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Beck Day 30 - Stay in control when eating out

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Beck's advice on "Dining out strategies"

- Tell the waiter how you want your food prepared
I cringe at this. I hate to be a pain in the neck. I would hate my dinner companions to think I am obsessed with food etc etc etc . . . .oh hang on. That's one of Beck's thinking errors. How do I know what the waiter is thinking - they get it all the time, and what do I care what they think anyway . . . and my dining companions? Those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind!

- Order smaller portions
If not possible, immediately section off what you plan to eat. Eat only that.

- Buffet style?
Look at all the options before you start serving yourself. Plan what you will have to best suit your eating plan (a few things only, or a little of everything) then serve. No second helpings!
Phew - I needed this advice last night at a 70th birthday for an indian friend. A little of all the curries, and before long the plate was a little too full!

- When you are finished, make it final
Lay your knife and fork on the leftovers so you get food on the handles - that will make you less likely to want to pick them up again. Or put your serviette on your plate - no going back after that!

Probably even more important for me is Beck's advice on how to "Change your mindset about parties, celebrations and special events"

Like many, I struggle with this. Making an exception has resulted in extreme overeating - forgetting completely the habits I have been working to develop.

Her points
1. You're likely to encounter many special occasions - regularly. Holidays, birthdays, mothers day, fathers days, office parties, weddings etc etc. They can almost be weekly - and if you give yourself permission to make exceptions - all these could be blow outs.
2. An exception can lead to a huge blow out - if your normal dinner is about 500 calories - at a wedding you could easily consume 3-4 times that!
***I have done this, and I don't want to do this anymore.
3. It might be difficult to get back on track every time - so one event can easily become a weekend/week/month
***Cravings when I try to get on track are often more intense and more frequent.

Once you get your head around this, then you see the potential damage 'exceptions' can do.
Beck suggests that you should aim for a meal out to be only up to 20% more than a usual meal (500 becomes 600) rather than an excuse to go all out!
This is wise. And not unachievable, I think.

Today has been great so far. I planned most of my food in advance. I made a few substitutions as the day unfolded. I made a welcome home cake for hubby - a small loaf and put the rest into mini muffin tins, which resulted in one unplanned mini muffin and could have easily led to more - but I talked myself down (Thanks Beck).

I hope your Sunday is going well too.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ILIKETOZUMBA 9/25/2012 9:22AM


Ooh, I've missed so many of these Beck Diet updates lately - I'm gonna have to go back and read about them all!

OMG I have major problems at special events. 20% does sound like a good number to keep in mind.

I don't like being a pain to waitstaff, who mostly work very hard and are probably tired of demanding customers...but I ask nicely with a little laugh and a smile, and I don't feel too bad because I'm usually not asking for anything too difficult - salad dressing on the side, could I get the broccoli instead of french fries, you don't by any chance have whole wheat pasta do you? But I think I've just gotten more comfortable with making my wishes known (politely, of course) as I've gotten older, whether it's at a restaurant or at the doctor or wherever.

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WATERMELLEN 9/25/2012 7:46AM

    For me, it's not just the "one instance" it's the trigger effect -- like having one drink with an alcoholic and leaving her the bottle!!

I like your "those who matter don't mind, and those who mind don't matter". True, but tough.

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TINAJANE76 9/23/2012 5:58PM

    I've seen so many maintainers having success with the Beck plan lately. Seems like there's a lot of sensible advice to be found in it and that it really addresses the emotional and social connections we have with food and overeating. Thanks for sharing these very useful strategies!

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Beck Day 29 - Resist food pushers

Saturday, September 22, 2012

I have skipped Day 28 - weigh in day. Beck asks you to weigh yourself and record it. I do that weekly on SP - and since I am maintaining, rather than trying to lose, this is a mute point.

Food Pushers
They press more food on to you, they bake goods and bring them to share, they make a meal for you . . . . . and to satisfy someone else's feelings (or perceived feelings) you eat off plan.

