If you keep going on and off every diet because you always get the urge to eat off your diet, what can you do?
When you get ready to go back on your diet plan, don’t just jump
right back into it. Make sure your personal capability quotient is
where you need it to be. If you think about it, getting back on the
horse that threw you is a self-defeating thing to do unless you have
the skills this time to ride it.
Instead of jumping right back on the diet that threw you, give
yourself a chance to master what made you fall off in the first place.
Give yourself “a course” (not a horse) in what you need to know before
going back to dieting.
What’s probably been happening to you is that you haven’t mastered how to
handle an urge to eat off your diet. Urges are hard to deal with, but
you can learn how to do it.
Here is a mini-course in urges.
Urges are physiological and psychological states in which people are
motivated to seek out particular objects or feelings. Urges are
triggered by stimuli that include your moods, your feelings, your
thoughts, as well as difficult encounters with people, places, and
situations in your environment. There are no doubt times when you find
it too hard to get away from these triggers.
Urges are counterproductive when you are trying to stay on your diet course
and lose the weight. The urge to overeat, eat junk, or eat especially fattening food can supercede good dietary control and
cause you to slip off your weight-loss regimen. Giving in to your urges
serves to maintain your problems with overeating and weight gain.
What can you do about your urges? You can lower your “urge level” by
more appropriately meeting the needs overeating once met, like the need for
relaxation and the need to deal with negative emotions and moods. You
can try renaming an unwanted urge to overeat: This urge doesn’t mean I
want to overeat now. It means I’m trying to cope. It means I have some need
at the moment. It means I need to regulate my feelings. Here are
some better coping strategies: doing something nice for yourself,
encouraging yourself, using substitute rewards, using distractions,
changing your routines, and waiting it out.
In fact, why don’t you use as many strategies as you can that you
think will help you deal in the moment, and even help you anticipate
your urges to eat off your diet. Don’t get unexpectedly thrown from your diet again.
Practice lots of different ways to counter your eating urges and build
the skills you need to ride out the rough spots of dieting.