What’s Wrong with the “I’ve Already Blown It” Mentality when Dieting

Lovelace Bariatrics Director Dr. Duc Vuong joins us on the blog today to talk about how one powerful message can easily derail your diet when it shouldn’t.

Have you ever thought, "I've already ruined my diet today (or this week or this holiday), so it doesn't matter what I eat now!”? There are times when we all make poor food choices, but that doesn’t mean you have to throw in the towel! This is one of the few times in life that we behave this way. University of Pennsylvania psychologist Judith S. Beck suggests: Pretend you get pulled over for running a red light, and the police officer gives you a ticket. At this point, you wouldn’t say, “Well I’ve blown it now.  I might as well just run all of the other red lights today!” If you stumble down the first couple of steps on a flight of stairs, you wouldn’t think, “Well, I’ve blown it now!” and throw yourself down the rest of the staircase! So why do we do this with our food choices, especially during the holidays? 

I think it’s because the consequences of our bad food choices aren’t immediately apparent, unlike the lecture and ticket from the police officer for running red lights or the bruises and broken bones from falling down stairs. If you eat a pound of cookies, you won’t immediately gain a pound. If you skip your run around the park, you won’t get dimples on your thighs that night. No, health consequences are slow and insidious.  

The personal BENEFITS of healthy choices are also small and incremental, not sudden and immediate, so you need to think of making healthy choices as your regular daily routine as opposed to something out of the norm. And never, ever feel that if one day you devour a big chocolate bar while lying on the couch that you have failed! Doing it once is not an excuse to do it again. Everybody falls off the wagon sometimes. The important question is, “What am I going to do from this point forward?”

Follow Lovelace Bariatrics on Facebook  and join in the conversation with Dr. Vuong. We'll be sharing interesting tips, information and posting questions to our fans about diet and nutrition. 

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