Beck asks you to remember that
a) You are entitled to work towards your goal of losing/maintaining weight, so long as you are not maliciously trying to make someone feel bad

b) It is okay to disappoint others - its a part of life. Most likely their disappointment will be mild and fleeting. (Remember Dr Seuss - Those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind)

Sometimes it can be helpful to pre-warn people - 'We'd love to come over tomorrow afternoon - but please don't do any baking on my account. I am on a health kick/diet/having a big lunch etc'.

But at the same time, even if you have not pre-warned people - you should not feel you have to eat it. Chances are they wont care at all.

When you think you might be exposed to a food pusher (or a pushy situation), prepare your response. Sometimes a 'That looks lovely, but no thanks will suffice' but if they continue to persist, you could always try 'It looks lovely - perhaps I could take a little piece home for later'


I have to return my Beck book to the library in 2 days - so I might have to take a break from the daily updates (after a couple more I hope). I have so much to think about and work on already, so it is not really a problem.
I may even spend the next few days skimming the remaining 10 days to summarise - at least to know what I can come back to if I borrow it again!

Thanks for reading - and good luck resisting the pushers!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 9/25/2012 7:44AM

    This food pushing thing is one area in which I believe Beck may be excessively optimistic, frankly. I HAVE lost friends because I am not prepared to "eat off plan" . . . friends who perceived my healthy choices (at restaurant) to be an implicit rebuke of their "not healthy" choices.

So much of socializing is built around eating/drinking . . . . and I've had to seek out friends who like to go to the gym or for walks in the woods!! Not so many of those . . . .

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SHEILA1505 9/22/2012 7:55AM

    Ahhh - can't you renew it for another couple of weeks? Enjoying your book reports with your own experiences

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TCANNO 9/22/2012 3:38AM

    It make me sad that those who should get on and loose wight don't


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Beck Day 27 - Master the seven question technique

Friday, September 21, 2012

I think this is the crux of the matter.
Today Beck teaches us 7 questions to ask ourselves when we are having a sabotaging thought.

1. What kind of thinking error could I be making?
2. What evidence is there that this might not be completely true?
3. Is there an alternative explanation/way of viewing this?
4. What is the most realistic outcome of this situation?
5. What is the effect of me believing this thought, and what could be the effect of changing my thinking?
6. What would I tell a close friend/family member if they were in this situation and had this thought?
7. What should I do now?

I thought I would run though a couple of the most common of my thinking errors

1. What kind of thinking error could I be making?
That eating badly (overeating or eating the wrong foods) will make me feel better - less stressed, less tired, less bored

2. What evidence is there that this might not be completely true?
In the past this eating has not improved my emotional state, but actually made me feel guilty for eating badly

3. Is there an alternative explanation/way of viewing this?
It can be normal to crave food, but I am better to listen to some music, take a shower, do some stretches or deep breathing, phone a friend etc

4. What is the most realistic outcome of this situation?
Distracting myself from my emotional state by doing something positive will improve my mood more effectively

5. What is the effect of me believing this thought, and what could be the effect of changing my thinking?
Believing that food will fix this is false - and does not help. Positive action helps.

6. What would I tell a close friend/family member if they were in this situation and had this thought?
I would tell them the same thing - if they have eaten properly so far that day, food is not the answer. If they have not eaten well, a small nutritional snack might help - then other positive actions

7. What should I do now?
Take my own advice!

1. What kind of thinking error could I be making?
That the other person will judge me for eating healthily (either asking for a modified meal at a restaurant, or declining a food they have baked or brought to share with me)

2. What evidence is there that this might not be completely true?
None whatsoever. In fact if the person is a genuine friend, they will support me in my healthy choices. If they don't want to support me in my healthy choices, maybe they are not behaving as a friend??

