It’s the new year, and a quick survey of the resolutions Americans make every year shows that losing weight is one of — if not the — most popular. Maybe it’s because, by New Year’s Day, the stress of the holiday season, family get-togethers, and trying to meet everyone’s expectations has led to too many trips to the cookie jar. Unfortunately, as most people know, losing weight is one of — if not the — most difficult resolution to keep.
I started working with a client to get rid of her cravings for sweets so she can lose the weight that crept up on her over the holidays. One of the first things I told her to do is to stop beating herself up for not sticking to a diet. This tip is counter-intuitive for most people. They think “if I make myself miserable over that bag of Lays Potato Chips I just ate, won’t that stop me from wanting to eat junk food the next time?”. Unfortunately, the answer is no. In fact, not only will yelling at yourself for giving in to a craving not help you eat less, it will very likely lead you to eat more!
Think about it. Most people break their diets when they are stressed or down. How do you feel when you get mad at yourself and say things like “I’m such a loser” or “I have no will power”? If you’re like most people, saying anything like that makes you feel more stressed and more down. Then that ice cream looks like just what you need to feel better. And on and on goes the cycle.
For some ideas on what to do to get out of this cycle, check out my post on Cravings. (Hint: relaxation exercises are much better than food to bring down your stress, but you have to remember to do them before the craving hits. Tapping can help to get to the base of what’s driving the craving.) But whatever you do, the first step is to stop hitting yourself over the head and neck (metaphorically speaking) when you give in to a craving. Instead, tell yourself you’ll do better next time. Then go do something relaxing, like exercising.
Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a get-acquainted session by phone or Skype to talk about what might be blocking you.