Weight Loss Day 57
We’re into the home stretch. What is your weight looking like today? With 2 more weeks left in the challenge, what number do you want to try and get to? Hopefully by now, you’re a little less focused on the number and just naturally making good lifestyle choices that will allow you to continue to maintain your efforts for life.
We’ve talked a fair bit about how we think, and the incredibly powerful affect it has on our habits and ability to eat well and make good choices. Here are some key behaviour management techniques that we’ve used in the booklet that will help bring about permanent change beyond the end of the challenge:
When you practice two or more behaviours simultaneously, like watching TV and snacking, you can come to associate one with the other. In order to break the behaviour, you need to break the chain of events that lead from one situation to the other, e.g, banning food from the TV room.
Make the environment as conducive as possible to the behaviour you’re seeking, e.g. make it easier to do the right thing.
Put your runners by the front door so you won’t forget your walk, or store the ready-to-eat carrots in the front of the fridge so they’re easy to grab.
Instead of trying to change a behaviour that’s contributing to your weight problem, change something else to make room for it. E.g, if you don’t want to give up your regular chocolate fix, compensate by eating fewer servings of bad food earlier that day, or “bank” some extra calories during the week.
Combat "all or nothing" thinking
Many of us have a tendency to think in black-and-white extremes: chocolate is bad, carrots are good, one slip-up means you’ve fallen off the wagon etc.
This distorted thinking pattern can ultimately harm your long-term weight loss efforts.
Beating the ALL or NOTHING thinking trap
The symptoms: OUTLAWING “BAD” FOODS
Once you tell yourself that you can’t have something, you’ll generally find yourself wanting it more. If you can’t resist taking a bite of a “forbidden” food you can easily end up sending yourself into an all-out breakdown.
USING WORDS LIKE “ALWAYS”, “MUST”, OR “NEVER”
Imperatives like this set impossible standards and set you up for failure when you (inevitably) don’t live up to them. You can’t “always” avoid sweets.
The best way to avoid the "all or nothing" thinking trap is to recognise the symptoms. Hearing yourself say words like “must” or “never” is a big clue. Make a conscious effort to replace these words with more flexible ones, like “sometimes” or "occasionally". The more you practice, the easier it will be.
Here’s how you might rewrite the script:
All or nothing thought: I will never eat pizza again.
Counter thought: I’ll try to choose alternatives to pizza most of the time, but when I do have some, I’ll just have one slice and enjoy it.
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