Monday, January 28, 2013

Alter Your Thinking to Transform Your Eating

Are you tired of fad diets?  The type of diets that help you lose a significant amount of weight in the beginning, and then inevitably gain it back (plus more).  You may then decide to move on to the next new diet and repeat this cycle all over again.  Or maybe you give up for a while, feeling like a failure that just can’t maintain a healthy weight.  What most people don’t know is that initial weight loss is most likely water weight.  And by restricting calories you are slowing down your metabolism for when you go back to eating normal amounts of food.  This slowed metabolism is what leads to weight gain after the fad diet is over.  You can’t live on grapefruit forever!  This process can take a toll on your body–both mentally and physically.

Finally, there is a solution–a solution that doesn’t involve  radical and unrealistic changes like consuming only 300 calories a day!

It’s as simple as this…alter your thinking to transform your eating.
Are you saying to yourself, “What in the heck do my thoughts have to do with my diet?”  At times it is easy to forget that eating is completely voluntary.

It’s not like your heart beating to keep you alive, or your lungs taking in air so you can breath…eating is something we consciously think about and decide to do.  Eating is a voluntary behavior.
Hunger is something we think about.  When we are hungry our thoughts about it influence our eating behavior.  If you are trying to lose weight and constantly have thoughts such as:
  • “I feel so deprived that I can’t eat that”
  • “It’s not fair I have to diet and other people can eat whatever they want”
  • “I’m so hungry, I just can’t take it anymore”
…these thoughts are what lead to unhealthy eating behaviors. They determine what type of food, the quantity, and how often you consume calories.  When you think your hunger is an emergency and you can’t take it anymore, you are more likely to make impulsive and unhealthy decisions.
It seems so simple to say that changing these thoughts to a more positive alternative will help you lose weight, right?  What people don’t realize is that your thoughts turn into behaviors.  By changing your thoughts, you are in turn changing your behaviors.

What if your thoughts were more along these lines:

  • “I am so glad that I have learned to eat healthy and take care of my body, I feel so much better”
  • “Life isn’t fair, but so what? The advantages of eating healthy will last much longer than the momentary satisfaction I will get from eating that cookie”
  • “I feel hungry, but lunch is in a few hours… I know I will survive”
With thoughts like this, you are more likely to feel proud of yourself for being healthy and having self-control.  The most important change is that it will lead to more conscious and controlled eating behaviors, and that is the key to maintaining a healthy weight.

Not only will this program help you change your thinking patterns, it will also teach you behavioral techniques and skills to deal with the daily ups and downs of eating healthy in a world where you are surrounded by unhealthy food along with people encouraging you to eat it.

As a mental health professional, I use cognitive behavioral therapy on a daily basis to help people change their thoughts and behaviors.  It helps change thoughts and behaviors related to depression, anxiety, self-esteem issues, body image distortion…the list goes on.  Eating behaviors can be changed through the same process.

Why not give up the unreliable fad diets and try something that has loads of research to back it up.  Cognitive-behavioral therapy has been shown to be effective across many different disciplines, including weight loss and weight management.  

If you are interested in making changes in your life that can last a lifetime, then changing your perspective on dieting is essential.  Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is a real, scientific, researched method that is used to change behavior.  Once you accept that eating is a voluntary behavior, you will see that you have the power to change it.

I am offering a 6 week program that teaches you these skills.  It can be combined with any nutritious diet. 

This program will include:
Weekly sessions (offered in an individual, group setting, or via skype)
Daily activities you will do on your own
Behavioral strategies to change your perspective on what being “full” really means, how to deal with hunger, how to resist cravings, and how to motivate yourself when it becomes difficult to exercise and stick with your diet plan.
Daily communication via the website and through email to keep you on track and accountable

This is Not a Diet…It’s a Way of Life! 

If you are ready to make the change, contact Barton Behavioral Health Solutions at (806) 418-2285 today to set up a FREE consulation today!

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