discover yours by reading more about healthy rewards here.