Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Cheating Checklist

What’s the biggest cause of diet failure? Cheating on your diet, of course. Everyone does it at one point or another along the way. You most likely can’t avoid it completely. It’s hard to be perfect. What you can do is lessen the number of times you cheat. Keep it to a minimum. The more you can stay on your diet, the more weight you’ll lose.

An effective way to stall a cheat in its tracks is to stop and think. This is possibly the most powerful technique you’ll ever find. It just takes some questioning, some considering, before you go ahead and plunge into those cookies and chips. Challenge yourself. See how flexible you can be. You don’t need to do what you’ve always done. You can use your powers of thinking before you go ahead and cheat, thus avoiding any self-recriminations and a possible reversal of your weight-loss progress.

Here is a checklist of questions that will steer you to the right kind of thinking. Use this list the next time you feel like cheating on your diet, before you actually do it. You can still cheat if you want to―that’s always up to you. But once you answer these questions, even if you go ahead and cheat, it will be more of a real choice rather than just an automatic reflex.

  1. Am I still committed to losing weight?
  2. What will the benefits to my life be when I reach my weight loss goal?
  3. Do I believe in my ability to stick to my diet?
  4. If not, why not?
  5. What are the strengths I possess that can help me stick to my diet right now?
  6. Am I feeling very stressed out?
  7. If so, can I handle the stress in some other way?
  8. Am I tired?
  9. If so, can I take some time out to rest?
  10. Am I feeling overwhelmed?
  11. If so, can I put off taking care of a few things until I feel more capable?
  12. If I break my diet at this moment, will I feel better or worse?
  13. If I cheat on my diet now, will I be able to get back on it?
  14. Am I afraid to lose weight?
  15. If so, what am I afraid of?
  16. What do I truly need right now?
  17. Will eating off my diet plan give me what I need right now?
  18. If not, how can I get what I need?
  19. What would the people close to me think of me if I cheat now?
  20. What will I think of myself if I cheat now?

If you have a problem with food and weight, you’ve probably trained yourself to turn to food at certain times. By now, it is probably a totally automatic response. Use this checklist to retrain yourself. It will help you let go of your bad food habits. Make sure this list is always handy. Make your dream of losing the weight once and for all come true.

©2007 Maria's Last Diet. Maria’s Last Diet is an online weight loss support website for women. At Maria’s Last Diet, you’ll find the tools to fix the thoughts, feelings, and automatic habits that fight against you when you diet. Because it’s never just about the food. Visit for more diet tips and weight loss motivation.


Anonymous said...

I personally find two problematic words here: cheating (implies something bad, something you should feel guilty about) and "diet"(implies stictness, restriction, depriving). What works best for me is to think of it as healthy eating for life. Since life is usually a long time,I allow myself flexibility to "go off my eating plan" when real life happens (ie, vacation, holidays,wedding,etc) I also allow
myself enough flexibility everyday for healthy treats, healthy snacks, so I am not feeling deprived, hungry or craving a lot.
for instance, if I am craving chocolate, before I allow that to escalate into eating a bag of mini candy bars, I plan for a Skinny Cow fudge pop or Cocoa Via in my day's menu. I Have been on many diets in my life...this is finally what works for me!

Aimee said...

The word diet really has a whole different meaning for me (as I'm sure it has many meanings to many people, just like the word cheating). But this is really how I see the word diet:

Discover your triggers
Invent new ways of thinking
Extinguish old habits
TRANSFORM your life

I posted the "cheating" article because I thought it made some valid points and had some good questions that I thought someone out there in the cyber world might need to hear and reflect on. :)

Everyone has some flexibility to their eating plan, if not, a total binge probably won't be too far off in the future (people can only deprive themselves for so long). Then there are the people who stay OP during the week and binge on the weekends (not a healthy thing to do). This article is probably geared more towards them, but still worth a read for everyone none the less (my opinion of course).

I do agree with you though, it is about eating healthy and making changes that will last a life time. You sound like you're on the right track. :) Thanks for weighing in on the issue, I appreciate it.

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