All or nothing thinking - how it can impact your weight loss efforts

All or nothing thinking

You’re carrying a tray of glasses to the dining room table. One glass falls onto the floor and breaks. What do you do?

Do you:

  1. continue taking the glasses to the table and go back and clean up the broken one, or
  2. just turn the tray upside down and break the rest of the glasses since you broke one, you might as well break them all?

Obviously, you would choose the first option, right? But as a dieter how many times have you had a blow-out meal or enjoyed a delicious piece of cake and then decided that since you had “blown” your diet, you might as well continue overeating?

That’s like upending that tray of glasses and breaking them all.

This happens when people have a “diet mindset” rather than a healthy weight reduction mindset. It’s short-term thinking rather than taking a long view.

First, let’s crunch some numbers.

We all know that a healthy rate of weight loss is one to two pounds a week. This equals 52 to 104 pounds a year. If you have an average weight loss of one and a half pounds a week, that equals 78 pounds. Pretty impressive.

We also typically eat three meals a day. Over a year, that equals 1,095 meals (or 1,098 in a leap year).

If you add in two snacks a day, that’s another 730 times that you eat.

Short-Term vs. Long-Term Thinking

Why don’t we change that tray of glasses to a diet?

The Short-Term Thinker

This is the person who would say, “well, I overdid it at Christmas dinner, so bring on the fruitcake, sugar cookies, and eggnog”.

And once again, on New Year’s Eve, they make that resolution to lose weight. But we all know that resolutions like this often last as long as it takes a child to grow tired of the latest toy fad. When the numbers are higher at their next weekly weigh-in, they may experience more negative feelings like annoyance, guilt, anger and frustration. And this may lead to giving up and giving in to old habits.

When next Christmas comes around, they may be at that same weight or a bit heavier. They may not be feeling good about themselves. And that resolution from 12 months ago is recycled a week later at a New Year’s Eve party.

The Long-Term Thinker

This person would say, “well, that was one meal, so let’s put that fruitcake and cookies in the freezer, and I’ll make better choices going forward”. And by next Christmas, they would have either reached their goal or be close to it.

Sure, if they were getting weighed in at their Weight Watchers to TOPS meeting the following week, the numbers on the scale may not be what they would want to see, but the results would probably be more positive in a couple of weeks. They would be more likely to reach their goal. It may take a little longer, but they’d get there.

Because that’s the thing. The occasional blow-out meal is just one meal out of 1,095. And 10 or 20 of those meals throughout the year won’t matter in the grand scheme of things. It’s when someone has hundreds of those types of meals in a year that they get into trouble.

Think about it. You may gain a pound after enjoying a huge meal at Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, or on your birthday  – and much of it could just be water retention from salt. Sure, in the short term, it may be disheartening, but things will balance themselves out in the long-term if you make better choices for your next meal and the one after that and the one after that.

What choice do you make?

So, imagine now that you’re carrying that tray of glasses across the room. And one glasses falls, hits the floor, and breaks. What choice do you make? Do you turn over the tray and break them all? Or do you confidently walk to the table, put the tray down, grab a broom, clean up the mess and move on?

You are as important as that tray of glasses. Treat yourself like the fine china or crystal that you are. You’re worth it.

Hypnosis can help you lose that all or nothing thinking. Why not book a free inquiry call to discuss if hypnosis is right for you?

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