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Friday, 24 October 2014 10:25

Think and Lose

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For years I have been a big fan of rational emotive therapy (frequently termed cognitive behavior therapy or CBT). Very simply put this is a way of changing old negative thinking behaviors into more motivating and empowering statements that can ultimately change unwanted behaviors.

Simply Psychology states it this way, "CBT is based on the idea that how we think [cognition], how we feel [emotion] and how we act [behavior] all interact together. Specifically, our thoughts determine our feelings and our behavior." Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has been used successfully to treat people with a wide range of mental health problems even though its use can be modified in other numerous beneficial ways including everyday dieting behaviors. Anyone can use it without any training.

Recently I came across this quote: "If you don't change your (negative) thoughts your life will be like this forever." –Dan Miller. Not good news. Wow, who wants to stay stuck with excess weight forever? But by constantly stating these negative thoughts this is exactly what you are literally programming yourself for!

The idea here is that what we constantly think about becomes our basic reality. Negative thoughts turn into negative behavior predicting potential unwanted behavior. Many dieters fall into negative thought patterns especially when feeling discouraged or having had a slip with their diet plan. So here are some alternative ways of thinking to keep you on track the next time a sneaky negative thought starts to sabotage you:

  • "I'll never lose my weight, this is taking so long." Instead say, "It may take awhile but I'll get there if I keep pushing on. I need to be patient. It took me awhile to gain my weight so it will take some time and effort to lose it."
  • "I've already blown it today so I might as well eat whatever I want." Instead say, "I can still get back on track right now and balance my food out the rest of the day. Maybe I can get some extra activity in too to compensate a little. And I won't do any more damage for the day."
  • "Dieting is so hard." Instead say, "Dieting is challenging but it doesn't mean it's impossible either. I've got all the tools and right supplements along with great support and accountability when I need it to keep me on track. I can even set up a healthy reward for myself as extra incentive. Many others before me have been successful, so can I!"

So be aware of any lurking negative thoughts that might pop into your thinking. Make it a point to release any negative thoughts that seem to make you feel powerless over your thinking. You DO have the power to choose positive thoughts over negative ones! (A great book on the topic on CBT, geared specifically to dieters and weight loss is The Beck Solution by Judith S Beck. Also there are specific handouts available at your clinic around this topic.

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