3. Is there an alternative explanation/way of viewing this?
The friend will admire me for making a healthy choice, and it might even influence them to make some small healthy changes

4. What is the most realistic outcome of this situation?
If I decline the food, or modify my meal that I order, it will cause little if any negative feeling/comment

5. What is the effect of me believing this thought, and what could be the effect of changing my thinking?
If I believe people are judging me, and I behave to appease them, I will struggle to follow my healthy eating plan

6. What would I tell a close friend/family member if they were in this situation and had this thought?
Eat how you want. People who matter don't mind, and people who mind don't matter (thanks Dr Seuss)

7. What should I do now?
Make my own decisions, and stick to them.

1. What kind of thinking error could I be making?
Thinking that by overeat this food is not being wasted

2. What evidence is there that this might not be completely true?
I am just substituting my body for the garbage bin. Overeating is still wastage

3. Is there an alternative explanation/way of viewing this?
If there is too much food for a meal that can't be kept, or food that is approaching its best before date - that is unfortunate. Me eating it does not remedy the situation, since it is still being wasted. In fact, when others are preparing the food I am best off not eating it - since then they might see how much is being wasted when they scrape it into the bin - and prepare less next time.

4. What is the most realistic outcome of this situation?
If I don't eat the food it will be thrown out (but the caterer might work out for next time not to produce so much) - but that is not worse than me eating it all

5. What is the effect of me believing this thought, and what could be the effect of changing my thinking?
Thinking I have to eat everything so it wont be wasted is sabotaging my healthy eating - when eating it is no better. I want to set an example by wasting little (asking for a small serve, asking for a doggy bag, freezing leftovers for another meal, planning food around used by dates etc) - but eating it all is not a good way of doing this.

6. What would I tell a close friend/family member if they were in this situation and had this thought?
I would tell them the same.

7. What should I do now?
Remind myself that eating too much is not a solution to wastage.
Eating appropriately - it teaches people what an appropriate serving size is.
There are good strategies to reduce waste, but eating it all is not one of them.

Wow - I know this blog goes on a bit, but I have found this really helpful.
I am going to write these down to carry with me, or at least refer to.

Two days until my husband is back. I am looking forward to a chance to leave the kids for a bit more exercise. I have been doing some ST, and SP videos - so still on target to get my 1000 fitness minutes this month.

I stayed with my parents for the last 2 days - and I think for the first time ever I lost weight.
In my favour was the fact that Mum and Dad were super busy - so I prepared a lot of the food.
I am still quite pleased - especially one evening when I had a small sliver of chocolate cake, then sat chatting to mum whilst 3 more pieces sat on a plate between us for about an hour - and whilst it was calling my name, I resisted.

Beck's Thinking Thin is starting to have an effect I think.
I hope your day is going well too

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 9/25/2012 7:41AM

    Yeah, that seven questions technique is a bit complex but right at the heart of it: and you've worked it through . . . especially found your explanation of the "wasting food" thing rang a bell with me!

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Beck Day 26 - Recognise thinking mistakes

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Beck's 9 common thinking errors

#1 - All or nothing
You are either on your diet, or you are eating everything you shouldn't - no middle ground.
Personally - This is a good one - especially when I am staying at someone else's house. I can't plan my meals, so therefore I can overeat and eat too much of the wrong things. I know that my treats need to be limited to one or two small treats per day, I need to fill my plate mainly with fruit and vege, and only eat until I am 80% full - if I could follow these rules, I could still be sort of on plan.

#2 - Negative fortune telling
You predict the future negatively.
Personally - every time I overeat or eat unplanned, I start to believe that I will never get this under control.

#3 - Overly positive fortune telling
Personally - I think it is OK to overeat, and eat the wrong things when I am outside my usual routine, because I can always make back any gains when I am back at home. Maybe this is not sustainable in the longer term, and I would be better eating better more often!

#4 - Emotional Reasoning
I feel like I have to have something sweet right now
Personally - not so much of an issue for me

#5 - Mind reading
She'll think I'm rude if I don't try the brownies she baked (yeah)
Personally - yes, and also worried that others will think I am obsessed with diet etc if I ask for dressing on the side etc. Do they really think that? If they do think that, should I care?

