Most dieters struggle with losing weight or keeping it off. Consequently, they are often labeled “weak”. But it’s not their fault. No one ever taught them how to diet. They’re not weak. Dieting is not just a matter of willpower. To be successful, dieters have to learn a set of cognitive (thinking) and behavioral skills. For example, they need to know how to
- motivate themselves every day
- develop a system of accountability
- get themselves to use good eating habits consistently (even when they don’t feel like it)
- cope with hunger, craving, and the desire to eat
- get back on track immediately when they make a mistake
- deal with feelings of unfairness, deprivation, discouragement, and disappointment
- handle eat out
- deal with people who push them to eat food they hadn’t planned.
These skills are not self-evident. And actually, most people don’t need them to lose some weight. But to continue to lose weight—and especially to keep weight off--these skills and others are essential. In fact, in The Beck Diet Solution book and workbook and The Complete Beck Diet for Life, I advise people not to start following a diet until they have mastered an initial set of skills.