Why not just go ahead and do it, you say. Don' t put it off any
longer. Get the dreaded thing started already. You' ll feel better,
you' ll look better, you' ll be prouder of yourself, you won' t feel as
guilty. There are lots of reasons to start dieting ASAP.
However, there is one good reason why you shouldn' t go right to dieting: Planning.
Planning makes you feel better prepared and it will lead to you
having much more weight-loss success. Among other
advantages, planning lets you test out alternatives. Should I do this
versus should I do that? What if I feel like this? Can I do that then?
Is there something other than overeating that I can do when I' ve
suffered a slight hurt or rejection? If so, what is it, and how can I
put it into practice so I won' t eat over my feelings?
A weight-loss dieting plan works best when it is as specific as
possible. Plans have to be specific if they are to properly prepare you
for various contingencies.
Weight-loss dieting plans are different than weight-loss goals. A goal
is something we strive for. Finding out how you can implement your
goals is what is meant by a plan. You can state a plan in an if/then
format. If this happens, then I will do that.
Having a plan and being prepared requires much less mental energy
while you are dieting. For example, you don' t have to struggle when you
run up against a rough situation where your old eating habits want to
show up again. Struggling to not be out of control requires lots of
mental energy. As you probably know from past run-ins with your
willpower, people have only so much mental energy. Mental energy in the
form of willpower and self-control breaks down, sometimes in an instant
when you' re faced with temptation and the coercive force of old habits.
If you' ve planned for those rough situations, you will find the
going a lot smoother. You won' t have to struggle to exert self-control.
You will already have formulated the alternatives, maybe even tried
them out and practiced them as well. This gives you the mental edge
over being tempted and using old automatic patterns.
Therefore, if you are feeling the pressure to get started dieting, get started on making your plans. Feeling guilty
about not dieting right away is another self-defeating habit
that you probably have to plan to change. The rush into dieting without good
plans in place will inevitably derail your dieting effort.