#6 - Self deluded thinking
It wont matter if I give in to my cravings just this once (yeah, right!)
Personally - I am beginning to understand (Beck is really drumming it in) that the more you give in/cheat etc, the weaker your resistance becomes - making it easier to give in next time.

#7 - Unhelpful rules
I can't waste food (this is my number 1 problem)
Personally - I know this is an issue. These thoughts are so ingrained, and stem from much deeper beliefs that I have with regard to the excesses of western living, the unsustainable disposal of waste (much of it does not get composted, but just goes to dumps), the lack of respect for the animals that take a place in our food chain (if we must kill an animal, we owe it to that animal to not waste it) etc etc etc.

#8 Justification
I deserve to eat this as I've had a bad day.
Personally - why do I seek food for comfort and reward all the time? I need to learn to treat myself with meditation, stretching, painting my nails, etc, etc.

#9 - Exaggerated thinking
I can't stand this craving.
Personally - I am not sure this applies, since I have generally given in already through justification and sabotaging thoughts, rather than let the craving be my focus.

Oh wow! I started this thinking I would type out the list, and then focus on the ones that relate to me . . . I would say that they all relate to me. Some of them are just occasionally (#2, #3, #9) but others are regulars.

Beck asks us to consider each one, and relate those to yesterday's sabotaging thoughts.

Yesterday was pretty good, although I never got to a SP video. I was busy, but could have made the time. I ate pretty well all day, but ended up eating a little unplanned food late last night. I was pleased that I was able to put a stop to it before too much damage was done - I definitely could have had another bowl of cereal!!

This morning I was halfway through my breakfast and my mind started to wander to a second helping. I was not feeling satisfied . . . . .
Fortunately I was able to distract myself with a couple of cups of tea and clearing the table/doing the dishes. The craving passed - phew.

I am staying with my parents again for the next 2 days - but it sounds like they will be very busy. This means I will be preparing much of the food - which is probably a good thing!
I wont take my bike, since I don't want them to feel pressured to look after the kids whilst I take a bike ride - but I will try to go for a jog, and will do some exercise videos.

Weighed in today towards the bottom end of my range - that's 10 months maintaining!

I hope your day is going well too.


Beck Day 25 - Identifying sabotaging thoughts

Monday, September 17, 2012

Today is about recognising what is going through your mind when you eat something that you did not plan to eat. These are sabotaging thoughts. When you eat unplanned, you have a thought. Something that makes you throw the eating plan out the window - even if it is only for a few seconds.
Beck is going to teach me how to deal with these thoughts in the next few days - at the moment it is just about recognising them. She provides a list - but acknowledges that people will have their own unique ones.

My favourites
- I don't care (or "Stuff it" is what my mind actually says to me)
- I can't resist / I really want this
- I'll make up for it later / I'll get back to it tomorrow
- It'll go to waste if I don't eat it
- I'm stressed / tired

Write them down - get ready to learn how to control them.

My husband has been away for 4 nights so far - and I have been pretty pleased with how I have done. I was concerned that the stress / tiredness of being the kids only parent 24/7 would drive me to stress eat.
I stayed with my parents over the weekend - which is always a bad place for me in terms of eating. My mum loves to over cater - generosity spells L-O-V-E in the food department. And treats too. I did much better than usual, and even managed to get in a couple of bike rides whilst they looked after the grandkids.

Last night I ate very lightly - and went to bed with a grumbly tummy, but I knew I had eaten more than usual over the weekend, and breakfast would greet me as soon as morning came.
Todays eating is fully planned - and looking extremely generous. I doubt I will be able to eat it all.
I will do a coach nicole video today - better than nothing!

I hope your day goes well - and you nip those sabotaging thoughts in the bud!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHEILA1505 9/18/2012 5:23AM

    :)) I think 'stuff it' pretty much sums it all up for me!
I am enjoying the book thru your blogs - thanx

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